Technology enables us to live an incredibly interactive and connected life. Combine that with the fast pace of today’s society and it’s no surprise that we’re often stressed over the growing mountain of things we have to do.

Maybe your day is a lot like mine.

Why you’re feeling drained, overwhelmed + stressed

Jumping from one activity to another, reacting to other people’s priorities and finding that at the end of the day, for all the busy work you’ve done, you haven’t made the progress you hoped you would.

All this overwhelm leaves us feeling scattered, fragmented and exhausted. No wonder you’re feeling drained and feel that what you do isn’t of any real value.

You’re living so fast that you’re missing out on life.

It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that you have to do everything life demands from you.

As a work-at-home-schooling mum I’ve been there.

Add to my daily responsibilities, volunteering at school, church and wanting to be there for friends and family.

Without a way to decide what to focus on, what to say yes to and more importantly no, it’s no wonder I was running through my todo list constantly in my head, thinking about what I needed to do five tasks from now, all the while missing out on the moment I was living in.

This moment right now, it’s the only one we have

More often than not I was missing out on laughing + enjoying life with my family. There were creative projects I wanted to do but never found the time.

And I didn’t know how to get off the treadmill.

Working harder, longer + staying up later sure wasn’t helping me get to the end of my todo list.

The idea of having white space in my life felt the same as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

The good news is there’s a solution. And it begins by acknowledging that you don’t have to do everything life demands of you.

Not every activity or request that fills your day should have your time + attention.

You need to know what is important and what is clutter. Clutter that is keeping you from being your most joyful, creative and productive self.

A simple tool to clear the clutter

How to clear the clutter in your day like a Pro so you can use your time more intentionally, increase your productivity and reduce the stress of managing your business + family life. >>> start today! | #flourishwithwhitespace #plannerprintables #planning #productivity #habits #routines #prioritygrid #dwighteisenhower

There’s a simple tool that helps clear the clutter, reduce the overwhelm and more importantly helps you have white space in your life. And I’m thankful to Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States for this tool.

Dwight is widely known for being one of the most effective people who ever held office. As you can imagine he was faced with many tough decisions.

He sustained an incredible level of productivity, not only for weeks and months but decades. His Priority Grid is an invaluable tool for ensuring you invest your time doing the things that matter most to you.

His methods of time + task management, and productivity are still relevant for us today.

So let’s take a look at each box in the priority grid and see how it can help you clear the clutter, find focus + have space for what matters most.

The Priority Grid

Grid 1 : Urgent + Important

These are tasks you need to do immediately. They scream NOW! and have an imminent deadline to back it up. You really feel the need to react to these activities.

As a mum there are many things that fall into this space that may not align with your current goal or project, especially when your children are young. And that’s ok. Enjoy this season of life. While the days feel long, the years pass quickly. I heard that saying when my son was young and the first part felt true. Now that he’s older I realise just how true the whole statement is.

As a business owner this is also true. There are so many moving parts and things that are outside of your control, yet they want your attention.

The unfortunate thing about Grid 1 is that you can spend much of your day in this quadrant and not achieve much of importance.

Activities in this grid may include :

  • important deadline
  • crises
  • crying baby
  • pressing important meetings
  • emergencies
  • last minute preparations
  • technology issues
  • unforeseen problems
  • some bosses requests

#tip : Don’t wait until things become urgent to give them your attention. Give these activities space in your plans + routines and move what you really need into the next grid instead.

Grid 2 : Important but not urgent

This is where you should aim to spend most of your time, if, you want to be consistently making progress towards achieving your goals, and become your most joyful, creative and productive self.

It’s also where you want to be if you want to really enjoy your life + live in the moment.

Creating habits, routines and systems will help to keep many things from becoming urgent and important.

Activities in this grid may include :

  • gratitude
  • faith activities
  • relaxation and rest
  • developing relationships
  • personal growth
  • training
  • exercise and health
  • planning
  • back ups
  • reviews

Living from this grid is proactive, not reactive. And when you can live from this space in the grid, you’ll find your days more peaceful, purposeful and productive!

#tip : Review your routines to ensure they include what you truly need to do. And keep this grid in mind when creating your Time Map to ensure you are creating space for what’s truly important.

Grid 3 : Urgent but not important

Most often the tasks in this grid are requested by someone else.

Wherever possible delegate them to someone else or simply decline the offer graciously. If it helps you to say no, consider suggesting someone else that might be able to help or at the very least ask for time to consider the request while you get comfortable with how to say no.

Activities in this grid may include :

  • some emails and phone calls
  • many interruptions
  • some meetings
  • some social activities
  • requests for help
  • other people’s expectations

#tip : Hire help where necessary to have the important things done, just not by you.

Remember, you can have everything but you can’t do everything.

Grid 4 : Neither urgent nor important

These are tasks that you can eliminate. They are time wasters, not necessarily because of the type of activity but the reason you’re doing it.

The beautiful thing about the Priority Grid is that it helps you become more productive
by elimination. It helps you “de-clutter your drawers” so to speak.

I’m reminded of two statements Tim Ferris says, Being busy is a form of laziness and It’s easy to confuse activity with productivity.

Being busy keeps you from taking action and making progress on your goals. And trying to “fit it all in” simply keeps you busy.

The fastest way to get unbusy is to eliminate the non-essential activities.

Activities in this grid may include :

  • excessive tv and movies
  • mindless scrolling on social media
  • mindless internet browsing
  • comparison
  • some emails and phone calls
  • some shopping
  • some social activities
  • gaming
  • gossip
  • being busy

#tip : When you’re feeling busy, check in with the Priority Grid to see what you can

So how do you use the priority grid to reduce the overwhelm?

You can follow along in the FUSElife Planner Playbook on page 29-31 or use these steps below.

1. Collect : Make a list

Download + print your copy of the Priority Grid below and record the activities that fill your day right now in the corresponding quadrant of the grid. You may like to do this over a week to capture all the different kinds of tasks that you do.

2. Reflect : Journal your findings

Have a look over your completed grid and ask yourself, where are you spending the most time in? Write about what’s happening, what you’re doing and why. Now journal about what you can do differently. What kind of day do you want to be living and why?

3. Connect : Make a plan

With your ideal day in mind, print another copy of the Priority Grid and map out how you need to invest your time to achieve your goals. Use this version of the grid as you create a time map or plan your day.

For help organising your day with less overwhelm + more joy, grab your copy of the FUSElife Planner Playbook.

Using the priority grid to see how you spend your day will help to move the activities that are truly important to achieve your goals into the forefront of your daily todos. You’ll use your time more intentionally, become more productive and be less stressed.

The Priority Grid helps you clear the clutter + have space for what matters most.

How to clear the clutter in your day like a Pro so you can use your time more intentionally, increase your productivity and reduce the stress of managing your business + family life. >>> start today! | #flourishwithwhitespace #plannerprintables #planning #productivity #habits #routines #prioritygrid #dwighteisenhower


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