What Happened When I Created a Daily Priority List Every Day for a Week

by ParentCo. May 16, 2016

My inbox is a wealth of wisdom, life-hacks, and reasons to laugh, though most of the messages get delivered to my junk folder and get mass deleted. (Regardless of how worthwhile they are, ain't no one got time for that.)

However, I was recently sitting bored on a park bench, took out my phone, and decided to take a gander. I don't even know who Tony at coach.me is or how he ended up under my promotion tab, but I opened his email that read "How to Start Your Week Right." It gave five bullet points of advice, but I stopped at the first one: create a daily priority list. Tony says that productivity isn't about smarts or willpower, but smart habits. Although I'm very motivated, there are things I just don't want to do, like clean my house. There are also things that overwhelm me, and leave me not knowing where to start, like choosing which of my many brilliant ideas I should manifest first. There are also the things that I just can't forget to do, like pay my bills, yo. For a week, I created a daily priority list, with only three items on it - usually one was a household chore, another was a writing goal, and the third was random. May 4, 2016 Clean bathrooms, Finish blog post on letter D, Meditate for 5 minutes Cleaning bathrooms simply would not happen if it wasn't on my list, because I don't like using chemicals around the kids and when they are sleeping, I rather spend that precious time doing something more enjoyable. So yes, my bathrooms get superficially clean, but very rarely deep cleaned. But on this day, I did it- busted out the bleach and everything. You know what? It wasn't only necessary, but it felt damn good. Everyday I write because I prioritize my personal pleasures and goals these days. However, some days I just can't focus on what I want to write about, and it stops me from accomplishing anything. Putting a specific writing goal on the list really helped my focus. Meditation is something I would love to get in the habit of doing regularly, but it just doesn't happen unless it's a priority, or....on a priority list. Ommmmmmmmm May 5, 2016 Replace ink cartridge, write about feeding schedule, put all laundry away I used to think only suckers replaced ink cartridges and put laundry away, but now I know the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from an empty hamper bin. Cleaning my home seems to clear my mind, and inspire even greater creativity. Wow. May 6, 2016 Pay Target bill, write about honesty or nursing, clean all windows Yay to no late fees and windows you can see through! May 7, 2016 Clean car, write about nursing or Mother's Day, put laundry away My car is like my bathrooms... never clean. But today? Ta-da! I've doing a lot of tooting of my own horn lately, and take my husband on tours of my domestic conquers. I think he's legitimately impressed. I'm only putting one household chore on the list per day which isn't draining or annoying. May 8-9 No lists were made because we went out of town and my only goal was doing nothing. May 10 Clean car, meal plan and make grocery list, write about weaning I am so damn efficient. I'm doing things I wouldn't normally do, but totally should be doing. Usually, I come home from a trip and leave everything in the car until my four-year-old decides he has no more pajamas he's willing to wear then finally bring everything in and do laundry. (I really don't know how I became a housewife.) Thanks to my buddy Tony's advice, I brought everything in promptly, and organized it. Life really is easier like this. The grocery list is another new addition to my life, and it feels good to know what I'll be making for dinner rather than winging yet another thing. May 11 Go to post office, go to library, do paperwork for passport All of these items are things I would normally put off. I've been meaning to do the passport paperwork for over a year now. May 12 My mother-in-law came to visit, and our routine fell off the track which is both a relief and a grief. I like taking a break from the everyday norm, but I also miss the structure of my day. That being said, when our company leaves, I am looking forward to setting daily priority lists again. I've tried to-do lists in the past, but I always made the mistake of jotting everything in the world down that I could and should possibly do. Keeping the lists short is what makes it work. Also, it's important the items aren't just for the house and kids, but myself, too. Balance is definitely a priority.


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