AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

The Art of Prioritizing

August 15, 2014

In junction with my efforts to organize and stay on top of life this year, I’d love to share my thoughts on prioritizing. It is so necessary to keeping life in order and staying on my feet. My tendency is to instinctively prioritize the urgent over the important. I like to move fast and do the next thing in front of me. Sometimes, though, I need to step back and look at the bigger picture before actually making a decision or moving something forward.

A few things help me with this. I like to keep running lists of everything that’s on my plate. I’m a visual person, so it’s much easier for me to see everything on paper than in my head. This takes a little bit of time, but writing out my tasks and then creating goals is worth it. Once I create the list, I can go through and prioritize what is home related, school related, work related, etc. I carry that list with me throughout the day and use it as a map to guide me through busy days. I have to be realistic of when things are going to get done – what’s most important now and what will be most important in a week, month, year? Then I identify my goals or target completion date. If I have 10 tasks to complete in my home, what goal can I set in 3 weeks time? 2 months?

There are tons of organizational tools out there, but I like to use the Cozi App on my phone. One of my readers suggested this app and I find it very helpful with the daily juggle of business and family. I love it so much that we contacted Cozi and they said we could do a fun giveaway! Some of the ways this app helps prioritize is that is gives you the ability to share to-do lists and calendars with family members. It will also allow you to rearrange your to-do list as new priorities come up. Having one place to keep everyone’s busy schedule and all your shopping and to-do lists means less time worrying about everyday logistics.

Although I do love how helpful these kinds of tools can be, I have to remind myself that I can’t do it alone. What’s great about some of these apps is they are shared so the whole family can see the calendar. If I live like everything depends on me then I end up exhausted and in a bad mood. Instead, I’ve got to remember that I have a team of people to do life with me. And sometimes I have to let things go. If I put my security and self-worth in how productive I am, then I’m bound to be disappointed. But if I’ve taken the time to identify my personal tasks and goals, I don’t end up feeling like the wind got kicked out of me when things don’t happen.Do the best you can at organizing and prioritizing and you will find yourself enjoying life more – rather than constantly feeling behind and playing catch up. It may take me a little time during the day to plan and prioritize but life happens so fast and I want to enjoy these sweet moments of being in the now.


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  • Lu Presley
    9:39 pm, August 27, 2014
    Love your show! Wish y'all could come do my old ranch house in Clifton just down the road from y'all!
    1:48 pm, August 25, 2014
    I too love Love your show and your style of decorating. If I could I would move to Texas so I could have Chip and Joanna do a home for me!! I look forward to every show, Thanks for all your brillant ideas.
  • krista watts
    1:31 pm, August 25, 2014
    Your show is very inspirational! Wonderful taste and craftsmanship. You are spot on with giving folks what they want.
  • Shelley
    3:52 am, August 25, 2014
    Love your show! You're ideas and design choices are uniquely beautiful. Most of all, you work together so well as a couple. I wish I could move to Waco and have you renovate a home. I look forward to your show :)
  • Tina
    3:08 pm, August 24, 2014
    Love Fixer Upper and your entire family. Such a wonderful TREAT! Can hardly wait for the new episodes, since I have watched each episode now as often as possible. The show lifts my spirits and gives me great ideas for my business. Love and Hugs to you all.
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