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living out your priorities

Lots of tasks fight for our attention every day. We can’t do it all. In light of that reality, we have to start setting priorities. But how do we decide what is or is not a priority?

Crystal Paine runs the well-known site Money Saving Mom. She is married, has three children, and runs a successful business. If anyone is busy, it would be Crystal. In 2014, she released a book called Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. She recommends taking the time to sit down and figure out what your priorities are, and then to spend your energy on things that support those priorities.

My list went like this:

  1. Following God and growing as a Christian
  2. Being a good wife
  3. Being a good mother
  4. Being a good steward of my home
  5. Blogging

It’s a pretty standard list. After I wrote it, I realized that to evaluate how well I was doing in these areas, I would have to dig deeper. Sure, I said I wanted to grow in my faith, but what specific things was I doing to work towards that?

After giving it some thought, I wrote out specific action items under each priority.

Following God and growing as a Christian

Being a good wife

  • Wake up with my husband each day and spend time with him before he goes to work
  • Speak honoring words about my husband to others

Being a good mother

  • Pray for my son every day
  • Read to him every day

Being a good steward of my home

Blogging

  • Work on creating great content and reaching more women who need encouragement

goals

Goals are good, but they are worthless without action. I decided to write out a sample schedule of a typical day to see what areas take up most of my time. If something that’s a lower priority is taking up a disproportionate amount of time, then that needs to change.

After I wrote out my typical day, I color coded each task by category (faith, marriage, motherhood, homemaking, blogging/other).

setting priorities

My schedule should reflect my priorities. I enjoy blogging, but it’s not as important as taking care of my son. I typically work on writing from 6:15-7:00 and then again for an hour during my son’s nap. I try not to work on it while he’s awake.The bulk of my time is going towards taking care of my son and taking care of my home, which makes sense for this season of my life. After I looked at my standard day, I decided that I want to focus on spending more time doing family activities in the evenings.

What are your priorities? How are they reflected in your daily tasks?

17 comments on “Living out Your Priorities”

  1. I love that you took the extra step after listing your goals to dig in to each of them. What would that look like? I think we often stop after listing the goals, and feel good that we ‘did something’. But like you said, “Goals are good, but they are worthless without action.”

  2. Wow, this makes so much sense yet I’ve never thought of it this way! Writing everything out like that makes it easy to get a handle on whether you are actually spending time on your priorities or not. I waste so much time in my day on things that are not on my list of priorities. Maybe I’ll try out a schedule like that one of these days =)

    • Rebecca, if you can’t handle having your entire day written out (I can’t because it’s too much pressure), then I do something similar. I think of my baby’s nap times as my “power time”. I write down blocks of time with an assigned task in it. For example, “Dishes – 30 minutes”, “laundry – 20 minutes”, “Writing – until baby wakes up.”

    • I try to remember that the schedule is meant to bring freedom, not bondage. If it’s stressing me out, then it’s not serving its purpose. Doing this exercise periodically helps me to focus on what matters though. 🙂

  3. Great goals, and I’m in awe of your schedule! I’m working on being more intentional with my time also. I’ve started keeping a notebook with a daily list of to-do’s, which has helped me a lot, but it’s nothing compared to yours! Great job!

    • Thanks! Keep in mind though, my day doesn’t look like this all the time. Yesterday my son was really struggling with teething, so my whole day was trying to soothe him. That’s okay though, because he’s a priority. 🙂

  4. I’m reading Eat That Frog right now, and what you have done with your schedule is one of the things that is mentioned. We have to write down our goals in order to get them accomplished. We should also write out our priorities as you said. We don’t have a time routine like you, but we do try to have the same flow to our day. It makes things so much easier.

  5. I love this! I’m getting ready to transition from working full-time in an office to working part-time at home with my four-year-old son. It’s been a little overwhelming to think about how to make time for everything and everybody. I love how you have laid it all out! Thank you for sharing!

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