June 2024 Newsletter Prioritizing your time

Prioritizing your time

How do you prioritize your time? Do you have a process that works for you?

As you know, I enjoy writing newsletters and recording podcasts about my experiences so other people can apply what I’ve learned. Prioritizing my time has been a work in progress for me throughout my entire 41-year career in business.

More than likely, you are an entrepreneur or someone who wants to move the needle forward and get the most out of your life. My goal today is to give you some tips that will help you prioritize your time more effectively.


When you have multiple work tasks to complete each day, you may need to develop an effective system for managing them. Prioritizing lets you decide what to accomplish first, based on importance. Understanding the best ways to prioritize your tasks can save you time and effort.


Time management involves organizing and planning how to allocate your time between different activities. Developing this skill can help you reduce stress and increase your productivity.


I am constantly trying to find new ways to prioritize my time, and I have found that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. One way that works for me is to set aside a few minutes at the end of each day to write down the most important tasks I would like to accomplish the following day.


I usually plan only one day at a time. I’ve learned not to make an overwhelming, gigantic “to do” list because I know it would add stress for me. Instead, I write down three or four tasks I want to accomplish the next day.


You’ll find that it reduces your stress when you choose three or four things that you want to accomplish each day and then focus on those things. That’s prioritizing—putting your energy towards what really matters and what you really need to do.


When you make a list ahead of time and then complete each task on your list, you will have a sense of accomplishment and feel good about yourself.


Prioritizing your time is a major component of setting goals. My mind is constantly creating new opportunities, which can become very overwhelming. I often have to stop and remind myself to focus on one priority at a time. If I don’t focus, I’m going to end up not doing any of my tasks well.


“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

— Stephen Covey


I feel very blessed that people are constantly wanting to have lunch with me or take me to coffee. God gave me the ability to help people believe in themselves and encourage them to be the best they can be. Unfortunately, I can’t meet one-on-one with everyone. I wish I could, but I can’t.  When people read these newsletters or listen to my podcasts, I want each reader or listener to feel like they are sitting across from me and having a conversation.



“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

— Warren Buffett


Here are some strategies that have helped me to get better at prioritizing. I hope they will benefit you as well.


  1. Write down the tasks that you want to accomplish. This will give you an accountability track to run on.


  1. Determine which tasks are truly important, and then tackle the most challenging task first.


  1. If you need to make a negative phone call, send an email that makes you uncomfortable, or do anything else that you do not really want to do, take care of it first thing in the morning so it won’t be lingering on your mind all day. Brian Tracy’s book Eat that Frog is based on this mindset.


  1. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete each task so you won’t be in a rush. This will usually help you make sure that you’ve done each task correctly and you’ve done it well. Remember that you’re not in a race to the finish line. Taking your time will reduce stress as well.


  1. Be laser focused on what you are doing. Don’t let anything distract you from what you are doing unless it is urgent. Avoid checking social media, making personal phone calls, or spending time on unproductive coffees and lunches. If you truly want to get your tasks done, you must eliminate items that are not a priority.



“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”

—Stephen Covey



Prioritizing will help you take control of your workflow and optimize your productivity. Breaking your workload into manageable chunks and setting priorities helps you escape the cycle of missed deadlines, last-minute rushes, and procrastination.


Time management practices have a direct effect on efficiency, quality of work, and stress levels. Prioritizing will help you achieve your goals and keep hassles to a minimum. Investing your time productively will yield the best results.


There is only one person who can control and prioritize your life, and that is you. You have the God-given ability and talent to do anything you set your mind to do. If you need to get better at prioritizing and creating a “to do” list and setting goals, then take the time, make a plan, and remember that it’s not a race. Avoid making quick decisions that could cause you to waste time.


Keep in mind that prioritizing your time will always be a work in progress. We are constantly learning about new opportunities and new methods of doing business. It’s up to us to figure out what will be best not just for us but also for the people we care about.


Time is our most valuable commodity, and we have a limited amount of it. Let’s use it wisely. I would be thrilled to visit with you or speak to your company about time management. This is just one of many topics that I can present to help you get the most out of your business and personal life.

What People in the Audience are Saying…

With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!

This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor