Some time back I ran across a totally different concept of prioritizing that stuck with me. I couldn’t find the original post or graphic, so I created my own to share with you. (If you are the original creator of this type of graph, please feel free to share a link in the comments with your name so I can give credit where credit is due.)
I’ve read many times that priorities should not be entailed by a lengthy list. I’ve seen quite a few people state that when they sat down to determine their top priorities, they kept it to a maximum of three or four. Anything more than that and things tend to become muddled. Or so they say.
I personally find it difficult to narrow my priorities down to so few. How can I, when I have so many responsibilities? (And could this be the reason why I can’t seem to find balance so much of the time?)
My priorities should look something like this:
Except the problem is that I get so scattered and focused more on one thing than others. And it becomes a jumbled up mess.
God gets pushed to the back burner. Sometimes He even gets stuffed in the fridge, like cold leftovers. So sad, but so very true. Priorities start to overlap each other. Little things become big. Big things become miniscule. Important matters are forgotten.
I keep God at bay. Tell Him I’ll be back for communion later. Not now, God. Later.
I lose myself in the process, too. So busy with other things, I neglect self-care. Then I become frustrated. I wonder why nobody values me as much as I think they should. Perhaps this is because I stopped valuing myself as much as I should.
All because I lose my balance.
So how do we keep God in the center of everything else? Where does that balance come? How can we make sure He is Lord of all and above all else? Here’s what I think, and what I’m working on for myself right now:
Step 1: Begin the day with God.
When I open my eyes to greet the dawning of a new day, God must come first. The best way I’ve found to do this is wake up before everyone else in my home. These first moments of a new day are the most precious time I’ve found. Sometimes I’ve simply meditated on His word before I even get out of bed. Other times I get up and pray while the coffee brews. No matter what way I find to do it, I must start each day with God.
Step 2: Seek His guidance. In everything. Before every decision.
This one is tough for me. I’ve always been the kind of person to research, ruminate, and determine the best way to go on a decision. Not the wisest method. I must fully place my trust in Him, always seeking direction from Him before I step out in action.
Step 3: Keep God first in all things. All day. Every day.
Fact is, I have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to keeping God first in everything I say and do. Staying in tune with God means being in tune with Him at all times. Not just first thing in the morning. Not just a quick breath of thanks before a meal. Always. On my way to the grocery store. As I discipline my children. While I’m sorting laundry. He is everywhere and if He is to be everything to me, then I must put Him first in all things.
Other interesting & informative articles on setting priorities:
- How to Manage Time and Set Priorities
- Setting Priorities: 3 Mistakes to Avoid
- Back to Basics: Setting Priorities (practical information)