- Linda Lesniewski
Urgent. Crisis management. Triage. Putting out fires.
These are the ways James (very appropriately) expressed how our day to day life feels right now. Everything is getting done, but only when it finally cries out "I cannot wait any longer!" Babies are like that nearly 100% of the time, children at least 50% of the time, and some sort of house chore every day. Laundry gets done when the last pair of clothing was worn yesterday. Grocery shopping when there is nothing to send in the kids' lunches. Sweeping when I put on shoes because there are too many crumbs. It's chaos, and I don't like it one bit.
More importantly, it means that some of the things I want to be priorities, that should be priorities, are not getting done because they do not have a physical urgency about them. Prayer, devotion, scripture study, exercise, meal planning, creative outlets, teaching and training of children, quiet moments of music and cuddles and reading.
I participated in this experiment the other day. I wrote 6 things in my life that are things I attend to. A list would include things like God, yourself, kids, marriage, job, school, a hobby, etc. Then you order the strips with the one you think is the most important on the bottom, and stack them up in order of decreasing importance. Once in place, We cut the strips so that each one was smaller than the one below, so they made a pyramid shape.
Now here's the test: reorder the strips into the importance you actually gave each area yesterday (last week, the past month.) Does it still look like a pyramid? Or, like most people, are the smaller strips on the bottom? Are some strips falling off the side from complete inattention?
I love visualizations. It was an eye-opener to me. Here are what my two "pyramids" looked like:
Not too bad, I think. A lot of people, especially those who had jobs outside the home, admitted that although they placed their job at the top of the pyramid on the smallest strip, in actuality it was positioned at the bottom. Eye-opening to see how little importance, in the big picture, their job had, and yet it got the most of their time, attention and efforts.
The next step is to make some tangible goals to get the priorities straight. I love this kind of thing. I'm definitely the type of person who doesn't like to complain if things aren't how I want them; I get down and do something about it.