Question of priorities not time

Kids, Ministry, work, hobbies and relationships seem to be an ever continual juggling act trying to do one or the other. We struggle with work life balance, we struggle with career-family balance, hobby-relationship balance, we seem to find it tough to get all we need done in a day, 24hours just does not seem to cut it. One would almost need 48hours to accomplish their daily task, it seems like there is not enough time in the day right?

Well, it’s not a question of time, it’s a question of priorities, yes, priorities. Structure is important, labels are important, you have to draw the lines first then set your agenda. What is urgent and very important, what is urgent but not important, what is important, not urgent and what is not urgent and not important that comes on your desk everyday? Take the above 4 headings every morning, take time to draw up what falls within each of the 4 areas and see how much time you save yourself each day.

We have to qualify each heading for more clarity, let’s define it a little further so that you know what to do.

1. Urgent and Very Important – this is what is required right away, cannot wait for another hour, a matter of your job being on the line. A meeting with your boss and he needs numbers, you have to find them now before the meeting in an hour, you cannot afford to wait, that is urgent and very important

2. Urgent not Important – something required, not necessarily same day, it can wait a day or two, it’s required but not right away. Like preparing the PowerPoint for your weekly meeting that is held on a Friday and it’s a Monday, it’s urgent yes but not so important right now. Set the time for it, do it before it falls into the first section.

3. Important not urgent – something that you must, you should do, will likely need doing as part of your role as a father, employee or husband but does not require doing right away. Like take your kid to a show, game, function, dentist or movie, it’s important that you do but not urgent, it’s not something required right could be replying an email, returning a phone call, depending on the nature of the email or call.

4. Not urgent and not important – as suggested, this is something that you can do without carrying out, it’s really a priority, it’s so low on the list you could afford not to do it and it would not matter.

Will prioritizing give you all the time you need, maybe not but it will eliminate a lot of the senseless running you may be doing. I used to think that I was the busiest man alive and that there was nothing that I did that did not require my attention. When I started setting my agenda every morning and planning my day I noticed that I could ignore something’s, not every email required me to drop everything I was doing, not every missed call required me to return it right away. I did not have to drop what I was doing to chase after what popped up then, I could systematically place everything in the area that it should be and make sure that I’d not let one sit or spill to the next section because of inaction.

Try setting out your priorities for each day and see how much your day gets better. Remember, you do not need to do the next task until you complete the urgent ones first. Get the order of the priorities right if it’s all going to work. The order is laid out above, try it and be diligent to follow through and set the agenda every single day. Set the agenda for a day and week first before doing it for longer.

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