Efficient Time: Planning the best first

Tomorrow is my best friend’s 40th birthday.

I am able to write that sentence because my google calendar reminded me of it last week.  Then today.  It will again tomorrow morning.

Last year…and the year before…I would never have been able to tell you that tomorrow was her birthday, because I forgot.  Twice.  She lives a mile away and I see her every day.

Actually, “forgot” doesn’t accurately describe it, because it implies that I had at one point remembered.  Nope.  I MISSED it.  Never gave it a moment’s thought until I heard another friend apologizing to her the next day for not having called her.  When I realized I HAD called her the day before…twice…to ask her for a favor.

Ouch.

Now, in my defense, her birthday always comes at a very bad time for me.  Every year, October 6th comes around right when the frenetic pace of the  back-to-school routine has reached its zenith.  All teachers, coaches, committee heads, and book clubs, and bosses figure you’ve gotten the hang of it by now, so they lay it on.  I take care of every detail of my 3 kid’s lives and most of my husband’s,  serve on several committees, volunteer in several organizations, and throw in a job or two.  I do lots of things.  Good things.

But by simply reacting to this onslaught of minutia and complexity, I used up   every ounce of my attention, energy, and focus.

And missed her birthday.  A big thing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness.  Then all these things will be added unto you.” (Sorry, the King James version of this sticks in my head due to a childhood song…)

This verse can easily apply to our time, as well as our desires, spending habits, life goals, etc.  If we schedule, ahead of time, the things we know are important, then the promise is that we will have plenty of time left over for the minutia, which, let’s face it, is necessary to deal with most of the time.

So on that day, a year ago, I made a vow: to put the Important things first.  And I planned a year in advance. I started with my friend’s birthday.

How many good, big things are we letting drop in our lives because we don’t seek them out first?

This week, make a list of the things you KNOW you should be making time for, then turn to your calendar, and make the space for them.

The space is there- you just may have to be creative to find it.  The trick is to plan AHEAD…just like the Bible verse says!

You can start with birthdays.  Spend 20 minutes gathering all the important birthdays in your life, and put them in your calendar, along with addresses and reminders in time to mail a card.  Spend another 10 minutes buying bulk cards and a roll of stamps.

Want to be more prepared for sick friends and neighbors? Spend one afternoon cooking  a slew of freezable dishes to have on-hand when the occasion arises.

Know you need to visit an elderly relative more often? Put it in your calendar TODAY.

In the thick of the busyness of our day, we will probably not find the time for what’s important.  But if we seek it out ahead of time…voila! There it is.

And the other miraculous thing is, if we put the big, important stuff first, there is always room for the necessary minutia to follow.  But not the other way around.  A university professor put it like this: If you fill up a jar with sand, then try to add golf balls, it won’t work.  But start with the golf balls, and you will have more than enough space for everything.

Which is the very nature of Abundance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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