Friday, April 27, 2012

Not Enough Time? Or Not Enough Focus?

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H Jackson Brown, Jr. 

I say it all the time. There's just not enough time in the day. I wish I didn't have to sleep because I could get so much more done if I had those hours available to me every day.

But, it's true, I do have the same number of hours in my day as all the people who accomplished wonderful things had in theirs. I also have the same number of hours in my day as those who squander away their lives on useless pursuits. 

So what makes the difference? Why do some people accomplish so little while others manage to accomplish so much? I believe it's focus.  And focus is hard for me so that means I have to make a conscious effort to make sure I stay focused on the important things in my life.

And what is important? That answer will be different for each person, but it needs to be answered. 

For me the answer looks something like this. 
1. Growing in Christ
2. Family
3. Church
4. Work
5. Writing

The first two priorities on this list are fixed, the other three fluctuate in order of importance depending on what is going on where, but they are all very important to me. 

Knowing what my priorities are and what order they come in helps me to make sure that I am spending my time on the right things. When the first priority is given the proper attention, it is much easier to give the needed time and attention to the next one on the list. And when the first two are cared for, I am free to work on the other things on my list. 

Knowing what my priorities are also helps me not to waste time on unimportant things. Anything that does not help me in these areas needs to be looked at carefully to see if it is a waste of my time. When these time wasters are cut out it's amazing how much more gets accomplished in the areas of importance. But when I forget to make sure how I spend my time lines up with what is truly important to me, I find myself drifting aimlessly and wondering why nothing is getting accomplished. 

What are your priorities and how do you make sure that you stay focused on what is truly important?

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