Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 4 - Prioritize

I was at a baby shower for a good friend this past year and one of the activities was to go around the room and offer a word of advice. I'll never forget what one of the guests said. She told my friend that if each day passed and she got at least one item from her to-do list checked off, it was a good day. One item! It doesn't seem like a lot but for a new mom that's a big deal, she explained. You're functioning off little-to-no sleep and you're responsible for this new little human who has just entered the world.

It got me thinking... not that one item per day is an appropriate goal for the majority of us, but we pressure ourselves so much to cram more and more into each day that it can be a bit much at times. The day only has 24 hours and that's not gonna change! And yet rather than prioritizing our to-do list and just getting done what is needed for the day, we add more... and more... until we are exhausted, frustrated and no longer functioning at our best. That whole "I'll sleep when I die" thing... not necessarily the healthiest philosophy. What would you rather do? 10 things at 50% capacity or 5 things with 100% effort (and a much greater return might I add).

I really struggled with busyness for most of my 20's. I was constantly on the move between 10-12 hour work days, volunteering in youth ministry and hanging out with friends. It was a fun period in my life but as I look back I remember being tired a lot, having trouble focusing at work sometimes, neglecting to prepare fully for youth group meetings etc. While I enjoyed being busy, I wasn't as productive as I could have been.

In graduate school things really had to change. I had to cut back on a lot of volunteering and socializing to focus on school. That became my priority.

There are so many good things to get involved with... Work pursuits, volunteer opportunities, social activities etc. but do you want to pursue things that are good? Or prioritize and do what's great? And by great, I mean, great for YOU. Great things are harder to come by but can hold a lot more meaning. They are things you just know you should do. You learn from them. They touch you. They have greater significance in your life. And what's great for you may not be great for me, but that's okay. They correlate with your unique gifts and fit like a puzzle piece into your life.

Have you been filling your time with lots of good things but find yourself feeling worn out instead of full of passion and energy? Perhaps you need to re-prioritize. Spend some time this week thinking about how your commitments make you feel. Do you feel depleted of energy or full of life? Think about refocusing on that which fills you up!

See you Monday!

No comments:

Post a Comment