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Episode 106: The Power of Prioritization

Brief summary of show:

In this solo episode, we dive into the importance of prioritization and the consequences of overcommitment.

We first talk about the cost of overcommitment, and explore the negative effects it can have on our overall well-being, including our mental and physical health, productivity, and relationships.

Next, we define what prioritization means and how it can be a useful tool in managing our time and energy more effectively. We also discuss the question of whether work/life balance is achievable, and suggest different strategies for achieving balance in our lives.

We then shift our focus to the importance of identifying what matters to us, both personally and professionally, and how this can help us make more informed decisions.

We also discuss creating a system that can help us manage our priorities more effectively.

Are you ready to set your priorities? Tune in to this episode to learn my tips and how they can help you achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:50] The cost of overcommitment

  • [6:30] What is prioritization

  • [7:25] Does work/life balance actually exist?

  • [10:30] Identifying what matters to you

  • [11:40] Creating a system that helps manage priorities

  • [13:50] Starting with one small task

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: Are you ready to take back control of your time and manage your priorities like a pro? Get ready. Because in today's podcast, I have tips on how busy women can make time for the things that really matter.

Natalie: Hi everyone, it's Natalie. I hope your week is off to a really nice start. I got outside for a long hike this morning, and it felt like spring. I even saw flowers popping up out of the ground. If you can tell, I've had a little bit of a cold. And so, the spring-like weather and being outside felt.

So good. We're finally getting past this really long winter, so I'm not gonna beat around the bush today about our topic. If you're anything like me, you have a list a mile long, and you have a lot on your mind. I value your time and your attention. So let's get right to today's. Topic, setting priorities, making use of your time so that you feel accomplished, refreshed, and yes, you get everything done on your list.

You might be juggling like me, work, family, personal commitments with so much on your plate. I hear this from, So many of you, it's really easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to focus your efforts. That's where the power of prioritization comes in. Today I wanna explore how prioritizing can help you achieve greater success and fulfillment in your life, and provide tips and strategies for doing so effectively.

And by the. Have I thanked you recently for tuning in each week? I just feel so blessed to do what I do and to have you listening, and I get to do it right here from the comforts of my own home. And that has been a blessing after going down to a TV studio for 28 years on someone else's time. I started this podcast venture two years ago.

I don't even know how that's possible. We're over a hundred episodes. One thing I get asked about a lot is all of those years on TV and media training and how to be on camera, on camera tips. I finally put together a guide that I would be very happy to share with you. You can find that. On my website, natalie, and I'm gonna put that link in the show notes and I hope that you will utilize that or send it to someone who you think might benefit from it.

Before we dive into the benefits of having priorities and setting them,

let's take a moment to consider the cost. Of not doing that or the cost of overcommitment, shall we? So when we try to do too much at once, we risk spreading ourselves too thin and compromising the quality of our work and even the quality of our relationships.

We're well intending when we try to do everything for everyone, but obviously the quality of our relationships and the quality of the work that we do. Is going to be diminished. We're probably feeling stressed, anxious, exhausted, which certainly can take a toll on mental health, emotional health, and also our physical health.

Moreover, when we're constantly multitasking or even procrastinating or getting sidetracked by the many, many distractions we have in life, we might not be making meaningful progress towards our own individual goals. You know, you should have those. Some of us get so set. I've been guilty of this, and so I say this with experience on letting everyone else's goals rule our lives.

Maybe that's our kids' goals and sports and school or our spouse's goals and supporting those things, and yet not having our own goals and then getting resentful of that. So let's. Let's not tread water every day wondering why we can't seem to get air. Let's not feel so busy that we're unfulfilled. Do you relate to that?

I used to call this my hamster wheel, running and running. And being exhausted, but not really getting anywhere. You could call it a treadmill or a hamster wheel, whatever you want. If you're unhappy and you feel like you're always exhausted, then this podcast today is for you.

Natalie: I wanna take a minute to tell you about one of the ways I keep my family healthy. I've been a customer of seeking health for several years, and I'm constantly amazed by the positive impact their products have had on overall health and wellbeing. From the very beginning, the team at Seeking Health has been dedicated to helping me build a strong foundation for my health through their focus on optimizing digestion, reducing environmental exposures, and nourishing my.

Pure high quality supplements. They've provided me with the tools and the knowledge I need to support my body's natural healing systems, and I have seen significant improvements in my energy immune function and overall sense of wellbeing. A few of my favorites, active Magnesium, the Glutathione Plus.

Immune intensive. Also, the electrolytes we put in our water, in our family, all great products, and those are just a few. I'm grateful to the team at Seeking Health for their passion for prevention and their consistent commitment to helping with my family's health. If you're looking to take control of your health and build a strong foundation for your wellbeing, I highly recommend Seeking Health.

You can get more information and a discount code by going to natalie Look for the Seeking Health logo and that discount code. Again, natalie The link is in the show notes.

Natalie: How can we avoid those pitfalls and achieve greater success and fulfillment?

Well, my friend, let's prioritize together. Let's prioritize what matters most. Okay,

so prioritization. What is it? It's the process of identifying and focusing on the most important tasks, goals, values. But if we're all we're doing is. Checking things off of a list or answering everyone else's needs.

We're not really growing and we're not achieving much of anything. So where do we start? Let's set clear

objectives. Let's make very intentional choices every day. Let's manage our time and our resources wisely. By doing all of this, we're going to accomplish more, I promise, and we're gonna do so in less time.

By focusing on the most important tasks, we can make meaningful progress towards goals and avoid wasting time. We will reduce stress, and we're also going to reduce that feeling of overwhelm. I hear from you so often.

We're also going to enhance the wellbeing of our relationships and our own wellbeing. By making time for what matters most, like self-care, family time, spiritual growth, we can improve our overall quality of life and deepen our connection with those that we love.

I do wanna talk about one thing in particular, and that's work-life balance.

I know what you're thinking. It doesn't exist. I agree with you. It is such an overused term in our society. I actually talk a lot about this concept here on the podcast and on my website. And if it's something that you feel like you struggle with, well check out episodes. 45 and 102, you'll find those in the show notes as well.

Have you ever heard of the metaphor of the glass and the rubber balls? Okay, so imagine each of the tasks in your life is a ball. Some tasks are rubber balls, others are glass balls. Rubber balls represent low priority things that you can drop them. It'll be fine. You're gonna pick them up later, they're gonna bounce right back.

Might be something unexpected that comes up or maybe. Don't have time. It's fine. It's a rubber ball. Glass balls on the other hand, those are high priority tasks. Those are things that really matter and require your attention and cannot be dropped under any circumstances. You know how annoying it is to clean up glass when you drop it.

You've gotta go get the broom. You've gotta get the dust pan, and then a week later, you're still stepping on those little shards. We do not want to drop the glass balls. Prioritizing tasks means that you pick up the glass balls first before tackling the rubber ones, because of course they have that greater impact on your overall performance.

All of these tasks represent goals that you want to accomplish in your life, but it's important to pay attention, not just how many goals you want to accomplish, but which ones are the most important and which ones are the glass balls. Now, let me also caution you. You don't wanna have too many glass balls if you have a hundred.

And they're all glass balls. Maybe you need to stop and just reprioritize how many important things you have. Not everything has to be top priority. By focusing on completing the glass balls, but not so many of them before attending to those rubber ball tasks, you're going to ensure that your efforts are creating progress towards achieving all of those.

Just as quickly as possible, and this helps free up more time in your day for the things that maybe you just need to get done, but they are the rubber balls. So I have to hit on something else here. Once you've identified what matters. You need to stay healthy and san. That's by prioritizing what matters.

You have to stick to it. Prioritization should involve aligning your goals and values with other things that matter in your life, like faith. By prioritizing your relationship with God, your service to others, your spiritual growth, I promise you, you're going to experience a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in your life.

Natalie: So how can you start this process of prioritizing today? Right now? Not in another day, not in another week, or a year or a month, whatever it is right now. Well, here are some simple tips and strategies that I think are going to help you. First of all,

Identify those things.

I talked about that just a few minutes ago. Take some time, sit down with no one else around, and just reflect on what matters most to you. What are your core values? What are your biggest goals and aspirations? Write 'em down, keep them in a visible place to remind you of what's important, and you might start with an overarching vision board.

The things that matter to me are the topics of this podcast. Family and health under each of the categories that you decide are the most important to you, then come up with goals within them, goals within your faith, goals within your family goals for your health. Make a to-do list. Once you've identified those priorities, make a list of the tasks and activities that are gonna help you achieve them and be specific here.

Break down the large goals into some smaller ones that are achievable so that you're not always reaching so high that you get frustrated. Set some deadlines and give yourself a specific target to work towards. Maybe it's next week, maybe it's next month, but again, stay motivated and focused on the task at hand and those smaller things first.

Next, create a system, a system, or a process that's gonna help you with your priorities. So here's what I do. Might work for you, might not. I am very visual. I like it when things are colorful and I like it when they're right by me. So I can just glance over and it reminds me of that. So I created a whiteboard.

It's right here in my office, right over to my right. I, again, am a visual person. So what I do is I break things down into tasks that I put into my calendar, not just on a to-do list. Not all of my. Go here, but the things I know I need to get done and can get out of control, I just block off time in my calendar certain tasks that have to get done.

So Mondays, for example, Mondays are my writing day. I love to write, but it just kind of falls down the list if I don't block time for it. So I give myself an hour, sometimes two, to just. Each week. Tuesdays, I clean out my Gmail. I do it throughout the week, but on Tuesdays I focus on it for an hour. I turn off all notifications, turn off my ringer.

I don't answer the door unless there's an emergency. I just block out that time to clean out my mailbox so that I don't feel like I'm always overwhelmed by that. Wednesdays I block off time for my website and all things website related. Thursdays I spend time planning my social media content and Fridays are for my newsletter.

And here's a big one, self-improvement. I actually block off time so that I feel like I'm doing something, taking a. Reading a book, and I, I kind of work through different ones each week so that I feel like I'm improving every week and it's something I'm giving to myself. If I don't block out that time again.

I miss that I skip it because everybody else's needs come before that, so maybe the time block will work for you. Other things do come up, of course, but I try really hard to stick to that time block. Let me give you this tip as well. You don't have to start beg.

Start with one small task. In that time block, you might find that it motivates you to do more. As my mom used to say, action comes before motivation. I love that because sometimes just getting started gets you motivated and here's another tip. Reward yourself when you do get done what you set out to do or where you, you worked all the way through that hour without any notifications and you stayed focused.

Reward yourself. Maybe it's a coffee or a yoga session or extra time with a friend. don't ever miss time with friends. You need that for self-care, but maybe it's a little bit of extra time. Having that little reward might just get you to do that hard thing. And here's another thing I hope that you can remember.

Ask for help. Don't be afraid, okay? I'm gonna admit I am so bad at asking for help, but I'm getting better about it. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and colleagues when you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Sometimes having that fresh perspective can give you the boost that you need to get back on track.

Also experiment with different approaches. Be mindful of the time you spend on each task, and don't be afraid to take breaks. Go out on a walk, five minutes, one lap around the block. It can make a huge difference. Remember, even if it seems like you are not making progress, small steps still count. Have faith in yourself and the power of perseverance.

And remember, don't worry so much about the rubber balls, they are going to bounce back. It's the glass balls you need to focus on. And you, my friend, you are a glass ball. Focus on yourself, set your goals, and I can't wait to talk to you next week.

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