Find Time to Know What’s Important (AND What’s Not) on Your To Do List!

Finding time to sort out your priorities and manage your to do list meaningfully can be a big challenge.  And yet, NOT prioritizing realistically can be a big source of unnecessary pressure in your life! Susan A. of Portland, Oregon wrote on this very topic recently, asking:

Dear Paula,

I have always tried to set priorities when I create my to-do list. My problem is that I have  a tendency to think that every task is a high priority. Could you help me by explaining  what a low priority task looks like?

Susan A.

This is a great question – and getting tasks and projects prioritized in a way that is meaningful for you can be a big stress reducer. It’s like your roadmap.  Without it, all the streets look the same and you can easily get lost.

Here’s my answer to Susan …

Dear Susan,

Your question is one that many people ask. One of the most difficult aspects of setting priorities is to develop a habit of not making everything a high priority.

You might want to set yourself this goal: As you prioritize your list, aim to assign at least 50% of the tasks on your to-do list as a medium or low priority. This may feel difficult at first … but think of it this way:

A low priority task is one that can be deferred without a negative impact on anything if it doesn’t get completed. Also, a low priority task is one that can be moved to another day without any adverse consequences.

At the end of the week (or whenever you would normally do this), review your list.  How did you do with your tasks?  Do you feel like your stress was less?  Are you worried that you ended up “losing” some of your low priority tasks?  Do you think you procrastinated about any of them?  Keep tweaking your priorities, based on your experience.

Remember, there’s no “right” answer – this is all about what works for you!



Are you challenged to let some items on your to do list be lower priorities?  If so, I bet it adds a lot to the stress you experience daily.  I invite you to try this simple exercise … and let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Grab it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …

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