Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Organised Life Series - Reduce Stress by Prioritising Tasks

Welcome to 'My Organised Life Series', a feature where we will be looking at various ways to organise yourself and streamline your life.  By the time January 1st rolls around, you will be ready and raring to take on the New Year.

Week 3: Reduce Stress by Prioritising Your Tasks

You can read the first article HERE – Creating a Home Workspace

You can read the second article HERE – Time Management

I have a confession.  I am so unorganised this year that my gift buying, wrapping, and writing of Christmas cards is still incomplete.  Deep down I know that I’m creating a false stress because if I just got on with it, then I would be able to enjoy the festive season.

The stack of unwritten cards sitting on my desk taunts me daily.  I sit at my computer and plough through my to-do list, but at the end of every day I still haven’t written the cards, and I end up adding this task to tomorrow’s list.

I’m stressing about it!  It’s causing me to have sweaty palms and to dread opening my office door.  I know I’m on a deadline because the last posting days are looming.  I’m losing sleep over it, going off my food – oh, okay so I’m not that bad!  It is causing me unnecessary angst, and there is a very simple way to reduce this stress.

I need to write the cards – as a number one priority.

Do you push the most dreaded tasks to the bottom of your to-do list?  Putting the gruesome jobs to the back of your mind (and must-do list) is causing tension to rise, blood pressure to spike, and all the physical issues associated with stress to tumble forward.  In the deep recesses of your mind, you know the task is there, lurking like the Grinch. 

How do you think you’ll feel when it’s completed?  When I’ve written and posted all the cards out, I know I’ll feel elated, relaxed, and able to enjoy my mince pie without the guilt of undone chores hanging over me instead of mistletoe. 

So, today, I am only writing one item on my to-do list.  If writing my Christmas cards is the only task I manage to achieve today I will be more than happy.  I know that once this job is complete, I can move on to other tasks and accomplish them with one-hundred-per-cent commitment.  The rest of my to-do list will still be there in the morning!

What can you prioritise to free yourself from stress?  Is there something on your to-do list that once complete will make everything else easier?  Share your stories and tips in the comments.


  1. I think it's human nature to procrastinate. Who wants to clean the bathroom where there are other, nicer things to do? I have to decide the night before that the awful job will be the one I do first in the morning, before anything else. That way it gets done. Well, that's the theory, anyway.

    1. Ha ha, I like your theory, Julia! You are so right, procrastination is a default setting for many of us. I am happy to report that my cards are now done! :-)

  2. Hi Shelley!! It's been a really long time!

    I have just published a post about resolutions ... and making a plan. We are on the same wavelength!

    I'll be starting off the year with planning, rather than having a plan in place. December is just to nuts to add to the pressure! :)

    Hope you have a lovely holiday season ... and here's to an organized 2016!

  3. I LOVE writing my cards. To me cards, the Christmas music and being with friends and family is what it's all about. I do have address labels now which has cut down on the chore of writing addresses!! But that's ME. We're all different.

    I'm a writer, I love writing, and yet what do I find the hardest things to do. Settle down to writing. WHY? I'll 'just check my emails,' ooh must just see what's on FB' and even tidy my snug before I settle down to any writing. I've two reminders to WRITE FIRST and WRITE EVERY DAY - poor ignored little things! But hey, I get there - and we are all only human.

    Thanks again for all the inspirational blogs Shelley. Have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy 2016 :-) xx