Why You’re Not Actually Prioritizing Your Priorities (And How to Start!)

We tend to lose ourselves in the ‘busy’ mentality. It feels easy sometimes to throw ourselves into the various roles of parents, partners, professionals, and we pack every minute of our day with tasks to do within that role.

We often use that checked off to-do list to prove our worth…  And we rarely stop to ask ourselves, “Are these tasks truly fulfilling?”

This is why we can feel so empty inside when somebody asks us about what we’ve done. We’re so busy checking off our list of achievements, we haven’t stopped to think about whether we even enjoy them. We sacrifice our own needs and our interests, and we give up aspects of ourselves just for the sake of being busy, because we think we are supposed to be busy.

You have to quiet that little voice inside your head, that tells you that you’re not good enough, that you have to do more, simply to do more.”

Our critical inner voice, that’s the one that tells us that we should be busy. That’s what’s telling us we have to achieve certain goals in order to be acceptable or worthy. It’s also the voice that tell us anything we do for ourselves is selfish.

When we listen to this voice, it’s so easy to get caught up in that busy mentality, until we look around us and we ask:

“Am I really living the life I wanna live?”

“Am I doing the best for the people around me by being present and feeling good?”

You have to quiet that little voice inside your head, that tells you that you’re not good enough, that you have to do more, simply to do more.

In Episode 062 of the Productivity Paradox podcast, I’m discussing prioritizing the RIGHT things. One of the most important takeaways from this episode is the WHY.

Why do we have such a hard time actually prioritizing our priorities? It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it?

Today, I’ll share those reasons with you, and trust me, as long as you keep these in mind and take action, you will see amazing results in how you prioritize.


5 Reasons Why We Have a Hard Time Prioritizing Our Priorities

  1. We say yes to tasks just to please other people. Start to say no when you don’t have the time. This way, you’ll increase your effectiveness by spending time and energy on tasks you will be best at.
  2. We forget to prioritize time with your loved ones. Time with friends and family can help you recharge and refresh your mind. We also know that social connection is the biggest factors of happiness.
  3. We’re addicted to notifications or email. When we check our devices, we get the same sense of satisfaction as checking off an item on our to-do list. Instead, set blocks of time to check email or notifications.
  4. We allow distractions. Instead of setting up measures to prevent distractions, we let others interrupt us, meaning we will take another 23 minutes to get back into our working zone.
  5. We push ourselves too hard. We don’t give ourselves breaks – meaning that we’re trying to optimize our time, so we’re working efficiently instead of effectively. Set aside blocks of time within your day that you treat them like important meetings and use them as breaks so you can reset and refresh.


If you really acknowledge these five things that so many of us do, you’ll start to recognize them and it becomes easier to avoid these habits we’re falling into.

Want a little more help in finding where your time is being spent? Grab your FREE time tracking worksheet – the Productivity Matrix! You’ll be able to see if you’re spending time wisely, as well as discover your peak productivity blocks in each day.

For more examples and tips, you can listen to episode 062: Prioritizing the RIGHT Things on iTunes, Stitcher, or on the Productivity Paradox website!

I would love to here what your priorities or goals are for this month and beyond are. Comment below and tell me how you plan on actually prioritizing your priorities moving forward!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton