Don't Be Overwhelmed by Your To Do List

(My famous To Do Book!  This, along with my calendar/planner, goes with me everywhere.)

I am often told I am such an organized person. It’s true, I am! (you should see my wedding binder! ) I joke that I have a list of all my lists. (I don’t, really, but I often think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea if I did!)

Sometimes I plan to a fault. Sometimes I use it as a procrastination method – I will make lists and plan and then never quite make it to the actual “doing” part of the “to do.”

I have changed that pattern this year. The first thing that helped was my “To Do Book.” I wrote about it before. I was inspired by Goddess Leonie to create one. I wasn’t sure how it would work out because I actually usually prefer to type as opposed to writing by hand, but I have found my book to be the best tool for listing my to dos!

My lists tend to be a little overwhelming. Maybe yours are, too. Instead of getting overwhelmed, prioritize. This is how I prioritize, and it may help you, too.

The order in which I accomplish things:

  1. Customer orders and/or concerns. If I have orders to fill or ship, or questions to answer, I always do these first. They don’t even usually make it to my to do list because I take care of them right away. 
  2. Date sensitive items. For example, I’m going away for several days to work on wedding preparations with my mom. So, although there are certain things I might prefer to be working on, I have to get ready for my trip. I have to gather up all the supplies I need for the stuff we are making, pack my sewing machine, make sure I have clean clothes to pack, etc. I really have a fun project that I want to work on for my blog, but it can’t happen until I know I’m ready for my trip.
  3.  Whatever is going to help my business the most. Of course, you’ll need to have a clear plan and end goal in mind. (Try Tara Swiger’s map for that! I did and it has helped me significantly!) 
  4. Things I don’t want to do. Sometimes I bump this up to #3 because I know I’ll feel better once I accomplish the thing that I have been putting off. Anything having to do with my new website is here. I feel completely overwhelmed by learning how to use wordpress, but I know it will be nicer and I know that I can do it. I get scared and do something else. (Or find some other way to procrastinate like, Pinterest!) Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes skipping the thing you don’t want to do will actually be fine. Sometimes it works itself out. Sometimes you shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place. But there are definitely times you should be doing something you don’t want to do.
  5.  Other stuff.
Usually, I deal with customer orders and questions first and then check my calendar for deadlines. 

Once that I done, I either try to tackle something that has been on my list for a while that I have to force myself to do, or do something that I believe will push my business forward.

Some days you’ll only get as far as #1. Some days you’ll have to skip #1 to #2, but only do that one day. 
Some days it’s better to start of #4 for a set amount of time and then move on to #1.

How do you prioritize?

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