Did you create your priority pyramid from Wednesday’s post? If you missed it, here’s Part 1: Time Management with a Priority Pyramid-Part 1.
Now on to Part 2—what to do with it!
Once you have your pyramid filled in, I recommend bringing it to your devotions for several days and talking with God about what is listed there. Here are a few things you could ask Him for direction about:
1. What really belongs in my MUST category? Are the things listed there God's priorities for me, or priorities I have chosen for myself?
2. Are there things in my SHOULD category that I am doing for the wrong reasons? (Example: trying to prove I'm spiritual by being involved in too many church activities, spending too much time keeping my house spotless because I'm worried people will judge me if I don't.)
3. What are the things in my WANT category that are blessed by God and I have permission to prioritize them?
4. Should anything be removed from my list? Added? Changed to a different category?
After you've prayed over your list and, with God's direction, placed things where they should be, now comes the application. How do you apply all this to your actual daily life?
Just like a money budget, you allocate according to the priorities. You schedule non-negotiable time for the highest priorities, and move down the pyramid.
For example, if I MUST be a godly wife, I need to prioritize time with my husband. That can easily get swiped away by things in my SHOULD or WANT or even extra category if I do not intentionally set aside and protect that time.
|We're in the same room. Does that count?|
If I'm finding there are more things to be done than time to do them, I can check to see if I can combine some of my SHOULD or WANT items. Such as: I can combine cooking healthy meals for my family, training my children to be responsible with chores, and family Scripture memorization all by having a set time when my children help me with dinner. I train them as they help me, and we can work on our memory verses while we cook and set the table. Again, this takes purposeful ahead-of-time planning.
I need to let some of my SHOULD things go. Having health problems means limitations, so I need to stop stressing if my house isn't perfectly clean or I'm not involved in as much as I feel I should be. And remember, just because something is on your SHOULD list doesn't mean it should be on everyone's!
|This is not and never will be what my kitchen looks like. =)|
Also, some seasons in life require us to shift our list entirely to focus on a loved one during a crisis or set aside certain use of our gifts while our children are young. What God wants us to spend our time on now may not be forever, so don't get discouraged if God asks you to set aside some things for now that feel important to you.
|My babies, who should be more important than my SHOULDs and WANTs.|
Time is easily spent, just like money, on things we do not intend to prioritize. Sometimes it is something as simple as turning off the TV for a week. The average American watches something like 4 hours of TV a day. There are those extra hours people love to say they wish they had!
I need to be better with my time, more intentional. I don't want to squander it away. So now I have my pyramid filled out and will be praying on how to apply this. How about you? What do you find sucks away time from your day without you realizing it? Are there things you realized you were spending time on that were taking away from other, more important, priorities?
...redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:16-17