As an organizing expert, I totally appreciate the importance of being productive and staying organized. But as a wife and mother, I also realize that life is never ever going to be completely organized and perfect. In fact, I usually embrace the small bit of happy chaos that keeps life interesting.
That being said, none of us expected the interesting chaos and confusion that the COVID-19 pandemic brought into all our lives. As a result of this unexpected confusion, your priorities may have shifted; what used to feel urgent can wait and what used to feel important is taking a backseat to other concerns.
Now that Texas businesses are back to full operation and residents are getting comfortable with venturing out, you may be tempted to start adding activities, obligations and distractions back into your schedule. We are all excited to start feeling “normal” again, but as you start making future plans, I encourage you to take a look at your priorities before you start overloading your schedule.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Is what was important to me before the pandemic still important to me now?
- Have I stopped doing something during this pandemic that I don’t really miss?
- What tasks do I do that take me a long time but don’t add much value to my day?
- What tasks really get me closer to my goals?
If you have ever noticed that you are exhausted at the end of each day because you are super busy, but you don’t feel like you’ve actually accomplished anything, it’s time to reprioritize. Always being busy but unproductive will eventually take a toll; mentally and physically. You’re going to crash and burn.
In his highly popular book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains the Time Management Matrix and how effective people spend more time in Quadrant II, minimize time spent in Quadrant I, and worry very little about Quadrants III and IV.
Many people allow urgent tasks to interrupt their progress because they haven’t taken the time to pay attention to their priorities. All you need is about 10 - 15 minutes every day to plan ahead. Look at your next day’s schedule and decide if there is anything in Quadrant III or IV that can be delegated or deleted.
So, as you adjust to your changing priorities, learn to say “no” to the tasks that are not important to the overall quality or success of your day.