How To Set Priorities [Even When Life Is Busy]

Knowing how to set priorities can feel overwhelming. Life can feel like a rat race and you don’t know which task is the right thing to do in that moment when five other things are commanding your attention. 

But having the priorities set for your life will help you make decisions without the guilt.

Knowing how to set priorities is really not as hard as we make it out to be. We just complicate things when we think too hard. I will be the first to raise my hand to this. 

Don’t forget to find yourself a planner that works for your mindset like this simple planner to help you set goals each week.

Priorities & Plans Make Your Life Easier

Priorities are subject to circumstance, they are what causes us to change our plans in a moment’s notice and make choices easy even if that choice is not something we want to do.

Understanding what’s important to you and what you value is key to setting priorities in any part of your life.

Sometimes you know what they are without even thinking. Like running to help your child after you hear a scream from the other room.

And other times you will have to sit down and really think about it. But taking the time to figure that out will help you make decisions down the road. Whether that is for your rabbitry, small farm, homestead, business, or your home.

When you know your priorities, you are able to make some of the hardest decisions in a moment’s notice without hesitation.

a cozy spot to learn how to set priorities. A laptop on a bed with a cozy blanket nearby.

Don’t Choose The Priorities Of Others

You have ideas in your head of what your life, farm, garden, animals, business or whatever else should look like. All the gurus tell you to do THIS and you’ll be a good wife, do THAT and you will have a successful business, raise THIS and grow THAT and you will be a legit homesteader…

So you lay out a plan and you wooooooooorrrrrrrrk so hard until you feel like you have accomplished that goal. But once you get knee-deep into the process you realize you don’t really love what you’re building. 

It is so easy to get sidetracked with what others are doing. You see all of the awesome things they are doing and that takes you on a path you never intended to go on. Make sure the things you are working towards and priorities you set are yours and yours alone. 

How To Set Priorities

Before I can tell you how to set priorities I need to tell you what they are so we can be on the same page.

First, let me be clear. Priorities are NOT to-do lists or tasks. They are beliefs or things you hold in such high regard that nothing gets your time before this thing.

There are a few different levels of priorities. Things we won’t (and shouldn’t) budge on like our values and convictions. Things like faith and characteristics you value in people. Keeping your family first over your farm, hobbies, and business.

Then there are the things that we want out of life. Our desires, the end goals that we are working towards. We could also look at these things like goals. Things like wanting to make money so your family can do fun things or to help add to your savings account to be more financially stable. Or being more healthy so you can do things for your family and be there for them.

You need to know what is most important to you in all areas of life. You need to clearly see the lines you won’t cross or things you are not willing to sacrifice for success. Things like spending time with our family or working so many hours that you can’t enjoy the life you have created.

Knowing the important things in life will enable you to say no to the opportunities that don’t fit your priorities.

But for the people who want the tactical tips on how to set daily priorities and do better at time management I have you covered. 

Create Two Lists

List number one is your high priorities and beliefs.

Write down the things you have in your mind that are priorities. Get a pen and paper, sit down, and write out your thoughts and what you think are priorities.

Take time to evaluate that list. Are these things other people’s priorities or are they your true beliefs?

Note pad perfect for setting priorities.

List number two is daily tasks or times you want to do. 

Write them all down and as we keep going throughout these actions you will need to look back and cross off every single task that doesn’t turn out to be as urgent as you thought.

Determine Necessary And Non-necessary Tasks

Determining necessary over non-necessary tasks may seem difficult, but it really isn’t. Going back to how to prioritize, consider and weigh all the options of the tasks at hand.

All the ways to set priorities will basically revolve around the list you’ve composed.

The most urgent and important tasks should be at the top of that list. These are the tasks or things you want to achieve first and/or every single day.

If there is still a task you want to complete and consider a personal priority yet it is not that urgent, it may be lower on the list.


DO NOT Expect To Much Of Yourself

I used to be the worst at this. I would pack in 34hrs worth of work into a 24hr day and wonder why the list was never completed and I felt overwhelmed. My mind was full of tasks that still had not been done at the end of the day and I was feeling guilty. 

Been there? 

Don’t make your to-do list too long. It should be manageable and you should have LESS on your list rather than more. Here’s why. 

Things are always going to take longer to get done than you thought. 

If you need to get a planner that will allow you to time block in the planner to help you SEE what you are trying to pack into a day. You might be surprised you are expecting more of yourself than you have time. This post will help you learn how to time block and use it in your everyday life. Yes even if you are busy.

Choose The Right Days And Weeks 

Be mindful of the days you expect yourself to get things done. If you have a lot going on personally you’re not going to get as much done with your farm or business. 

Be ok with that. 

Ladies, it’s going to get wired but don’t expect yourself to be super productive if it’s “that time of the month”… 

If there are lots of things to do during the summer with gardening and raising livestock babies. Your other work is going to have to sit to the side. Your “urgent tasks” can and will change with the seasons. 

Planning Ahead

Learning to plan ahead is POWERFUL!!! It will help you save time and even have extra time in your day because you thought through something to help maximize your time. 

You won’t be good at it right away. It takes practice. 

It’s little things like if I am walking out the door and the chicken feed scoop is sitting on the counter because I used it to carry in the eggs yesterday I bring it with me now so I won’t have to come back for it. 

Or Its making a list of tasks that need to be done for the week and putting them on the particular days that make the most sense to do them on. 

If you need more tips on how to plan ahead this post will help you do that.

Recognize prioritizing will become a skillset

Prioritizing is not something that everyone is born with. In fact, it takes anyone some time to perfect the ability to keep priorities aligned. This ability eventually becomes a skill set.

Having the skill set will bring future success in your overall happiness and preparedness for yourself and your family.

Being able to recognize the value of this skill set will not only motivate you to keep tackling your list every day but also recognize your potential for the future.


Limit Distractions

Limit your discretions that will go again the goals and priorities you have set for yourself. 

That could be a person. A life habit that will contradict the priorities you are trying to stick to. 

Constantly Re-Evaluate

When something seems off or like you are forcing yourself to do something. Stop and look at why you feel that way. If you are pushing so hard for something to happen it might not be in alignment with your life goals and priorities.

Sit down with a piece of paper and just write out your thoughts. What are you feeling, where is your heart with your current work? Is it fulfilling? What is it that causes you to drag your feet about doing a task?

An example might be if you really do want to exercise and get healthier but you are dragging your feet about going to the gym. Maybe you need to change the environment.

Try going for a walk instead.

Don’t hold so tightly to your plans that you are overworked and stressed to the point of not enjoying life. You will not be the same person in six months. Perspective and priorities change with time so do your best to move with the change and realize that its ok to what something different.

Your Priorities Will Change And That’s Ok.

For people with type A personalities and who love to follow a schedule. (I am at the front of the line here) It can be hard to shift gears.

We set our plans for the day and if we don’t follow those plans we feel totally off. I say we because that was me not that long ago.

I still like a schedule but I am working on getting better at going with the flow and not let it rock my day when I can’t stick with it.

Plans can and will change and that’s ok. When you are feeling stressed and like life is spinning out of control sometimes you have to stop and refocus.

It is easy to forget you are not locked into doing anything. Plans can change with a single phone call.

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