True Priorities

What are your priorities? You can probably easily list the top three. Great! Now how do they show up in your routine life? Does your calendar reflect those three things? A self-discipline strategist has a rude awakening for us as we drift toward complacency or distraction.

You might have more Significant things you want to be doing, but any time that you are not doing them, they are not truly your priority. (Procrastinate on Purpose, Rory Vaden, 191)

Really? He goes on to be sure we understand…

That is one of the great deceptions of this life. In our minds, we think that our priority is our family, or our priority is being successful, or our priority is our faith, but if that isn’t what we are actually doing, then it isn’t our priority!

It is SO easy to be busy without purpose. It is hard work to stay on track with what is important. Distractions abound, fires burn, and needs demand attention. 

Some habits that will help:

  • Take a couple minutes at the beginning of the day to look at what you have on your plate and know what is truly most important. Daily priorities make a big difference.
  • Watch yourself and take deep breaths when you need to.
  • Phone a friend. Outside help and a little accountability and encouragement go a long way.
  • Make time to step back from the race on an occasional basis and look at the big picture carefully and prayerfully. Check your map, so to speak, and make sure you are going where you think you are going!
  • Feed your soul.

Leave a Breadcrumb Trail

Remember Hansel and Gretel? Part of planning to succeed is marking a path, leaving yourself reminders. Set yourself up to do what you have determined is best. Or, set yourself up for success.

Put reminders in your path. If you need to bring a present to the shower, put it by the front door. Tripping over something can be such an effective reminder.

Keep a basket on the stairway of items to go upstairs — and make a habit to check it each time your hands are empty on the way up.

Put the discussion questions for the book club meeting in your planner in the week of the meeting. You won’t need them until then, but you’ll have them when you do need them.

Set alarms. Many have found this a top benefit of the smartphone. You can remind yourself to stop doing something because your time is up. You can remind yourself to start doing something so you can be ready in time. Set an alarm to remind you to change the laundry or start making dinner.

Race the stopwatch or egg timer with routine cleaning tasks. Give yourself 20 minutes to power nap. Play with it and do what works best for you — but make the most of the tool.

Schedule time on a regular basis to accomplish the steps in your plan. If you know you will need a lot of time, over a good chunk of time, go ahead and schedule it. You will run into the calendar entry, hopefully, and remember to chip away at the project.

If you block time on your schedule on a monthly and weekly basis, you make sure you stumble over what you need to do. Some of us need that extra help! Often distractions consume our days, but if your calendar simply reminds you that you need to spend an hour paying bills today in spite of those distractions, you have a helping hand.