How to Prioritize Your Busy Life

I have been a fan of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s blog and writings, and when I found this – I had to share it.  It speaks to me pretty pointedly as I tend to get into Busy-Ness at times, and knowing she’s giving this a Christian perspective really gives me food for thought!  Oh, and make sure you read all the way to the end for her special FREE planner offer!

Curse of Busy-Ness: Learning How to Prioritize the Right Things by Sheila Wray Gregoire

The answer to the question, “How are you?” has traditionally been “I’m fine.” Over the last few years, though, a new answer has supplanted the old one. It’s now in fashion to say, “I’m just so busy!”, before lamenting how exhausted we are.

Are we really that busy? After all, we still seem to find time to spend thirty hours a week in front of a television, and that doesn’t even include other screens we glue ourselves to. But perhaps this is in reaction to how busy we are at other times: we rush and rush and rush, and then when we get home we collapse. Hardly a fulfilling life, is it?

Busyness Distracts

Author Mark Buchanan wrote recently that “busyness causes people to care less about the things they care about.” In other words, when you’re busy, your priorities get distorted. What happens when you’re busy and your daughter wants you to read to her? You get annoyed. What happens when your spouse wants to talk about her mother’s cancer diagnosis? You figure out how to placate her so that you can move on to something more important. What happens when your son wants you to coach Little League, or your daughter wants you to come and see the play she’s in? You get angry, because people are adding to your already full schedule and assuming they can count on you. They don’t understand all the demands you face!

We All Need Reminders of our True Priorities

Every winter our family takes a “time out” from our busyness. We head up to a cabin in the woods with another family with kids of similar ages, and we toboggan, ski, play board games, and chat, all without the benefit of electricity or running water. It’s loads of fun. Trust me.

The only downside for Katie, my 10-year-old, is the outhouse. She’s not into outhouses, and not only because of the smell. There may be spiders there, you see, even if it is twenty below. So I have to accompany her every time she feels the urge.

One particular night this year we entered said building, and as she prepared to do her business we attempted the flashlight handoff. And failed. The flashlight plummeted into the hole.

It so happens that just a few months’ prior to our visit the cabin had been used by many large men who consumed much food. So the hole was, shall we say, full.

And as the flashlight descended, the rest of the outhouse was plunged into total darkness. All we could see was the illuminated pile of you know what.

In retrospect, I wonder if this incident is really a metaphor for the purpose of our yearly visits. It’s to illuminate the huge pile of crap that is filling our lives, so that we can deal with it and move on.

When We’re Not Busy We Really Live

In that cabin with no electricity and no pagers and no computers, we spend time with each other. We talk. We wrestle and tickle. We listen. And we remember why we actually enjoy being a family. It’s bliss.

When I think about my children’s years growing up thus far, one of the enduring memories I have is reading to them. We have devoured the Narnia series, the Little House series, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women out loud, twice, once for each girl. Huddling under the covers and sharing Anne’s adventures bonded us in a very unique way. And yet how often today, when Katie wants to launch into Jane Austen, do I sigh and wish she would just leave me alone so I could get something important done?

Busyness causes us to care less about the things we care about. If I start to see those I love as intruding on my life, there’s something really wrong. Something in my life is truly stinking, and I better deal with it before I lose what is most precious.

And now I’d like to invite you to use my FREE personal time planners to get your own busy-ness under control–and make sure you’re focusing on your true priorities! I also include kids’ chore sheets, household organization planners, and more!

Sheila Wray Gregoire is the author of four books, including To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother. She blogs at http://tolovehonorandvacuum.blogspot.com
Article Source: WAHM Articles

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How I Manage to “Do It All”… NOT!

It has been a lot of fun for me to get to know more about Danielle on her Journey…  While we were busy interns, we really didn’t have a lot of time for chit chat and I feel like I’m getting to know more about her now than I did then.  Her explanation for her blog title – and the suggestions for starting a home business were great, weren’t they?  She has some great resources on her blog for WAHMs or moms who WANT to be WAHMS!

She has some great, thoughtful questions for me – I’ll do my best to answer them here…

You mentioned you are a college student, what are you going to school for?  What are your plans once you graduate?  I know you struggle with juggling your family and everything else, just like so many of us.  Do you have any tips or lessons you have learned in juggling everything?

I registered for my first full-time semester of online courses with Liberty University in Fall 2004.  Two weeks before my first class was to begin, we were delighted to discover that we were expecting Curly. So, for the first 5 months of my pregnancy – while working 40 hours a week – dealing with terrible morning all-day sickness, I took 4 full-time courses online.  It was HORRIFIC, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Summation

When Curly vomited in the playroom Saturday morning, I thought it was just a minor hiccup in a very busy weekend full of exams & deadlines.  I was wrong.  She only got sick once, but didn’t feel well for awhile.  About the time she started feeling better, Georgie started feeling sick.  And stayed sick longer.  Meanwhile, Roy, who has had two weeks of very long days and crisis situations at work, was not feeling great, either.  On top of that, he had to put in an hour or two at work on a weekend day, too!

I did not handle this well.  I could not get past my desperate need to focus on completing 2 exams, despite my wracking sinus headache – 2 girls who were not feeling good and just wanted mommy – and a husband who really  needed a quiet weekend after a very stressful couple of work weeks.

The best laid plans…

However, after a few meltdowns on my part – yes, there was yelling and a bad attitude – a brisk walk to clear my head, a break from the house and pressure of school deadlines – things got back to normal and I completed my exams successfully.  Of course.  I had to apologize to my daughters for losing my temper and yelling.

And I realized. It is not that I can’t handle pressure.

It is that I want to handle it the way I WANT TO HANDLE IT…

MY WAY!

But life… well, Family, totally changes things.  It is not that they do not support me or that they don’t want me to succeed.  It is that I struggle to pursue things on my terms.  And it doesn’t work.

This is a serious issue.  A place where pride (cuz I’m “right” ya know) really tears at my ability to be a good mom.  Not a perfect mom.  But the kind of mom I want to be:  gracious, loving, KIND…

Being Kind in 2009 – it’s a struggle.  And God just keeps whittling away the rough patches…  Thankfully!  He helped me get a clear picture of my priorities, and provided the time and ability to complete my schoolwork without my necessary temper tantrums.  It’s rather embarrassing impossible to explain to my 3 & 1 year old that they shouldn’t yell at each other, when the first thing I do in a pinch is raise my voice.

So, being what it is, Grace was extended in many ways, while explanations of right and wrong choices (including mine) were peppered throughout the weekend.

Like Chicken Little says, “Tomorrow is a new day…”  It’s a new day for me to practice what I preach.  To put into action the desires of my heart.  So once again, on a Monday, with not quite enough sleep but with some hard earned humility, I must once again strive to

Be Kind in 2009.