Prioritizing: What’s Important NOW?
“If your focus and energy are not on the task at hand, or on the people you are with, there is an issue you need to address. It is not about balance, it is about focus and priorities.”
– Brian R Willis, What’s Important Now? Life’s Most Powerful Question
In preparation for my August trip to Greece, I surprised myself by sitting down months ago and thinking through all that I needed – and wanted – to get done before I left…and when, roughly, I was going to do what.
I knew I had a good 5 weeks at home, on my own with just Sadie, in late May/early June to get the bulk of the key tasks completed – before the summer visitors starting to arrive in early July.
I know from experience that living on Vancouver Island means plenty of houseguests! But as long as I’m given time to plan accordingly and there are breaks in between visitors, I find I can handle the onslaught AND enjoy spending time with people…which is kind of the point 🙂
Now that August is here, I am pleased to report that I did get about 90% of my tasks (work, home, garden and trip planning) done…plus I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with everyone who stayed at my place.
I would have to say that prioritizing and focus was the key.
Every morning, I would ask myself what HAD to get done that day – and then do that task first. And when I actually tackled the task, I focused fully on it for a pre-determined amount of time (usually an hour – thanks to my trusty timer).
And slowly but surely, the tasks got done – which meant that the days leading up to my Greece trip weren’t the usual chaotic, stressed out rush of doing 2 week’s worth of work in 2 days 🙁
I would say, in fact, that I almost felt some semblance of life balance these past few months.
Then I read the article, The Myth Lives On, by Brian R Willis, who has an interesting take on the whole notion of life balance.
“Work – Life Balance does not exist,” writes Brian. “It is a myth we continue to chase. It is not about balance. It is about focus and priorities. It’s about What’s Important Now?”
“I find it interesting that we refer to work, which occupies 40 to 60 hours out of most people’s week, as separate somehow from your life. If you have a job, work is part of your life.”
– Brian R Willis
I’ve been thinking a lot about Brian’s article and I know he has a point. Because when I really thought about why I finally felt some semblance of life balance, it was because I deliberately chose to do less…tackle fewer tasks.
I did not work 40 to 60 hours per week and cheerfully entertain multiple houseguests. Rather, I worked a vastly reduced work schedule – but the hours I did put in were very focused, efficient and productive.
Everyone, of course, is in their own unique situation with different opportunities for flexibility and varying financial, career and family demands – but I do think that regardless of our situation, we all get the exact same hours in a day, so it is up to us to utilize those hours in the wisest way possible.
And if a sense of life balance comes – even if only temporary – all the better.
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Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.