HOW I PRIORITIZE + MANAGE TO DO LISTS

October, 8, 2018

The internet is such a crazy thing sometimes. I share a lot of my life with y’all, but, in reality it’s such a small piece of who I am. I’m making it a goal of mine to share more lifestyle content this year in hopes that y’all can really get to KNOW me. As much as I love clothes and fashion, that really isn’t the whole me. So here’t to sharing more of my heart and life– outside of the closet.

Anyone in my life would probably throw out OCD, productive, and organized (sometimes to a fault) as one of my many defining qualities. I say ‘sometimes to a fault’ after those traits because they can tend to keep me from being spontaneous and fun on occasion. I like to plan, actually I NEED to plan. It’s in my DNA– I’m a 1 on the enneagram (if you haven’t heard of this test, check it out and take it for yourself HERE) and very type A. I like to know what I’m doing at least a week in advance and when plans get changed last minute, that can send my world into a tail spin. I’m not painting myself in the best light here, I know, but I say all of this so you see just how crucial and vital prioritizing and to do lists are in my world.

Also it should be noted here that I am really working on being more laid back. I married an Ennegram 9 (refer to the link above) and he is very calm, cool and collected. He truly helps me take it down a notch and cool my jets. During our wedding weekend, a lot of speeches noted that Sam’s heart rate is always a steady 45 and mine is a hyper functioning 90. These are both exaggerations (kinda) but we definitely function differently and it really helps even us both out.

So while I NEED lists to function, I’m not saying you HAVE to do them my exact way– maybe you’re just here to check out some cool desk accessories and calendars. But as a self-motived, self-starter and self-employed gal, this is how I keep my life organized and how I decide what to prioritize.

STEP ONE: START YOUR DAY CALMLY AND CLEARLY

If you’ve followed me for a little while, you have probably picked up on the fact that I love Jesus and am a strong believer. So when listing priorities, He is at the top. I start my day in quiet time with Him, although this varies from day to day. Lately I have been trying to dive into the Bible and actually read from it, in the past I have worked through studies and devotionals– I have a post coming on all of my favorites next week. Right now I’m reading Esther. This helps me start my day slow, quiet and calm– which are all traits I need a lot more of in my life. This helps me get my day (and life) into perspective.

STEP TWO: REVIEW LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM LISTS

Quiet time usually leads straight into my to do list– going into your day with a calm and clear mind with exact tasks that need to be accomplished is the best way to ACTUALLY complete those tasks. Plus writing everything down that you need to accomplish that day, week, month is not only a great reminder of what you need to do, but it also makes it seem a lot less intimidating. Like I mentioned early, list making it very important to me and I *think* I have perfected it. I have every growing long term and short term lists. My long term lists houses things that need to be accomplished over the course of a few months, by year end or just down the round with no specific time stamp (but I need to make note of it so it doesn’t get lost in my brain). All of the tasks on the long term list eventually trickle down onto my short term list. This usually functions one week at a time. Every Friday I will work on the list for the following week– pulling tasks from my long term list, adding things into my schedule and moving things to the next week that I didn’t get around to this week.

STEP THREE: PRIORITIZE

Each day I’ll usually glance at my agenda and see what needs my attention first/what is most urgent. If nothing is time sensitive, I will usually review the content I have planned for the blog, who I need to contact that day, and/or what meetings or conference calls I have. If things are time specific, I will fill the available time in with what needs to be accomplished first. Usually first on my list is a blog post because this requires the most work and preparation. I can also stop in the middle of this and come back to it as calls and meetings come up. I have shared what a day in the life of a full time blogger looks like HERE if you want to see what my work day pans out to look like.

Basically, when in doubt with prioritizing– write it down and access what is most time sensitive. If nothing is necessarily time sensitive, but everything *feels* important (been there… there daily actually) then make that list and start with the smallest task, this doesn’t have to be in the order you wrote it down. Sometimes when I have a huge list of things, the best way to get rolling through it is just to start marking things off. As you get your way through the smaller tasks you’ll feel better about having less on that list and you’ll be ready to tackle the larger, more time consuming tasks. It’s not always that simple, but usually that does the trick. Everyone feels better when they’re accomplishing things, the more you accomplish in your day the better equipped you’ll be for the next day. You don’t have to check everything off that list, but as long as you get to at least one, you’re better off than where you started!

Let’s give an example, shall we… here is my to do list for the week: *notice I haven’t assigned any of the ‘abstract’ to dos to a specific day yet– only meetings, calls and blog editorial content have been added because they are set prior to my list making.

to do:

schedule dentist appointment

edit photos

follow up with x

confirm Vermont travel details

submit contract to x

take B to the groomer

get nails done

shoot next weeks content

get caught up on laundry

share grocery haul on stories

schedule conference call with x

——-

monday:

  1. blog post on list making and prioritizing
  2. conference call with x
  3. grocery + meal prep

tuesday:

  1. blog post on fall home decor
  2. meet with x
  3. pure barre with friend

wednesday:

  1. blog post featuring duster cardigan
  2. submit content to x
  3. doctor appointment

thursday:

  1. blog post on workout recovery hair
  2. story try on session with x

friday:

  1. blog post on fall favorite trend: leopard

——–

Then, each day I will add in what I have time for so my week will end up looking like:

monday:

  1. blog post on list making and prioritizing
  2. conference call with x
  3. schedule dentist appointment
  4. grocery + meal prep
  5. share grocery haul on stories

tuesday:

  1. blog post on fall home decor
  2. edit photos
  3. meet with x
  4. follow up with x
  5. pure barre with friend
  6. get caught up on laundry

wednesday:

  1. blog post featuring duster cardigan
  2. submit content to x
  3. confirm Vermont travel details
  4. doctor appointment
  5. submit contract to x

thursday:

  1. blog post on workout recovery hair
  2. take B to the groomer
  3. get nails done
  4. story try on session with x

friday:

  1. blog post on fall favorite trend: leopard
  2. shoot next weeks content
  3. schedule conference call with x
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