In my note to my friend, I recommended that he develop a short list of the most important priorities in his life. Let’s start with the word “short.”
This list of priorities is not the “to do” list that planners and calendars force; this is the list of our life priorities. What are the most important things to me? What drives my decisions, my actions, my future planning? The list has to be short enough for us to keep the most important things important. A old saying goes “When everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” It’s true. When our list is too long, we cannot distinguish between the “important” and the “really important.” It all gets muddled. So, we have to make our list of life priorities a list we can remember, a list we can live by.
I had a friend tell me that if he were to look at anyone’s calendar and their bank account that he would be fairly accurate as he listed their life priorities. What do I support with my most precious resources: my attention, my time, my energy? But, are those the things that I really want to be my highest priorities?
Find someone who is frustrated and frazzled and you may find that they are spending very few of their resources on the things that they say are the most important to them. Find someone who seems to be able to adapt to challenges and crisis and you may have found someone who has a short list of life priorities that they live by.
Leaders have more tasks clamoring for their resources than they have resources available; we have to identify and rank priorities. If not, we can be easily overwhelmed by the competition for our attention.
So, here is the task: on one hand, list your priorities. What really matters to you? When you are done with this life, what do you want to be known for?
You may want to talk with someone you trust. Ask them, what are their life’s priorities? I will talk more about my list as we take this journey together.
Good luck. And, remember — five of less.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)