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Strategies for Managing Multiple Priorities in Life

Managing Priorities in Life

2020 has been anything but ordinary. We are living in a vastly different and more complex world today than just a few months ago. Given these emotionally charged times, how can we ensure we’re productively managing multiple priorities, including self-care, finding time for what matters and a living a life that feels less cluttered – physically and emotionally?  

With our own personal or professional situations weighing heavily on us and feeling desire or responsibility to make a difference where we can consistently, we especially need to remember to take and make time for self-care. It’s the “put your own oxygen mask on first” philosophy. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re unable to help those around us. 

How do you make sure that some things don’t slip through the cracks at the expense of others? One way is through compartmentalization and time blocking. When managing multiple priorities, plan time to focus on each and you’ll ensure that all are addressed.

Time Blocking for What Matters Most

A weekly calendar review to plan for the week ahead helps you make sure you’re allocating time for your priorities. 

Let’s say that your values are family/rich relationships, financial security, health and wellness, and service/community. You might want to see slots of time on your calendar for the week ahead that tie to each of these values. For example: 

  • M, W, F, Sun 7am walk (health and wellness)
  • T 9-12, Th 1-4, F 8-2 Client sessions (financial security)
  • Tue 7-9 book club (relationships)
  • Sat 6-10 Date night (family/relationships)
  • M, F 4-6 Volunteer for social, political, community cause (service/community)
  • M, W 9 – 3 Marketing and Business Development work (financial security) 
  • Sun 3-8 Family activity (family/rich relationships, possibly also health and wellness, depending on the activity)

If you are managing multiple priorities and in your weekly review you don’t see time allocated for an activity tied to one of your values, that might be ok for one week, but you may want to block time for action or activity related to that value in the following week. When too much time passes without spending time in an area that we value or hold to be important, we can feel incomplete, like we’re not living our best life, or that our actions aren’t in alignment with our values.

Showing Up As Our Best Selves and Managing Multiple Priorities

As we also continue to focus on Black Lives Matter efforts, time blocking might include time to attend a peaceful protest, read a related book , or research an organization to support.  

In addition to time spent on listening, learning, acting to change racial injustice, include time for work, family, and self-care. During each time block, you can truly focus on that priority. You’ll know that you’re not ignoring other things that are important. You’re just not thinking about them during the period of time that you’ve reserved for another defined priority.

Refueling for Sprints and Marathons

Some priorities will feel like a sprint, where you concentrate hard on something for a burst of time and energy. Others need to be treated like a marathon. A short-term project at work may be done in a sprint. Eradicating social injustice will be more like a marathon. A marathon needs to be paced out, planned out, include breaks, and opportunities to refuel along the route. 

What real or proverbial clutter can we help you release so that you have more time and space for important issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement? How can we help you take the time you want for that AND the other priorities in your work and life? 

As a team, we want to continue to share content, strategies and ideas that help with what we’re here for – giving you time for what matters most . We do that by helping people stay organized and make the most of their time, space, tasks and priorities. Can we help you with managing multiple priorities by helping you get and stay organized? We would love to be a resource to you.

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