It's easy to get caught up in the urgent and immediate tasks that come up at home or at work. There are deadlines everywhere, a pressing need to do this or that and it can all get to be too much.

When we get all wound up with being busy and getting things done, we can go overboard and pile more and more pressures and deadlines on ourselves. We think we can maintain our usual standard of care when it comes to work, home, family and ourselves, all of which can be very energy-draining and time-consuming. Throw in the urgent extras that pop up, but rather than cut out some non-essentials, we continue to keep everything functioning as normally as possible.

However, there are only so many hours in a day. Sometimes what we think are priorities could be moved a little lower down the list. Perhaps, in those really stressful, busy times when unusual pressures are heaped on top of all the usual ones, we can begin to let go of some of the others.

For example, some people insist on scouring the bathrooms top to bottom every day, or hoovering or washing floors first thing every morning. Or they use bath towels once and throw them in the laundry. Maybe they're picking up after their children rather than encouraging them to do it for themselves.

The point is that our homes and lives won't collapse if we let go of some of the usual things we like to do on a daily or regular basis. We must learn to delegate in times of extra stress and "busy-ness", letting go of, or handing over some responsibilities to others who are able to do them.

When life gets out of control with too many pressures, it is essential to prioritise. Let go of what doesn't really need to be done today or this week. Move it well down the list. Pick out what absolutely must be done, and if you're having a hard time narrowing down the list, look at the possible negative consequences of each job on the list and this will help you figure it out.

For example, there's a big difference between "must get taxes filed" if it's the day before the deadline, and "must do the hoovering".

And then there are the other priorities, too, about taking care of yourself. If your list includes wanting a daily walk, and insisting that the whole bathroom be cleaned every day, floors and all, perhaps you could think about the benefits of going for a walk, as compared to the benefits of having a sparkling bathroom. Buy one of those 'cleans as you flush' thingies, give the sink and taps a quick once-over with a disinfectant wipe and get out for that walk.

It's not enough to prioritise once and expect it to last. It's got to be done every day. It's essential to remind yourself every morning of the things that are really important to you, which bits really must be done, and after that, re-organise priorities so you are consistently and consciously working at what matters most in your life.

Just make sure that you are high on that list every day, too, because if you aren't in the category of what matters most in your life, you - and everyone close to you - will suffer for it.

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