How to prioritize when it gets too busy (+ worksheet)

Posted on Posted in Be well, be happy, Design your career

How to prioritize when it gets busy

You may recognize the feeling when your candle is being burnt from both ends. Figuratively speaking, that is. When you are running like mad to catch up, sacrificing on sleep and fun things in life just to be able to match the demands of life. You know you cannot keep it up for a long time, but there seems to be no other way than to keep on running.

Something has to change, and usually it’s the body that starts giving the first signals of too much stress. You get short tempered, you don’t sleep so well, you cannot focus and you don’t find life so fun anymore.


Learning to see the true priorities

When there are many different things (people, tasks, activities, deadlines) demanding your attention at the same time, it takes a special kind of focus to stay level headed and clear, and to determine from where to start attending it all.

I recently read a nice inspirational book called “Be the miracle” by Regina Brett, where she compared stress situation to an emergency scene. In an Emergency First Response course you learn to assess a crisis situation, and you learn to determine what to do first, and who to help first?

In most crisis situations it may appear overwhelming at first, since you cannot do it all, and you cannot help everyone. You need to prioritize and figure out who are the life-or-death cases, and who can wait. And usually the ones who scream the loudest are the ones who are NOT the critical ones.

Yet in real life the ones that cry / complain / demand the loudest get all of our zest, and whatever else is left gets distributed to other areas. But this is just one long slippery slope towards a very stressful existence.


Decide who goes first – and make yourself a priority

It helps to think and plan your own life before you get into a crisis scene. What is really critical to you? What can you not live without? If you only had time for one thing, what would that be?

We rarely think about life like this. We just respond to crisis after another, and answer the issues that are screaming the loudest. But if life gives you nothing but loud screaming issues, you will have to start choosing. Or, if you are getting too stressed and busy under the weight of your task-list, you will have to start picking.

But from where do you start?

You start right here.

Today you are going to make a list of important things in life, and to help you with that I have made a template which you can find in my new, FREE resources library (oh yeah, I made a library for you!). You are going to start by determining what is MOST important to you in life. For me this is my personal health (physical and mental), and my personal development. Without these I’m pretty much useless as a human being. So this goes first.

Second most important thing is my partner, and my family. Third is self expression through writing, yoga, learning, spiritual development, yoga. Fourth is my close friends. Fifth is my purpose in this world, my business. Sixth is my daily work for others, socializing / social obligations, acquaintances etc.

Make your own list with the help of my template, it’s good to truly think about this when you have a quiet moment. Print the list and stick it somewhere where you can easily access it. When s*** hits the fan and you have 10000 things to do, it’s time to dig it up and make some choices. Who deserves your energy first? Who is “dying” if you don’t attend to them first?

For me the top-tier is my physical and mental health, so that’s where I start. That is the area that will get my energy and attention first, NOT the colleague who is screaming the loudest. Then, if my physical and mental health feels good, it’s time to give some attention to my loved ones, and so forth.

You can make one table for your overall life situation, and another for your work. What is most important to you in your job, and do you devote enough time for it? Or are you just letting your focus be taken by the ones who are screaming the loudest?

Go to my new, FREE library of resources, and download your own worksheet. Let’s be responsible Emergency First Responders and learn how to prioritize our lives!

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