Priorities. Time Management. Margin. Call it what you want. The important thing is to know that it matters. It matters to your marriage, your family, your friendships, your health and so many other areas of life. The truth is that many of us are aware of the problems we have in this area but are still helpless to make necessary changes.
To help with this, below is a paraphrase of an *activity that authors Les and Leslie Parrot wrote about that may help you understand which priorities should take precedence over others.
There are three categories: rubber, metal and glass.
When you drop things that are rubber they bounce back. Nothing really happens. There are no permanent consequences or visible damage. Nothing is lost. Then there are things that are metal, when you drop these it creates noise. Recovery is possible but there are dents and visible consequences. Time, effort and even specialized help are often necessary to fix these problems. Glass is by far the most fragile and delicate material. When glass is dropped it shatters and may never be the same again. There are consequences, some pieces may be missing forever and once broken it may never function the same way again.
Now, take the opportunity to think through all the different priorities in your life. Go ahead and make a list of them. This time of year people tend to have even more things to juggle in an already over-full life. As you look at each of the items on the list, make a mental note as to which priorities are rubber, metal and glass.
This exercise will help you to separate the “stuff” in your life into the categories that matter most. It may even open your eyes to see what good things you might actually need to say “no” to.
Here’s a quick example: For us, blogging is important and we love doing it but it is still in the rubber category. When life gets busy, it’s the first thing moved to make room for that which matters most. It always bounces back, but we sometimes choose to set it aside for other things which may be more important for us (speaking engagements, travel, other family activities, etc.).
How about you? What priorities may you need to set aside in order to make room for something else that may be even more important?
How do these categories (rubber, metal & glass) change the way you think about what’s important?
*The Hour that Matters Most – Les and Leslie Parrot