There is no doubt we live in demanding times. The greatest demand is on our time. We have so many things jumping up and down yelling for our attention. It’s like being the teacher in a preschool class where the kids have been eating candy and drinking soda all day. We feel like that old commercial “Calgon take me away!”
It can be absolutely overwhelming. The truth is though, we are in control. We don’t have to let life act on us we can act on it. Stephan Covey in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says it’s not about planning our time, it’s about planning our priorities.
What is truly important to your life? If we were to get honest much of what we do is virtually unimportant.
How do we know what’s important?
1. Does it matter in the long run?
2. If I do it or don’t do it will it make any difference in my life or the life of my family?
3. Does it contribute to my personal purpose or vision?
4. Does it have real substantial value?
5. Is it life giving or life wasting?
If that’s how we judge the importance, how do we implement the process of planning priorities?
1. Learn to say no if it doesn’t meet the criteria. It’s ok to say no. You don’t need to, nor can you do everything.
2. Make tasks stand in line. Do not take things as they come, you tell them how you will take them. Tell your time where to go or you will end up in a hole.
3. Don’t procrastinate on the important things, by reactively doing the urgent things
4. Make a plan.
5. Get everyone on the same page
6. Realize life is a river not a compartment. Find your flow, your rhythm and get comfortable with it. Don’t force yourself to compete with yourself.
7. Your family is all on the same team. Play like a team. No one person should be carrying the load of the whole team. Everyone do your part.
If your going to make a difference in life, and your life is going to mean something it will be full, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s your choice and your decisions that create your focus.
My wife is a teacher, I’m a pastor I have a heavily involved senior in High School and a 5th grader. Sometimes it gets a little crazy but when we live the principles I’ve written about here our focus stays clear, we get it done we are happy and fulfilled and helping others.
Set, keep, and plan your priorities and your life will have peace and purpose.