Sorting Out Priorities

I’m almost positive I’m not alone when I say ot feels like there’s a lot on my plate. I have a lot that I need to balance and juggle.

I also feel that once I let one thing go, my brain tells me I’m a failure and I start dropping other things. So then, when I finally do get around to cleaning up the mess I feel is my life, it’s a lot more work than it could’ve been.

This brings me to my post today. As I’m trying to get things under control, I’m working on a new approach. I won’t tell all the things that I’m doing, but the biggest one is probably sorting my priorities.

I’m doing this for a couple reasons. First, I want to make sure I’m actually focusing on the things that are important to me. If I can identify and recognize them, then maybe I can organize them.

Second, I’m doing this to see what I actually start dropping once I feel overwhelmed in life. What starts the reaction? What is the first to go? What is the last to go?

We all have some level of responsibility in life. You may have a lot or you may only have a little. But regardless, it’s still there. Is work your highest priority? Your kids? Church? School? There’s not really a right or a wrong answer. Priorities may go in different orders for different people, and that’s okay.

It definitely takes some time and self-reflection to sort through priorities, but I’m hoping it makes me better and allows me to see some of my blindspots. I don’t ever pretend to have my life all figured out. But I know I continually want to be and do better.

Here’s what I did to sort my priorities. I wrote down everything I feel responsible for (my health, work, taking care of myself, my relationship, etc.). Then I asked myself how my life would be if I let that go. If you can’t survive without it, it goes nearer to the top. If it doesn’t affect your life that much, then it goes closer to the bottom. I can’t make your list for you. That’s your job.

I also created a paper tracker for myself to keep me accountable. In tracking my priorities, I ask myself pointed questions at the end of each day, like “Did I focus on my health today (whether physical or mental?” Or “did I have a meaningful conversation with someone today?” Things like that.

Doing this is providing a way for me to understand and better myself. If I know where I’m slacking, I know what I need to work harder at to fix. If I’m not hitting my priorities the way I need to, then I know I can try to focus on those more so that I can continue to improve.

I’m not perfect. I definitely fail and make mistakes. But I recognize those mistakes. I want to work on them. I don’t ever expect to fix everything wrong with me. But if I can at least identify my faults and flaws and work to minimize them, then I feel I’m making progress.

This idea may not work for you. That’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t have to. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. I’m not every single one of the 7+billion people on this planet. I’m just me. But I share these things in the hope that there is someone out there like me in my small corner of the world.

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