How to Ensure That the Most Important Things in Your Life Get the Most Attention

    Mari L. McCarthy April 25, 2019

    Being frazzled every day can seem like a standard-operating procedure for many of us as we get pulled in different directions by family, friends, co-workers, and the myriad obligations that seem to suck up all of our time and energy. So how do you create priorities for the things that matter most to you?

    Journaling is the secret weapon that helps many individuals restore some order to their hectic lives and regain control over the things they both need and want to do (these can be two very different things).  Journaling can be a powerful tool for documenting actions to take, things you’ve accomplished, and future goals. Those three fundamental tasks can be surprisingly life-altering and a great way to help you explore your thoughts, put things in context, and establish more meaningful priorities.

    Keeping a journal, however, does require some discipline. You also need to be truthful with yourself and take an objective view into what’s most important in life for you and what’s least important. You can then use that information to make more rational choices about where to invest your time and energy.


    Journaling can help increase productivity by clarifying goals and highlighting things you may be overlooking that you need to do. Any time you put pen to page, regardless what you’re writing, it establishes “me time” on a daily basis, helping you explore what is most important to you to more firmly establish priorities for your time.

    Learn to say “no”

    Learning to say “no” is one fundamental and important way to immediately retake control of some of your precious time. Just because someone asks you to do something doesn’t mean you have to. Saying “no” doesn’t have to be harsh. Instead, you can choose to initiate what I call a “compassionate confrontation.” That involves stating to the person making the request of your time that you cannot get involved, but you’d love to help them determine another solution – how else can they address their issue more efficiently and effectively? This helps you manage the situation, not the other way around.

    Listen more, talk less.

    Before you act reflexively to a request, take a moment to listen more closely. Listening more actively can help you discover more options and formulate a more effective response before you open your mouth. Once again, it’s an opportunity to manage your life instead of having it managed for you.

    5 ways journaling can make you more productive and help you prioritize:

    1. Collect your thoughts It doesn’t matter whether you write down things you have done, things you want to remember, or things you want to do. Journaling can help you simply collect your thoughts in an orderly fashion so you can act upon them more effectively.
    2. Hold yourself accountable When you write down your goals, you are more likely to accomplish them.
    3. Capture ideas Some of the best ideas are lost because people don’t take the time to write them down. Be ready to jot down those random ideas as they occur so you can review and revise them later – a good way to turn a good idea into a great one.
    4. Converse with your inner self Journaling is like having a conversation with yourself. Sometimes you don’t even know what’s been on your mind until you write it down, giving voice to your inner voice. “Talking” things through with yourself in your journal is ideal for reexamining old priorities and establishing new ones.
    5. Consider what’s most important Journaling lets you debate what’s most important to you. Sometimes it takes putting them down in your journal to make your real priorities clear and apparent.

    Use journaling for everything: to do lists, priority lists, shopping lists. It’s an organizational tool and a great way to help you make some behavioral changes to regain control and reset priorities. Journaling will help you do what you need as well as what you want to do in life.

    There are many distractions and unimportant activities in life. Learn more ideas about how to ensure that the most important things in your life get the most attention then download the eBook titled "The Secrets to Finding the Internal Compass to Power through Life's Events.