“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”
– Greg McKeown
Our Chaotic World
The world we live in can be a chaotic one. In today’s society there is always something going on, whether that be at a local level or a more global level – society is constantly facing changes and challenges. These constant changes can come from several sources: the news, politics, world events, local events, environmental concerns, family, friends, religion, and social media – just to name a few.
Getting Lost in the Chaos
With so many influences in our lives bringing changes and challenges, it is possible to get lost in the shuffle and forget about ourselves. It can be easy to attempt to stay updated on the happenings of the world and forget to stay updated with our personal needs. Similarly, it can be possible to put our attention, energy, and effort into one or two things and lose focus on other elements of our life that may be important to us. There are various examples of this…..
One such example is focusing too heavily on politics. Politics are constantly changing and there are updates regarding politics occurring twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It can be easy to get swallowed up into following political moves and changes. While it is our civic duty to stay involved with politics, stay informed, and vote, it can be detrimental to the other aspects of our lives if politics become the sole focus of our lives.
Another example is obsessing over the news. As with politics, the news is constantly changing (and possibly even more so). There is news at many different levels (for example: local, state, world) and this news can be a lot to keep up with. Even more problematic, there are multiple news sources where information can be gathered – and often times these news sources provide contradictory messages, requiring more time to fact check these sources to ensure that one is receiving the correct news. As you could imagine, this could take countless hours to stay informed with what is going on in the world at the various levels of news
An example that may have a most positive connotation is having too great of a family focus. While being involved, connected, and concerned with our family can be a great thing, it can also have negative consequences if it takes up all our time and energy. Just like with focusing on politics and/or the news, having all our focus on our family can short us from enjoying other things that we like or doing other things in our life that we need to accomplish.
The Importance of Priorities
The examples listed above show how it really only takes one aspect of our lives or of society to lose focus on other things that are important. Instead of focusing on just one thing, it is a good idea to prioritize one’s life so that one can give their time and energy to multiple things. Prioritizing one’s life can be challenging, especially with all of the things that can distract us and persuade us to spend more time on some things than others. However, there are tips and tricks to prioritization that can help.
How to prioritize your life
Start with moderation – Moderation or doing things in samples that are not too small and not too large is a helpful way to think about prioritizing one’s life. If you find yourself giving exuberant amounts of your time to one thing (like your job, or to politics, or to your family or a certain family member) then you may need to cut back on those things to devote time and energy to other things that are important in your life.
Scheduling – Creating a schedule and sticking to it is a great way to prioritize one’s life. By scheduling out one’s days, weeks, and even months in advance, an individual can properly plan out what they want to spend their time on and put their energy towards. It is also beneficial to review the schedule and see what is taking up most of one’s time. Having a schedule and blocking off times for each thing or event that one does, is a great way to show where the individual places their priorities.
Talking with others – Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our daily routines that we miss the things going on around us. We may think that we have things figured out and have a schedule that accommodates all the needs around us, but it is possible that we do not, and we just think we do.
Talking with those that know us well and that we trust, such as family and friends, is a good way of checking in on where you are placing your time and energy. Ask people around you if they feel valued and important based on the time and energy you spend on them. It is important that you request honest feedback, or else they may not tell you the complete truth to avoid hurting your feelings.
Benefits of Prioritizing Your Life
Altogether, it is important to prioritize one’s life in order to get the most out of the life you have. By prioritizing, you can give more of yourself to more things and, more than likely, a happier, more balanced life will follow. Those around you will likely be pleased that you are taking the time to make more time for those around you (including them). Having your priorities in order often reduces or eliminates the stress one feels around their schedule and trying to do all the things that society throws their way.