Today I want to talk to you about top priorities. Like you, I am fairly busy! I’m a single Mum and running my own company. On top of that, I must make sure that the house is kept tidy, we have clean clothes and the bills are paid etc.
I have a to do list and I live by it! If it isn’t on the to do list, it just doesn’t get done. There is more than one to do list:
- The master list. I have one that encompasses all the tasks I need to do each week – everything basically! I sit down on a Sunday evening a plan out my week. This will include all my meetings, calls and courses I’m running, – all that kind of stuff.
- Priorities list. Then I work out what from my master list needs to be done that week. This includes the critical tasks that must be completed before the end of the week and are the things that get done first. If they get done with a good bit of time left over, I’ll pick something else up. If I don’t manage to add anything else to the priority list, then it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that I’ve completed the critical tasks. I don’t look at the master to-do list every single day and panicking about everything that needs done – I’m only focusing on the priorities.
So why am I telling you this?
We all have a to do list as long as our arms! Often, people keep their to do list in their head rather than writing it all down. When we don’t write it down, we can get a real sense of overwhelm. From a self-care point of view, just writing things down is extremely helpful!
This works from a behavioural point of view, in terms of the things you feel you need to sort out with your child. For example, you might be struggling with table manners; the way they eat; they won’t get themselves dressed; they won’t go to school; they’re being violent; they’re verbally aggressive or any number of different things we’re trying to deal with at the same time. It becomes completely overwhelming!
In NVR one of the aspects focuses on prioritising your concerns, often called ‘Baskets’, it is effectively helping you as the parent to ‘pick your battles’!
The small basket is your priority basket. In this one you put no more than 2 behaviours that you want to deal with. These are the things that absolutely must change/stop. If you are experiencing violence from your child, then that will nearly always go in the top basket. If not, then prioritise what you feel is the worst behaviour.
The middle basket is for those things that you can negotiate on. For example, that might be bad language. You are not going to totally ignore these behaviours, but you will think about when you choose to deal with them.
The large basket is for everything else. It is for all the behaviours that you are going to ignore for now. So that might be things like table manners. They may be things that you find really annoying, but for now you are not going to deal with them.
Have a go at writing down every single thing that annoys or frustrates you and decide which are your top two things to deal with first. Make a commitment to putting all your energy into those 2 things as much as possible.
Leave those other things and ignore them for now, exactly like I do with my master to do list every week. Everything on the list that is not a priority, forget about until the priorities have been tackled.
Believe it or not, that helps keep you sane as well as stopping you being like that naggy person I once was.
So have a think about this, get those priority items written down. Do one for yourself if you need to and have a separate one for your kids and their behaviour.