Fighting the Priorities Battle

Sunday, February 10, 2013
Once again, I am facing the Priorities Battle. Do we ever really get past that?

I fill many roles, from blogger to teacher, mother to wife, friend to cook. And each role demands time, attention to detail, a commitment. How do you find the right mix and right priorities?

For me, it's a matter of rhythms of life and of continual adjustments.

Rhythms of Life

The Bible says there is a season for everything: I find that there is a season to write, a season to read, a season to research, a season to teach, a season to rejoice and a season to rail at those lousy editors.  And the seasons, like the seasons of the year, seem to cycle around.

I try to pay attention to these larger rhythms, as well as the daily rhythms. I work well in the middle of the day, not early and certainly not late. I try to schedule social things in the evenings and reserve midday for heavy thinking and analyzing and writing. Editing and social media is early mornings.

I work to find these daily habits or rhythms that leave me more productive. And there is constant adjustment. One day this week, I woke at 5:30 am with a headache. That usually means a long day of battling the headache, which means a day of poorer concentration. I recognized the symptoms early and made sure that I did nothing of enduring consequence that day. Today, I woke cheerful and energetic--I accomplished a lot. We need to recognize and honor the rhythms of our bodies.

Continual Adjustments

As with the headache day, there are other adjustments. Getting used to Daylight Savings Time, working to run faster, taking a day off to make a snowman--you must continually respond to that thing called Life. It means flexibility, Plan B, Plan C, or even Plan D.

Through it all, I keep Priorities: I am a writer, so I must write. My family needs me, I'm there. A friend asks for help, I try to accommodate.

So, it's a continual battle to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. We can easily be distracted by the Tyranny of the Urgent, by the Good Instead of the Best. This week has been one of those times, when I have neglected blogging, neglected some minor responsibilities--because I had to write. And I refuse to apologize for it. I needed to write this week. And I did. Wahoo! I am celebrating tonight! Are you?


Darcy Pattison blogs about how-to-write at Fiction Notes and blogs about education at Follow Darcy on Pinterest.


Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

This was a beautiful post about finding balance. I am a writer and a yoga teacher and the idea of finding balance is ever forefront in my mind and my life. It's momentary, but those moments when we find it are treasured.

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for this post, Darcy. Like yourself, I believe it is very important to pay attention to the ebb and flow of life. It feeds our writing. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Darcy, I've been forced to think a lot about priorities this month. I had two unplanned family obligations requiring me to be out-of-town. When I was home, I had deadlines and writing to attend to and the blog took the neglect hit. I'm an advocate of the good-better-best rule. Choose the best.

BECKY said...

Great post, Darcy!

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