What are the top 10 things on your To-Do List today? How are we supposed to grow, get things done, and engage with what is important to us? Whether you keep an active To-Do List in your pocket, on your phone, or swirling in your head chances are you have one. I’d be willing to bet that on most days, you don’t get to everything on that list. I’d bet that most days you have a couple of things from that list that seem to constantly get moved to the top of tomorrow’s list.
In the spirit of full transparency, this post was due on Wednesday. Not next Wednesday. The one that happened three days ago. Now, I know you were all waiting with baited breath for this week’s installment. I’m sure I disappointed many of you. I can tell by the stack of emails I received titled “WHERE’s THE POST?” and “LATE AGAIN?” in my unread email folder.
All kidding aside, the point is we are busy. We are very busy. Ok, we are way to freakin’ busy to engage the way God intended. At least, I am.
I hit this point a few times each year and it tells me it’s time for a priority check. I sat down this morning and did just that. I won’t bore you with my list. That’s not the point of this post. The point is,
Busy-ness is the ENEMY of ENGAGEMENT
As I was having some prayer time with Jesus the other day, the Holy Spirit spoke those words to me. I was quietly thinking about all kinds of things and asking Jesus how I was supposed to get it all done. The words just whispered across my lips and hit me like a Mack truck.
Here I am asking God how I am supposed to get all of this stuff done AND do it well, Then the answer just whispers across my lips. God was telling me I’ve painted myself into a corner again. I’ve not been INTENTIONAL about the things I am supposed to ENGAGE in and I’ve allowed myself to get distracted with busy-ness.
There are things that are essential to our lives and there things that are important. Those things are very different, but because we don’t make this distinction we get confused. This is why priorities are so hard to set properly.
3 Simple Steps For Priority Recalibration
1.) List Your Priorities As They Are
Right down the big things that are important to you. God, Family, Friends, Work, Church, You. Then rank them. Then rank them like no one will ever see them. I say that because our “natural selves” (the one we are dying to as we become more like Jesus each day) will fight you and on the first iteration tell you to right down what others expect. You may need to write this list several times to get your honest answers. The key is to write them down as they truly are today.
2.) List Your Priorities As You Would Like Them To Be
Now that you’ve realized you won’t die from taking a long, hard look in the mirror you can write the list the way you’d like it to shape up. This is where you put the list in the order you feel it should be.
Hint: It probably looks like the first iteration of the previous list. Just sayin’.
3.) Compare the Lists
Take stock of the differences in your lists. Commit to paper the things that you do not have room for and pray through how to establish the new list.
Hint: You need to pray against distractions to your priorities.
If you are like me and most of the rest of the world, you are easily distracted. Squirrel! See told ya. Distractions come in the form of fun, technology, and new adventures to only name a few. I know I sound like your high school coach, but you need to ask yourself EVERY TIME something new comes your way,
Does This Align With My Priorities?
And be relentless. Make sure you don’t mistake sticking to your guns with NEVER trying new things. You need to try new things to grow, but the new things need to fit within your happiness bucket. That means aligning with your priorities.
NOW, I’m off to follow my own advice.