In 2010 I made priorities. And I’m not talking about big year-long goals and resolutions. I’m talking about daily priorities. Because I learned something very important: If you don’t label something a priority, it’s likely it won’t get done.
Now, I create various lists of priorities:
(1) Things I NEED to have done before going to bed
(2) Things I really WANT to have done before going to bed
(3) Things that can wait until tomorrow
(4) Things that can wait until I have time
Of course, work assignments, things that have deadlines, and things I’m getting paid for go into the first category. They always have (even before I knew I had these categories). But now I’d added other things, like blogging for We are not Martha. By making it a priority I ensure myself that I’ll always get it done. Though it’s not a “job” per say, it does make money (with the potential for more). And though I’m my own boss, I still set deadlines. If I put it in the first category I get it done. I’m wonderful at meeting deadlines.
Into the second category go things I’d really like to have done before going to bed, but don’t necessarily have to have done. This could include writing blog posts in advance or applying for freelance jobs that look appealing. Category 2 is tricky, though, because “want” is different than “need” and it’s easy to push wants aside. I find that I often don’t get category 2 things done. So if the tasks in this category aren’t done by the next day, I put them in the NEED category. Otherwise they’ll never get done.
I’m bad at doing things like making phone calls, sending cards, returning emails, and other tasks like that and I love putting these in the “wait until tomorrow” category. But I know this is a bad idea, so if things remain in this category for more than a couple days, I add them to the NEED category. And then they get done. Usually.
This all sounds so simple, right? Like, all I have to do is put my tasks in categories and I’ll actually get them done? But it works! I don’t go to sleep until I get the NEED things done. And if I want to go to sleep before 1 a.m., I know I better get stared on the leftover things right after dinner.
And that’s also why I just completed day #6 of #reverb10. Blogging on Love Boston Girl is always on the “things that can wait until tomorrow” category. Sometimes it moves up to the “WANT” category 2. But now that I’m participating in #reverb10, it’s in the first category, the NEED category. So, I get it done.
In 2010, I made priorities. And life got so much simpler.
This post was in response to #reverb10 day 6, with prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?