I was stuck in traffic on my way home from work (about a two-hour ordeal on Friday evenings) when I realized that my concept of the word prioritize was completely wrong.
As I trudged along, I found myself making a mental list of all the tasks I needed to get done that weekend: Tackle my remaining work emails. Pick up a gift for Lindsay's bridal shower. Attend Lindsay's bridal shower. Revise and proofread my resume. Write two new blog posts. Plan meals for next week. Go grocery shopping. Go running. Visit my husband's family for dinner. Spend time with my mom and finally watch the season finale of Downton Abbey. Attend church and manage the coffee station. Clean the bathroom. Clean the floors (when was the last time I swept?). Read at least a few chapters of my new book. Spend time with my husband, Dan.
My list included more tasks than any normal human could accomplish in two days and a few hours.
Even for me, an early riser at six o'clock most mornings, it's too much, so I decided to prioritize: The events on my list were non-negotiable because I already made the commitments—bridal shower, family dinner, time with my mom—so everything else had to fit around those. Since we were going on vacation the following week, I really needed to finish my resume beforehand (my vacation also meant I'd be wearing a swimsuit, so I considered getting up 20 minutes early on Saturday to run an extra couple miles). We have to eat, so I'll fit in the grocery shopping and meal planning on Sunday.1