Have you heard of Matt Townsend? I really hadn’t until he came to our town for a presentation. I saw the posters everywhere so I looked him up to learn more about who is he and what he teaches about. Turns out he is a motivational speaker focusing on relationships. I watched this video where he talks about 5 things that women should learn to let go of. His first idea that women should let go of is the idea that we can have it all. What!? He says that we truly can’t have everything, so we should just stop trying. Sounds the opposite of motivational, right? However, he goes on to say that we CAN have our top 3 most important things. This has got me thinking about what are my top 3 things and wondering is he right?
I have paid attention lately about what things I get done in a day and I’m trying to decide if those are part of my top 3 things. I’ve decided that they usually are, but that my top 3 priorities change. For example, some days my focus is on the house and getting it cleaned and organized. Other times I am focused on a project around the house and I can’t do anything else until that one project is finished. A few weeks ago I started the process of getting hired with VIP KID to become an online tutor teaching English to Chinese students and that was my priority and focus. When I started this blog that consumed me for awhile. My most current priority is planning a trip to Hawaii (a rather fun burden, I might say). But as I’ve thought about these things and how they can control my focus I started feeling a little shallow. Shouldn’t my focus be on spiritual things or family?
This is what I’ve decided: I can clump the really, really important things into one group and call it “relationships with God, family & friends.” If I really think about all those other things that felt like they were at the forefront of my mind, I can see that my relationships with others was always at the back of my mind. The reason I started with VIP KID is so that I can help provide for my family’s needs; projects can help develop my God-given talents; and even planning a trip is a way of strengthening my relationship with my husband.
My other two top priorities are the ones that can change day to day. These ones depend on what our schedule looks like for the week and what trials we might be facing at that time. Some examples for me include rotating kids clothes for seasons or growth spurts, cleaning the house really good, building a chicken coop, getting ready for a trip, surviving the endless list of activities planned for the week, service, finishing a book, working out, eating right, making extra money, how to deal with childhood anxiety, ways to limit screen time, teaching my child to read, potty training, etc. You get the picture, right? There are so many important things that rotate throughout our lives and it’s important to identify the top 3 priorities of today, because they might be different tomorrow.
My suggestion is to first identify that number one top priority that will always be there. Once that is decided then daily or weekly, write down your floating 2 priorities. I know that for me, when I focus on the “objective” of my day I feel much more focused and am more likely to get things done; at least the top 3 most important things.
A few ways to think about what your priorities should be are to ask yourself these 5 questions:
-What deadlines do I have today?
-What energizes me?
-What have I been neglecting (if you write down your top 3 priorities you will be able to see that the bathrooms have not made your list in over a month).
-Who needs my attention right now?
-What can I do for others?
I never did make it to that conference with Matt Townsend as the key note speaker, but I am grateful that I stumbled across his name and have been able to reflect on my top 3 priorities. I always appreciate help to keep my focus and be productive… in fact, it makes me feel nice and happy!