Friday, January 11, 2019

Finding Priorities.

As I speak, my husband and his friend/our friend are downstairs chatting away. He joined our family for Family Movie Night tonight and we have been talking and catching up on life and such. We watched a helpful TED talk about time management and how making priorities is what really manages our time. At the end I realized I had not written my 500 words yet today and decided to hop upstairs and get to it - after all, it's a priority this month!

In the TED talk, the woman says that we have time for what we make time for, for what we prioritize. She gives the example of a busy woman who had her hot water-heater break and ruin a ton of stuff in her basement, and how the woman found seven hours in her week to deal with all of it. How did she manage squeezing out that many hours? It was urgent! Super-duper important. 

So when we say we don't have time for something, and we feel like saying "I don't have time," this woman (sorry, I cannot remember her name) says what we really should say instead is "That's not a priority for me."

It's kind of hard to say, isn't it? Especially when whatever that "thing" is is something we actually want... just not more than the other things we are doing instead. I find this true in my own life, and I've only recently begun to recognize that many things aren't as important to me as I like to think they are. 

What's really sad, is that usually it's my comfort-level or my laziness that are the priority. Why don't I want to clean my bathrooms? Too much work. Why don't I want to get up and cook a nice breakfast? I'd rather sleep. Why don't I read my bible more than I read other books? Yikes, good question! 

But recognizing my own genuine priorities is the only way to start not doing the things I don't actually want to do, and begin doing the things I've only been wishing or hoping to participate in. Like art (hopefully you aren't sick of hearing about this yet). If I want to make progress in my artistic endeavors, I need to spend more time on it. Who cares if it isn't hours every day? 30 minutes every day is still more time than I was spending on it before. 

Last year when I decided to make reading those three categories of books a priority, I tried to figure out how many chapters per day I would need to read. It was kind of an estimate, since many of the books I was planning to read I did not have on hand yet to check the chapter totals, but I figured if I read 3-5 chapters per day I would easily reach my goal. After a few days, I read my five chapters but still felt like I was not reading enough. It dawned on me that since I just love reading and learning, the amount of time I spent reading would probably never feel like enough. So now when I "feel" like I haven't read enough, it's easy for me to recognize that it's just because I love it, not because I didn't actually prioritize it enough. The actual amount of time spent or the short-term goal accomplished needs to inform me of my progress more than how I am feeling about all of it and it has been much easier for my to see that I actually am following my priorities.

Like most problems, admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? Where are you struggling with priorities that you want to get straightened out? For me, decreasing my social media time has been a big deal. If I'm on there too much, it's both a time-suck and a soul-suck. Trading that time for doodling, lettering, painting, and whatever else has had the exact opposite effect. 

Are there areas in your life that you can swap like this? Think about it. Let me know how it goes. And Happy Weekend to you :)


  1. Good thoughts, it is true that when you love doing something you never feel like you have "enough" time at it!

    1. For sure! I spent a lot of time drawing today (and now my arm is killing me), but I still wish I could have done more :)