How to Prioritize and Accomplish What Matters Most

With our long to-do lists, it can seem like there’s never enough time. But if we refocus our priorities, we’ll accomplish what’s most important.

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz

More often than not, your to-do list is far longer than time permits. By the end of the day, it seems there are more things on the list than there were when you woke up. In his talk “Good, Better, Best,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks shares the importance of carefully choosing how we spend our time. He discusses how we often spend so much time focusing on the good things when we should be focusing on the best things. But how do we focus on the best things? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Use Free Time Wisely

We only get so much free time. Elder Oaks says “it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it.” It may not be the content that needs adjusting but the amount of time we spend with it.

  1. Family Time

Work and school are important, but not as important as family. As Elder Oaks observed, people don’t look back on their lives and wish they’d spent more time at their jobs. It’s okay to step away from the latest midterm, work proposal, or email to spend time with family. For those who don’t live near family, it’s still important to spend time with others, such as roommates or friends.

  1. Focus on the Spirit

Even church callings can sap all of our time if we allow them to. We should be “exercising inspired judgment in Church programs and activities” so we can feel the Spirit testify of gospel truths.

There will always be plenty to do, but I don’t think God intended for us to have such long to-do lists. He wants us to focus on what’s best.

Read or listen to  “Good, Better, Best” to receive more insights from Elder Dallin H. Oaks on prioritizing what matters most.


Oakli Van Meter, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read Samantha Worall’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “The People-pleaser’s Guide to Saying No”  to learn how to say no.

Read or listen to Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s talk “Three Choices” to gain more insight about what matters most.

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