General Helpful Hints

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Get Wise – Prioritize!

Learning to prioritize is one of the biggest challenges for people today. It doesn’t matter if you work in or out of the home, prioritizing is extremely important in your daily life. Someone who does not prioritize tasks and their daily schedule will likely feel overwhelmed, stressed, and unhappy throughout the day. These feelings can affect every aspect of your life. By prioritizing your life, you can learn what really needs to be done immediately and what can wait until later. Use these tips to help get you started with your new organized schedule!

Learn To Say “No”
A problem that many people have today is the inability to say “no” when asked to do something. If someone asks you to do something for them, it does not automatically mean you must commit to doing it. Of course, you should help others out when you have the time, but if you don’t have time, politely pass. Unless the matter is urgent, you should never rearrange your schedule for a request from a co-worker or friend. If you do this once, they will assume they can call on you as much as they want. By not being able to say “no” to some tasks, you will likely over commit yourself. Over committing will leave you completely overwhelmed. There is no reason to get your self in this type of situation. If you simply do not have time in your schedule to help with the task, just be honest and tell them so. Perhaps they will be shocked at your rejection, especially if you have never said “no” to them before, but it is worth it for your own personal happiness and health.

Make Lists
Experts will say that you should spend most of your day working on important tasks. To do this, you must choose which tasks are important to you and which tasks can wait. This can be tricky. The best way to prioritize your tasks is by making a list. Write down everything you think you need to accomplish. Then number each by importance. Something that may be important to you, may not be important to someone else, so this step is about personal preference. Display your daily list in a place that you will constantly see. This will help you stick to your daily plan. List making may seem juvenile, but making lists actually take the stress out of jobs. Many times when you see a task written on paper, it looks much less intimidating then when it is only floating around in your head.

Time Management Skills
Prioritizing you life also involves the use of time management skills. Time management skills can help you accomplish more in a day, without feeling the stress of working harder. By using simply tactics like making your phone calls while waiting to pick your child up from school, you will accomplish more. Multi-tasking is a great way to get more done. Some people get more stressed by multi-tasking, so if you hate the thought of it, don’t even try it. If you feel confident with multi-tasking however, go ahead and get as much done as you can. You will be surprised what you can do waiting in a doctor’s office or at soccer practice.

Put Family First
When you plan your day, be sure to use your morals and personal judgment. Prioritizing your life does not mean not including the most important aspects of your life. You should always make time for your family first. It may seem difficult to do this, with a million other things going on in your life. When your family is happy however, you will find that you are happier. Happiness makes for a more productive person. So, be sure to add family time to your daily schedule. Even if you can only schedule enough time to sit down together to eat dinner, you will see the rewards.

By getting your life in order, you will become less stressed in general. Making lists and sticking with them is a major part of the formula. Crossing off tasks as you complete them will help you feel like you are accomplishing a lot and push you to do more. Using your time management skills will help your day flow smoothly, allowing you to get the most out of your time. Putting your family first will help you stay grounded and remember what really matters in life.

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