Prioritizing

Date: May 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 24

Last night I wrote about how I’m in a good place right now.

That’s true, don’t get me wrong.

I’m happy to be settled in my new apartment.

I’m being productive every day at work, which is a good feeling. (And I even got to take an actual lunch break today, which I spent taking a new spinning class at the gym.)

I’m thrilled to have been chosen as a Run For The Rabbit finalist and I’m eager to jump start my marathon training.

I’m happy to have great friends in NYC and beyond, and I’m always glad I live in the best city ever.

And obviously I love blogging, which started as a little way to document my workouts and maybe meet some people, but has turned into so much more than that for me. I’ve met wonderful people through this blog and have found an incredibly supportive, loving community of like-minded people.

But it’s a lot.

I have a lot on my plate these days — probably more than ever before — and it’s hard figuring out which things should take priority each day, or even each hour.

My job is an obvious priority — it’s the only way I can (just barely) afford this apartment.

My second priority right now is JackRabbit, but there are two parts to that: training for the Hamptons Marathon and raising money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Luckily, I have a coach to help out with the running part. I’ll just do what he tells me!

I’m so passionate about both aspects of Run For The Rabbit, and while marathon training fits easily into my daily schedule, I’m starting to worry about how I’m going to raise all the money I want to raise for this cause that’s so important to me and my family. Plus, I currently have three Twitter accounts (personal, @Ali_RFR and work), two Facebook accounts (personal and JackRabbit) and two blogs (this one, obviously, and one on the Run For The Rabbit page). Social media overload!

Honestly, I want everything in my life to be a priority. Whoever decided that days would only be 24 hours long was crazy. That’s just not enough.

Lately I’ve made myself my last priority. I don’t sleep enough, that’s for sure, and I’ve been battling allergies for more than a month now but haven’t actually done anything about it (except, admittedly, complain).

Tomorrow morning I’ll be at the hospital getting my Remicade treatment, which I receive every eight weeks.

Getting the treatment means I sit in a chair for three hours…by myself…with lots of pillows and blankets. Sometimes I fall asleep. Sometimes I watch the news “Regis & Kelly.” Sometimes I read.

I’d love to say that tomorrow I’ll sit in that chair and relax, but I know myself better than that. I’ll use the time to be productive!

So, To Do list, come tomorrow morning, you don’t stand a chance.

See ya bright and early — after the three mile training run Coach Cane has on my schedule.

TELL ME: How do you prioritize? What’s most important to you and what gets shifted to a back burner? I am well aware that I shouldn’t be de-prioritizing sleep. I promise to get better about that — or at least to try! But a big way I prioritize is making sure I don’t let other people down. If my responsibilities affect others, you can bet I’m going to get them done first.

24 Responses to "Prioritizing"

Wow you do have a lot going on! I finally feel like my life has relaxed and I have lots of time to do whatever I want..and its great!

sleep is the one thing i never put on the back burner – because my productivity definitely decreases drastically when I am not on my A game.
When I am overwhelmed..social life takes a back burner for sure. I spend my evenings getting caught up rather then going out with friends.
I am bad at prioritizing though. I have a paper I need to write to keep my teaching certification. But I spend all my free time blogging rather then doing the paper. Procrastination nation.

I think you need to choose your battles…maybe go to blogging once per day vs. twice…and some days not at all. Some weeks might be easier to blog more regularly, others notsomuch. Right now this marathon…and uh, sleep?…take (or should take) main priority. Blogging for us? Well we love ya, but we’ll still read if you post less often…and you’ll probably feel more balanced by doing just a wee bit less. I find that when I pull back from social media, while it’s hard to turn it off sometimes, it’s always for the best…and I never regret it. I do regret if I am being less ‘present’ in life than normal, especially if blogging/tweeting, etc. is to blame. Just some food for thought…hang in there!

Thanks for the comment! You are very right about sleep being important now that the whole “marathon training” thing is happening — and I’m getting into bed SOON to do some reading and fall asleep. Operation de-stress is in effect!

I definitely appreciate your comment about scaling back on the blogging. I try not to let it be an added stress to my life, and sometimes writing things out is the best way for me to get my thoughts straight. So yes, balance is crucial.

Prioritizing is definitely a struggle, and I’m someone who will always struggle with healthy work-life balance. You make time for what’s important. So if health is important, what does that look like? Set goals, and live by those goals!

sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed – one thing i always do is make lists and take breaks! Lists help me so much and they don’t just have to be what to do today type of lists. they can be, what’s the most important thing to me lists, or what have I accomplished recently that really felt great. Taking breaks for me is huge because sometimes I get myself into a rut and need to break free – for instance, i was going out too much the last month and it was running into my me time and work time, so i told myself I would not go out for a month – Sure, I miss a few things, but I’ve had so much time to take care of myself.

I prioritize by “putting first things first” and take things one task at a time

You definitely have a lot on your plate, but I am so amazed with how you balance it all. I don’t think there will ever be a magic formula to prioritizing. I think you just have to pick and choose what’s most important. The sleep thing is a problem for me as well. It might help you to tell yourself that you won’t run a good marathon without proper sleep. Just look food, sleep is fuel. If you keep slackin on the sleep, it will show up in the runs. Maybe this will help :-)

But overall, girl you inspire me! Keep on keepin on!

Sleep is definitely something I put off too; but then all my other to do’s are that much harder because I’m either in need of caffeine to function or my mind is all over the place. I use planes to write to do lists, but since I’m not always flying I try to use my commute to think through what I want to accomplish each day – when I do that, I always get a lot more done.

Can you double/crosspost some of it? There are tools like HootSuite that will help you do that.

Ali, you are so inspiring. You do so much, and always with the same great attitude and beautiful smile on your face. Make sure to do what you need and take the time to take care of yourself. You deserve it!

I am struggling with the same problem at the moment. I was feeling bad about admitting it on my blog because I am suppose to be striving to live healthy, but stressed and sleep deprived does not sound like healthy. Nice to know I am not alone! I started mapping out my days on my iCalendar to make sure I get the most important things in and “powerdown” at a decent time to get to sleep.

1) your health
2) family
3) work
4) other “extracurriculars” (workouts, social media, etc.)

Rest up Rabbit girl! Hope today is smooth and Gina takes extra care good of you!

you seem to be amazing at prioritizing and getting it all done, lady! Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode because everything SEEMS like it should be a priority. But maybe i need to do what you did and really just write out a big ‘ol list. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Jessica says: May 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

I work 60-70 hours a week plus commute an hour from Brooklyn, so I feel ya! I usually always prioritize sleep–even if that means something doesn’t get done–because then I’m healthier and a harder worker. But honestly friends and personal time go on the back burner. I schedule out my days down to the hour and that helps–but often, I pick one thing every day and stick with it. I also rotate out what I focus on; one week I’ll do one thing really well if that means then switching to something else the next week. Sometimes you just can’t do it all and have to admit that balance is more important than doing a perfect job on everything on your plate!

i’m having trouble prioritizing right now. there are NOT enough hours in the day. by the time i get home and inhale food at night it’s like 9pm…and if i want to wake up at 5, I need to go to bed like immediately. at least our lives are full of awesomeness and not emptiness, right?

Good luck with your remicaide treatment! :) I took that for awhile, but I switched over to Humira. I love your blog because you are an inspiration! Keep writing. :)

Oh Ali, I really hope your treatment went well this morning.
I think prioritizing is so difficult. And it’s frustrating when a lot of areas of your life become demanding all at once, and not everything can be priority #1. I mentioned this in a post last week I think, but it helps me to think about what the most important thing is today and this week, and work from there (in terms of working out, time with friends and family, blogging, etc.) But you bring up a great point that there are those things that should almost always take priority, yet can be so easy to forget about – those things that you really need to take good care of yourself, like sleep. Maybe it would help to think of it as “if I sleep well tonight, I will be able to be more efficient at work, have a more enjoyable workout, and be a happier person”, because then it helps you see that sleep really IS important!
You are definitely jugging a lot right now, and it might get to the point where something has to “give” a little, and try to remember that that’s okay. You are just one person and can only do so much!

That’s good you KNOW where your priorities stand. But it does sound like you could use a little more time for yourself. Burn out’s not a good thing! Hope you get some rest soon, sweetie <3

I find it really, really hard to prioritize and find balance. I will often go-go-go-go for a long time and then burn myself out and have to take a HUGE step back for a couple of weeks (this is currently happening to me right now). It can definitely be a challenge. Good for you for choosing to be productive tomorrow morning!!

I hope your treatment went well today. I never really knew what it was like for someone to have Crohn’s Disease. I just thought it was having a sensitive stomach. I’ve learned from your blog that it is so much more. The way you continue to strive without letting the Crohn’s become your excuse to stop is inspiring.

I enjoy reading your blog, but you should take it easy. No need to blog everyday or twice a day!

I have a very hard time with this lately too. My biggest suggestion for you (and you’ve been doing it more lately, but maybe make it official so you don’t feel pressure) is to blog once a day instead of twice. The morning post is the one I get excited about anyway!