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If you’re anything like me, your to-do list is never-ending. I always feel like I can fit in just one more thing, or pressured to do one more thing.
Here are several things I do to make decisions about what I can and can’t do.
- Know what your priorities are
This is one of the things we do during our yearly planning time. You can read about it in our book Purposeful Planning and in this article, Let Purposeful Planning Give Your Family an Opportunity to Make a Difference this Year. If you don’t know where you want to go, you will have difficulty getting there.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has [enough] to finish [it]—” Luke 14:28 NKJV
Our lives are more than a tower, so it’s imperative that we take time to ask the Lord what His plans are for us and our family.
- Discuss your schedule with your husband
Dan is able to see the “big picture” better than I can, and he knows me well.
Rather than just look if the date is available, step back and look at the days/weeks before and after what you’ve been asked to do. That way you get a much better idea of how busy you are and if you will have the time and energy to add anything else.
For instance—we know that if we schedule more than one or two evenings a week we don’t do so well. We all get up early and we just get stretched too thin.
- Don’t answer right away
When asked to do something, I usually say “I’ll talk with Dan and get back to you.” That gives me time to pray and talk with Dan. Dan is willing to take the blame if he thinks I should say no, so I can say, “Dan doesn’t think I should do that now, but thanks for asking/inviting me. Perhaps next time will work.”
- Specify the amount of time or money you are willing to commit
This is one of the decisions we made in February when we planned our year. We were talking about our monthly giving to missionaries and organizations. Most of our commitments were open-ended.
It’s much more difficult to stop giving or participating in something if it doesn’t have an end date.
We’ve decided that from here on we will commit to a certain amount of time when we commit to giving or doing and reassess our decision at the end of that time.
Do you prioritize? Please share your ideas in the comments.
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