God placed in my heart some months ago a plan of action called priority living. It came at a time when things were becoming too much. Life was beginning to overwhelm me, I couldn't keep on top of things and chaos was taking over. I was trying every schedule, time saving idea, and cleaning plan I could find to no avail. Since, I have become more tired, sick and depressed, not because God placed this on my heart, but because He placed it on my heart and I haven't acted on it. So maybe by sharing this with you I'll be inspired to follow it myself, or you'll be inspired to give it a try as well. It's a little out of the norm giving advice and steps on something I haven't even tried myself yet, but this is what's been put on my heart for sometime, so there must be something to it.
List your Priorities in Order of Importance (to God not yourself)
This is not something that can be done over morning coffee, don't try to rush it, take your time, talk to your husband about it and pray pray pray each step of the way. God will reveal to you what your priorities should be, but be open to His plan, even if it doesn't fit what you think your priorities should be.
This list should be quite detailed, you want to really get down to the nitty gritty on what is most important. Your list might look something like this:
- Growing my relationship with God
- Showing Love and encouragement to Husband
- Showing Love and encouragement to Children
- Encouraging children's relationship with God
- Rooms tidied/beds made
- Dishes done
- Laundry washed
- Homeschool planning and marking
- Mission work
- Play outside with kids
- Laundry folded and away
- Read to kids
- Wash sheets
- clean bathroom
This list should end up looking like a very long "to do" list, but be written in order of importance.
Put a star beside each priority that must be done daily.
Again, ask God which of these are most important that they deserve a "daily" spot. The items you star should be the ones at the top of your priority list, if they're not, you should rethink your priorities. You MUST do these daily, so don't put down things that can't be done if your schedule changes for the day, or you need to adjust things for visitors, sick kids, or traveling. You will do these EVERY DAY. Of the list above the only ones I would mark as daily priorities are the first 5. The rest, though many should be done daily, do not hold the priority place in heart. Life will go on if they have to be put aside for a day.
Make a good copy of your "Dailies" (in order). Put it on pretty paper if you want, or decorate it. Then put it up somewhere that you will be able to see it and use it daily.
I like to keep schedule stuff like this in a plastic sleeve and tape it to my fridge. It's easily seen, and I can use a dry erase marker to check off each item as it's done.
***Now, before moving on, you can start with these daily things. Be sure not to let other non priorities come before these most important tasks. If life is busy these things don't have to take a lot of time. The important thing is that you are putting them first. Pray before your feet hit the floor in the morning and thank God for the blessing of another day. Roll over and kiss your husband and tell him you love him and that you're thankful for everything he does for your family before you get out of bed. Kiss your babies as soon as they wake, and tell them how blessed you are that God put them in your life. Every little bit counts.***
Create your "Weekly" priorities.
Next you want to look over your list and write down a good copy of your priorities that need to be done weekly. You will start on these after your "Dailies" are done. If you have items that you want done daily, but are not important enough to include on your "Dailies" list, star them. Then you will always do these next after your "Dailies". The rest of the list will get checked off as you accomplish each item, and the following day after your "Dailies" are done you will move onto the starred "Weeklies" again, and then onto the next "Weekly" items on your list that have yet to be checked off. When the whole list is checked, erase the checks and start again. This way you know each item is getting done in order regardless of what might come up to take you away from your tasks.
Lets face it, you can't plan everything. In life there are going to be unexpected priorities. Keep another plastic sheet on your fridge or where ever for these. Write them down as they come in, so you don't lose track. Maybe the dog needs to be groomed, or it's time to plant the garden, whatever it may be write it down, and decide it's importance based on your other priorities. Chances are it's best to fit it in after your "Dailies" (ALWAYS after your "Dailies") and possibly after your starred "weeklies" But, you're all grown ups and I'm sure if you've made it to step 5 you'll be able to figure out where to put those unexpected extras.
So...that's what I've got from God so far. There's also the possibility of doing a "monthly" list but I think that might be too much, and these are a good start.
Now that I've written it down, I really see what God was getting at with me, and how this could simplify my life in so many ways, and really help me keep my focus where it should be. I think I'll start on my Priority List tonight. What about you?
I really pray that God is able to bless your life through this.