Planning + Productivity

The Secret to Take Back Control of Your Time…and Your Life

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Before I felt like my time {and my whole life!} was spiraling out of control! Since I've started living out this one simple secret, I have enough energy and passion to pursue my personal goals and dreams again. Finally, I'm the boss of my own schedule! #outofcontrol #personalgoals #takebackcontrol #timemanagement #priorities #takebackyourlife #scheduletips #routines

I’m definitely a hard-core introvert, and while that doesn’t mean I absolutely hate social events, I do value my alone time, and need to schedule blocks on my calendar when I can give myself that quiet and self-care I need to face the world again. I know it sounds crazy, but fellow introverts totally get this, right?

The thing is, I know this about myself, yet I continue to pack my calendar as full as I can because I’m scared of saying no and disappointing others. I worry about what they might think when I skip an event or tell them I can’t make it this time.

It’s a process that is really really hard, yet as I become increasingly aware of how much time we all don’t have, I realize how necessary it is to make sure we occupy our time with activities that further our own goals and dreams, whether they are personal, business, ministry, or family goals.

It is vital that we align our agenda with what is truly important to us, and not simply please everyone else. We need to create priorities. 

Because without priorities, we react to everything around us, rather than create the life we really want.

And I want to enjoy life, don’t you?

Over the past few days, I’ve been diving into Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, written by my friend Ruth Soukup, and wow, this girl really speaks to the heart of the matter! Ruth runs a successful business and lives an extremely busy life herself, and it was refreshing to hear such wise words come from someone who has been there, and has overcome the obstacles we all face.

This book really got me thinking about my goals, dreams, and how I manage (or don’t manage) my time. And the “secret” to getting the most important stuff done first really lies within our priorities. So how do we turn what we know, into what we should do?

Priorities Have to Be First, No Matter What

It seems like a no-brainer to make your priorities #1, but really, how many of us actually do that? I’m constantly putting email and social media and binge-watching the latest TV series before the items that will actually move my personal goals and dreams forward.

Make your dreams a priority! This leaves little time for much else, let alone a task that should have been first on my list, and I wonder why I never seem to accomplish anything great. The answer is embarrassingly simple: Because I didn’t make it a priority.

Instead of filling your calendar with multiple events, or your daily agenda with to-do’s that are only making you procrastinate the important stuff even further, take some time to go over your goals, and schedule the time to make them happen.

Want to write a book? Take 15 minutes a day to pump out 200-300 words. Need to get your finances back on track? Schedule in a weekly budget meeting with your spouse to go over receipts, and map out a budget that gives you a plan for your money.

If you really want to accomplish your dreams, you need to make time for them.

Priorities Can Change with Different Seasons

Although we need to put serious effort towards our priorities, we also need to realize that they will change depending on what season you’re experiencing right now. And no, I don’t mean seasons like Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer — I’m talking about the Seasons of Life.

For instance, last year was a huge year of blog growth for me. I said no to a lot of things (sometimes even cleaning my house!) in lieu of writing and doing the million other things that come with running a successful website. Now that I’m slowing down a bit, I’m able to bring back some of those habits I left behind. Because I’m in a different season right now, I’m able to adjust my priorities to reflect that.

Maybe you have young children, and in this season of life they are your priority right now. Or perhaps you are an older adult who has parents to care for. The key is to know what priorities are really a priority, and which ones you can drop for a few months (or maybe even years) without feeling guilty.

I am still working hard on this in myself. There are so many things I would love to make a priority, but I know now is not the time. And I have to be content with that, as hard as it might be to do so!

Priorities Need to Be Embraced … By You

Ever feel guilty because your priority does not align with what someone else thinks it should be? Ugh — I feel this way all the time! I’m a horrible people pleaser and it gives me anxiety to no end when I think someone is upset because of a choice I’ve made. But that’s not how I want to live life, and that’s not what I wish for you either.

Embrace your priorities, starting today. Take just 10 minutes to write down a list of everything that’s really important to you right now, then go back and pick just 1 or 2 to focus on and priorities in this current season of life. Don’t let anyone else guilt you because you’re somehow not doing enough. I’d much rather do 5 things really well, rather than 50 that are not. Focus on your priorities and everything else will fall into place.

Not only will you feel more motivated, more refreshed, and more energized, you’ll finally make this life the one you’ve always wanted — the Good Life. I want that more than anything, don’t you?

Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good LifeIn Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good LifeRuth Soukup will inspire you to take back your time, organize your home, improve your budget, and develop personal goals. Keep a highlighter nearby, because this book is jam-packed with quotes you will want to remember for years to come!

Get Your Copy Here

What priorities do you need to focus on right now?

Are there any you need to let go?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Was this post helpful? Please consider sharing the love!

16 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! I really needed this right now. I am praying God will give us guidance and strength to follow through with honoring priorities, even (or, rather, especially) when it’s tough.

    1. You’re welcome, Brie! It’s a process, for sure. And one I’m STILL working on everyday. 🙂

  2. My god, I have same problem with priorities. Sadly because of this I didn’t get far with my own blog and nothing with my writing. But this year my word is FOCUS. I will focus on what I want and need, especially with my writing and blog.

  3. Great Post! I really enjoyed it and needed it. It is very motivating and will be working on my priorities more now! Thank you!

  4. LOVE, LOVE this post!! I also am reading Ruth’s book and have received so many great ideas and tips from you both!! Thank you

  5. I’m an introvert as well, so I totally get it. I’m not trying to be anti-social, I just value my time alone. I am an only child; it is normal for me and doesn’t bother me to be by myself. Nice to meet a fellow introvert blogger. I just automatically assume that everyone that has a blog is a social person, which is funny, since I have a blog as well. LOL.

    1. I think it really helps your blog if you are a social butterfly {I still have a hard time communicating and sharing on social media}, but at least we can do it behind the screen, right? 🙂

  6. I just ran across this article on Pinterest, and I am so glad I did. I have been doing pretty good about working toward my goals until this month. So many things were going on. This article was such an encouragement to me. I am looking forward to spending some time planning how to get back on track for next month.

    1. I’m so happy you dropped by, Kali, and that this post was such an encouragement to you!

  7. I like your website very much and in particular I found this article useful; however, there are way too many distracting pop-up ads to make it a website that I would visit regularly.

    I understand that many people like to profit from their blogs and websites by hosting advertisers, but I think it has a negative effect on the number of people who would visit. Please know that I am not focusing on your website. I find that there are too many other bloggers who also let advertisers have full-run of their blogs. It really distracts from the content.

    1. Hi Gail. Thank you so much for your feedback. You are correct, ads are one of the ways I am able to provide the content for you. However, I do want the reader experience to be pleasant! Right around the time you posted your comment we were switching over to a new ad provider. There should only be one “Pop-up” ad on the bottom of the page – and once every 10 days or so you might see a pop-up subscribe box on the lower right of the screen but that should be it when it comes to pop-up advertising. If you are getting any more than that please let me know so I can notify the ad network. Thanks for reading!

  8. You seem to have a beautiful heart and spirit. What an amazing attribute to share with fellow man. Thank you.

    1. I have to say that I have a lot more down days than I would like to admit, but comments and encouragement from readers like you can be such a great lift to my spirit! Thank you, Sarah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.