Focus is a very important thing. We know we need to keep our eye on the prize to achieve goals. I have been finding in life, as adults, we have a lot of different balls that we’re juggling.
I love being caught up in the excitement of starting a new project, so many possibilities at hand. I am so good at juggling I am able to continue to add more and more balls to my circus act until I am completely consumed with juggling at every waking moment.
This energy and enthusiasm for life and positive outlook on what something might become is actually a gift and very helpful to me in life. One of my greatest joys is journeying with women who actually have no idea of their God-given potential and having the privilege of seeing that very potential released through acceptance, love, hope, encouragement and an understanding of who God has made them to be.
Yet, I sometimes wonder if I am actually giving enough attention to those ever-changing priorities. Am I ever achieving anything of significance? Am I moving forward? It can often feel as if I am only spinning my wheels.
Assessing the situation
Following a chat with a wise mentor I decided to list every single priority I was currently pouring energy into. After I wrote the list I ordered the priorities.
Some things were relatively easy to align such as health, spiritual disciplines and family but others were more difficult including completing overtime at work, practicing hospitality etc.
There were so many important and God-honouring activities I wanted to work with. But I needed to appreciate that my time and my life are precious and limited resources and I needed to choose what was most important.
Wrestling with the plan
Finally, having produced a completely ordered list of priorities I was able to use this as a template for the way I spent time.
In theory this is a very easily reproduceable model and able to be effectively implemented broadly. Yet I didn’t account for such a wrestle in managing my new priorities.
When wanting to bless someone with a special gift meant blowing my budget I had competing priorities. When an opportunity arose to offer a helping hand, it meant my family lost out on quality time spent with me, my priorities again conflict.
A better way
Being clear on my priorities doesn’t solve all my problems around time management but it does give some clarity.
I have been able to direct energy and positivity into things I have chosen as most important instead of being swept along a tide of good intentions and rash decision making. Saying no to a lower priority opportunity does not make me feel sad or disappointed. I have chosen to engage in things that are of greater importance to me.
Potentially some of my juggling needs to slow down and some balls may need to drop. At other stages of life I may pick up different balls and put down others and that is acceptable and necessary but also a conscious choice.
The popular saying ‘you can’t have it all’ rings true. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world and lose your soul” (Matthew chapter 16, verse 25)
Hannah Edwards is a graduate in theological studies, turned Human Resources professional, is an avid shopper and animal lover. She is currently ministering to women in Brisbane in both church and community spheres, empowering women to reach their fullest potential. Hannah is also the founder of the online community Harvest Joy Women. Further material is available from www.harvestjoywomen.com
Hannah Edwards has recently graduated from theological studies, is an avid shopper and is learning to cook. She is currently ministering to women in Brisbane in both church and community spheres, empowering women to reach their fullest potential. Hannah is also the founder of the online community Harvest Joy Women. Further material is available from www.harvestjoywomen.com