It may take a lot of effort, but it’s more than worth it to start figuring out and focusing on priorities.
Setting priorities can seem so difficult.
When you’re stuck in the middle of day-to-day busyness, it’s easy to be distracted by what needs to be done instead of focusing on the bigger picture.
Yet day-to-day busyness won’t slow down. And if you’re not careful, years can slip away with out of whack priorities.
What’s the solution?
Focusing on your priorities. The trick, though, is figuring out what those priorities are.
My top priorities
I’m happy to share what has worked in my own life, but keep in mind … this is coming from a Christ following wife and mom.
My first priority
And as a believer, my first priority always is the Lord.
Instead of looking at priorities as a hierarchy – as in, because God is my first priority, I should spend the most time of my day focusing on Him – I look at my priorities as a sort of web, or the spokes on the wheel of a bike.
My relationship with the Lord is at the center of everything. Everything from my life – every relationship, every priority – comes out of that.
My second priority
As a wife, my second priority needs to be my husband. It may be tempting to dismiss my husband as an adult who can take care of himself – and he could – but what’s the point of marriage, then?
In Genesis 2:18, after creating Adam, “the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Women were created with a purpose – to help and complete men.
This truth may not seem so popular today, but wives have the distinct blessing of helping and completing their husbands.
Because of this, it’s important to remember to make an effort and prioritize your husband and your marriage instead of getting completely wrapped up in the stuff of life – jobs, home, kids.
My third priority
As a mother, my children are my third priority, entrusted to me to love, nurture, and raise.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 beautifully describes my responsibility as a parent: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
As a mother, I need to point my children to the Lord all throughout the day, no matter what we’re doing. In order to do that, I need to spend time with them – so I don’t just see them as I’m running them to this lesson or that practice.
Notice what’s most important?
If you’ll notice, my first three priorities are relational. It’s so important – yet difficult – to remember to prioritize people before things.
Because my top priorities are relationships, I know I need to spend time cultivating those relationships. This is the hard work. It’s easy to think I can skate by and let the relationships tend to themselves, but they don’t. Each one needs an investment of time and effort.
After my most important relationships, I fit in my other priorities – mainly my job, home, and other relationships – around them.
Priorities in everyday life
In a regular week, my time may not reflect my most important priorities – after all, a home won’t just take care of itself. And you won’t get paid for staying home and not working hard at a job. But giving attention, care and importance to priorities when you do have free time makes all the difference.
- In a normal day, that looks like waking up and spending the first minutes of my day in prayer and reading the Bible, instead of checking my phone for social media updates or texts.
- It looks like stopping what I’m doing to welcome my husband when he comes home from work to sit down with him to hear about his day.
- It looks like arranging my family’s daily schedule to all sit down and have dinner together.
- And it looks like taking a half an hour to cuddle, talk, and tuck my children into bed at night.
By intentionally remembering to place relationships first, I’m able to fit in the other essential things of life without necessarily putting such a big importance on what’s not a top priority.
Once my priorities are set and become the priorities of each day, I’m not quite as distracted by what needs to be done, and it’s easier to focus on the bigger picture.
What are you top priorities? How do you focus on them?
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