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How to Actually Prioritize {Chapter 2 of The 15 Minute Formula}

A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 195

 

Chapter 2

How to Actually Prioritize


“Just pick your priorities.”
“You’re just not prioritizing well.”
“If it was really important to you, you’d prioritize time
for it.”
“We all have the same twenty-four hours.”
Maybe you’ve heard some iteration of those phrases in
your life.
I mean clearly your problem with productivity is a
priority one, right?
Maybe not.
For a long time, I believed all of these statements. I
thought that if I wasn’t being productive or achieving my
goals, it was my fault because I didn’t prioritize well.
And over the past few years, I’ve realized the problem
with the way that we’ve been taught to look at our priorities.

Now, don’t get me wrong—you need to prioritize. Your
goals and routines are not just going to magically happen if
you don’t create time for them.
When we don’t create priorities, we get stuck in
overwhelm. Everything feels important and urgent, and
often, we’re left with more things falling off our plan than
getting crossed off our list.
Let’s think about how we can strategically prioritize as
moms.
Because if I were to ask a mom her top priority, I know
she’s going to say her kids—which makes complete sense.
So, how do we create time for all of the goals we want to
work on when we’re just focusing on one priority at a time?
When our kids’ needs always take precedence, where do we
fit time in for us?
Let’s stop just saying “I need to just prioritize things” and
instead start to look at micro priorities.

 

Micro Priorities

A game-changer for me when it came to managing my day
was when I started to look at my micro priorities instead
of lumping everything in together. When you look at these
micro priorities, you can not only create time for multiple
things that matter but also use the vision you’ve already
created to pick and choose what exactly makes sense in this
season.

What is a micro priority?
When we look at priorities, we essentially mean what is the
most important at this moment.
The “at this moment” is KEY.
Last chapter, we spent time talking about seasonality
and how important it is, and I want you to take that mindset
into this chapter.
To determine your micro priorities, I want you to create
a list of all the main areas of roles or categories in your life.
These could include
• Mom
• Wife
• Sister
• Daughter
• Work
• Hobbies
• Health
• Spirituality
• And more
See how I’ve mixed up roles and categories in this
example. I want you to come up with six to nine of the areas
that are most important to you in your current season or for
the next twelve weeks.
Once you have your categories, write down two to three
tasks, goals, or habits you’d like to work on for the next

quarter for each category. When you’re done, you’ll have a
decent list of about fifteen items. (And don’t forget to head
to www.the15minuteformula.com/free to grab your action
guide where I’ll have this worksheet ready to go for you.)
Can we take a “Zach Morris Time Out”? Did you watch
Saved by the Bell as a kid too? I always loved when Zach
would pause and talk to the audience. Let’s pretend that is
what you and I are going to do right now.
I know this list of 15+ items might look and feel
overwhelming right now. I need you and me to have some
trust. Trust me that we’ll get this list to a place where it
doesn’t feel scary and like you want to rip it up, throw this
book to the side, and keep going.
Okay, time in!
For example, my list might look like this:
ROLE: MOM
Spend 15 minutes 1:1 with each kid daily.
Have a date night per kid each month.
Start family devotions at dinner.
CATEGORY: WORK
Finish the manuscript of the book (and yes, my goal was
to finish it in twelve weeks).
Hire coaches for the Purpose Driven Mom Club.
Record four episodes for the podcast. (PS If you’re a
podcast listener, make sure you go search The Purpose Driven Mom Show

wherever you podcast so we can hang out!)
I would continue this until I have a list for each category and
role that I want to focus on.
Once you’ve got your list, we need to go ahead and create
your micro priorities.
Looking at your list, I want you to rank the tasks inside
each role/category in order of importance. If you could only
get one of these things accomplished in your twelve weeks,
which would it be? You can’t have any ties—you need to
make a decision!
By doing this, you’re not completely putting these goals
off or saying you’re not going to work on them this quarter;
instead, you’re creating a hierarchy of importance to help
you make a vision for the quarter to stick to.
When we create too many goals to work on and try to
prioritize everything at the same time, nothing really gets
done and we leave ourselves feeling super overwhelmed. On
the flip side, when we don’t prioritize at all, we never make
any progress on our goals (inside and outside of motherhood)
and live a bit in survival mode.
In later chapters, I’m going to show you how to use the
15 Minute Formula to break your goals down and create an
action plan for each week, but you need to start here first—
with determining those micro priorities.

Before your quarter, month, or year begins, you need to
make that seasonal vision and determine what truly are the
top priorities in each area of your life—not just your life as
a whole.
Now, as you go into each week, you can ask yourself,
“What is the priority for this area of my life this week?” and
work on the top things in multiple categories.
By having this vision for the quarter, you’re constantly
moving toward goals without putting a ton of pressure on
you to “do it all right now.” You just continue to move down
each list as needed.
One of my clients Kellie T. followed this exact same
process when trying to balance working from home,
homeschooling, and being a mom. Kellie is a mom to a 2, 4,
and 8-year-old and was trying to figure out how to coordinate
everything on her plate. On top of her regular mom, work,
and homeschooling duties, she also had a dream of starting
a blog and a business.
To figure out how to get done what mattered to her, she
went through this activity and created her micro priorities
for each of the areas of her life.
She wanted to jump in and start her blog but realized
that in this season, it would be putting way too much on her
plate. When she went through and wrote down her priorities
for the blog category, instead of shoving a million things in,
she picked “get organized.” So, while she was working on

micro priorities in the other categories of her life, she spent
the twelve weeks figuring out exactly what she had to do to
even start the blog.
In doing this, she eliminated the pressure to just jump in
and get it done now—which would have most likely stressed
her out and thrown her other micro priorities off balance.
She listened to podcasts, took courses, and watched videos
to make a list of all the tasks needed to achieve her goal. She
created a season of learning, where creating her plan was
the micro priority instead of putting a million things on her
plate right now.
This plan wasn’t about her putting her goals off or not
knowing how to prioritize starting the blog. The plan was
about determining, based on all her other micro priorities
for the season, what actually made sense right now.
When I asked Kellie how she felt about moving some
pieces of her goal around to re-prioritize what fit into her
season, she told me, “ I’m more relaxed now and happier,
you know? Like I can breathe. I have all this stuff I want to
do. My four-year-old will be in kindergarten soon, and then
in two years, all my kids will be in school, and the priority
will change. And I’m okay with being able to still work on
things with my blog, just at a slower pace than I planned.”

Why It’s More Than Your Why
We’ve already covered how the world has taught us to
prioritize wrong, and now I want to pause to talk about
another productivity misnomer out there.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Your why needs to be
bigger than your excuses”?
I cannot stand this phrase.
And I used to shout it from the rooftops.
I was a school teacher for eight years, and when I left, I
started to make money in network marketing. During that
time, I got sucked into the hustle culture. I thought that if I
didn’t end the day at “inbox zero” and answer every message
as soon as it came in, I was failing. I thought the reason I
wasn’t “successful” (and I say “successful” in quotes here)
was because I didn’t want it bad enough. In my three years
as a full-time network marketer, I had grown a six-figure
business and a team of 250 people. But because I didn’t have
a certain rank, which is one of the ways network marketing
companies give out rewards and structure their pay, I
thought I was failing.
And I spouted that trash from the rooftops. I wore hustle
like a badge of honor and shamed others who didn’t work as
hard as me via social media posts and supposed motivational
quotes.
I realized now how damaging that was to others and
myself. That phrase “your why isn’t big enough” is rooted in
shame and simply makes us feel like there is something
wrong with us if we aren’t successful.
Because, just like if I asked a mom about her priorities,
she would mention her kids, she’d probably say the same
thing about her why.
So, if we really break this down, telling a mom she doesn’t
want it or care about her why enough is essentially saying
her kids aren’t that important to her.
Let’s quiet that noise.
There is nothing wrong with you, your motivation, your
priorities, or your willpower if you’re struggling to achieve a
goal. It doesn’t mean you don’t care or your why isn’t strong
enough. It just means we need to make some tweaks to your
plan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think you need something to
motivate you. I love coming up with mission statements and
vision boards and really knowing the why behind something.
But when we just continue to rely on motivation and
our why to make us successful and productive, we’re setting
ourselves up for failure.
Because there will be days when we aren’t motivated.
Days where we just don’t want to do it. Days where our kids
are sick and we’re exhausted and decluttering the hall closet
or taking a class on learning the guitar is last on our list.
And that’s okay.

the principles I teach and have been able to customize them
to find massive happiness in their lives. From stay-at-home
moms to single moms to moms working the night shift and
more—I hope you’ll be able to see yourself in their stories.
And because I want this book to do more than sit on your
shelf (no judgment, I have plenty of pretty books collecting
dust too), at the end of each chapter will be short action
items that will help you apply that pillar.
If you haven’t already, make sure you go to www.
the15minuteformula.com/free to download the 30-day
Action Guide. This guide will break down your reading of
the book and the actions to help you read and implement all
that we’ll be chatting about.
I want this book to feel like you and me are hanging out
at the Target café, talking about managing #allthethings
while our kids eat cake pops and ask to play in the toy aisle
a million times.
So, if you’re ready to stop spinning your wheels, done
feeling like you’re never doing enough, and tired of being
tied to your to-do list, let’s do this!

That phrase “your why isn’t big enough” is rooted in
shame and simply makes us feel like there is something
wrong with us if we aren’t successful.
Because, just like if I asked a mom about her priorities,
she would mention her kids, she’d probably say the same
thing about her why.
So, if we really break this down, telling a mom she doesn’t
want it or care about her why enough is essentially saying
her kids aren’t that important to her.
Let’s quiet that noise.
There is nothing wrong with you, your motivation, your
priorities, or your willpower if you’re struggling to achieve a
goal. It doesn’t mean you don’t care or your why isn’t strong
enough. It just means we need to make some tweaks to your
plan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think you need something to
motivate you. I love coming up with mission statements and
vision boards and really knowing the why behind something.
But when we just continue to rely on motivation and
our why to make us successful and productive, we’re setting
ourselves up for failure.
Because there will be days when we aren’t motivated.
Days where we just don’t want to do it. Days where our kids
are sick and we’re exhausted and decluttering the hall closet
or taking a class on learning the guitar is last on our list.
And that’s okay.

Thank You For Listening!

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