5 Priorities for De-Stressing Your Life

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Like a diamond, there are many facets to our lives.

“Your Dictionary” defines a diamond as having four equal sides with small angles on the top and bottom and wider angles on the sides.  In just the right  light, a multitude of colors are reflected in this precious jewel.

Our lives are much like a diamond.  We have many facets to each day.  There are so many angles to cover as women – wives, mothers, homemakers, employers, employees, taxi drivers, counselors, cooks, personal shoppers.  We must prioritize these facets of life and make sure the MOST important things are accomplished.

There is a book entitled, The Tyranny of the Urgent, by,  Charles E. Hummel, that speaks of how easy it is for us to place the seemingly urgent things of life above the most important things.  Recognizing this tendency will enable us to sometimes say, “No” to the things that suffocate our schedules.  

Click on the image if you don’t have this little book.  It is worth the read!

Are you running in circles?   Grabbing fast-food for supper because you haven’t gotten to the grocery store?

Behind on the laundry?  Didn’t get around to cleaning the house – what is that??  Panicking already about the Holidays?

We have all been there!  I find myself in the rat-race trap occasionally, but there are 5 things that make a BIG difference in my life.  When I follow them, a more peaceful, stress-free life results.  Perhaps we could commit to follow these steps starting now.  Let’s see if the Holidays are more relaxing this year.  In fact, LIFE will be more relaxing!

With that said, let’s take a look!

PRIORITY #1:

Time Alone With God

This must be priority Number One!!  Whatever you do, guard your time with the Lord each day.  Would you leave your house without brushing your teeth?  What about without your coffee?  There are so many things that we do every morning.  Many of them are not vital to our lives, but we wouldn’t think of leaving them off.  However, when it comes to time alone with God, sometimes that is relegated to an optional activity.  I submit to you that we need to guard this over everything else!

Here are some hypothetical conversations you may need to have with yourself.  “No, I can’t put that load of laundry on until I spend some time with the Lord. ” “No, I can check those emails and Facebook later.  First, I need to spend time with the Lord. ” “No, I can’t sleep until _________.  I need to get up 30 minutes earlier to make sure I have my time with the Lord.”  “No, I am not going to look through that magazine first. It will have to wait until after my Quiet Time.”

There are so many distractions for us.  Nothing is more important or pressing than our time with God – FIRST!  I am not suggesting we get legalistic with it.  Instead, I am suggesting we treasure this time above all else.

For ideas on what to read, please see my post entitled, “Scripture- More Precious Than Silver.”

 

PRIORITY #2:

Plan, Plan, Plan

All of our best intentions don’t really matter, unless we do them.

  • Plan the menus for the week –

    This will take you 15 – 30 minutes.  Let me give you a suggestion.   Look into “Hello Fresh”!  I highly recommend them. The meals are delicious. They do the planning for you, shop for the fresh food, and then mail it to you on ice!   The simple to follow recipes  are included. In less than 30 minutes, you have a delicious homemade meal on the table for your family.  I have used them for months and truly recommend them.    Use this code to get a discount on your first order. https://www.hellofresh.com/?c=2RNS84

  • Use a Daytimer to plan your day.

    Prioritize each task.  Make sure you do the most important tasks each day.  Remember, your time alone with God is Number 1!  Put it on your schedule.  Make a list of everything you want to accomplish for the day.  Next, number them in order of priority.  Write in all appointments, meetings, lunch engagements, etc.  Whatever goes undone can be moved to the next day.  For more help, see my post, “Top Tool for Getting Organized in 2018,”  https://jewelsoflife.org/top-tool-for-getting-organized-now-for-2018/

  • Schedule when you will put on a load of laundry each day.

    Fold the laundry as you take it out of the dryer – 10 minutes.  Don’t throw it on the counter or in a basket to fold later.  It will never happen!  Go ahead and take that basket of folded clothes to the room it belongs in and put it away.   I know!  This is the hardest part.  I am not always successful here either, but it is sooooo much better when I take the extra 10 minutes and put the clothes away!

    I love, Flylady.  If you haven’t visited her site before, by all means do it today.  She has wonderful tips on scheduling your             housecleaning chores.  I have been using her routines for several years. Her routines teach you to wipe up the bathrooms each day, do a load of laundry a day, keep your kitchen sink clutter free, and divide your house into zones to clean.  Her systematic approach helps keep your house tidy by doing little things each day.  I encourage you to visit her site and start her routines!

  • Plan for the Holidays Now.

  • Label a section in your planner – “Holidays”.  Check with family members on sizes and record them in your planner.  Jot down ideas  of gifts and pick them up as you see them on sale.
  • Think about menus for the Holidays early.  Shop for ingredients early and have them in the cupboard when you begin your baking.
  • Flylady, suggests having all the gifts wrapped and under the tree by December 1.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be finished by then and just focus on the coming of Christ and enjoying the season?

PRIORITY #3:

Declutter Something Everyday 

Make a plan to tackle the clutter.  Flylady suggests spending 15 minutes at a time.  Do this once or twice a day.  Throw out most of it.  Give some away or take it to the thrift store.  Getting rid of the excess stuff, means there is less to clean and store.  Go ahead and bless someone else with your excess.  I am not really into yard sales, but some of you are.  Plan the big day, and make a little extra money with the stuff cluttering up your home.

PRIORITY #4:

Prioritize Your Commitments

This goes hand in hand with your calendar.  We have established that our relationship and time with the Lord are the first priority in our lives.  Therefore, that relationship comes first.  Time with God is a priority.  Schedule your Bible reading and quiet time with Him for the first part of your day.

If you are married, your husband and family are next.  Does your husband need you to run an errand for him?  Would he like to come home to a home cooked meal?  Does he enjoy a clean house over a disaster of a house?  Plan to meet his needs the best you can.  We all have crazy days occasionally and sometimes, we can’t get it all done.  Sometimes, we just need to order a pizza.  I do too!  But as a general rule, make your calling as a help mate a priority.  As mothers, our children are the jewels in our lives and God has chosen us to pour our lives into theirs.  Cherish the years you have them at home to nurture, to teach the ways of the Lord. to love and shape their lives.  Don’t clutter up your schedule so much that there is no time for family.

I believe as Christians, that the church is next.  For now, let’s just say that God has gifted each of us to serve the body of Christ.  Find your place of service among the believers in your local church.   We are all in different stages of life and therefore our time and commitment vary.  You determine what you can do now; in your current stage of life.  By all means, get involved.  God has called all of us to make disciples, to love each other, and to build each other up, for His Glory.

PRIORITY #5:

Work Your Plan

Obviously, the only way to reap results from a well scheduled life is to work the plan!  Stick with your calendar.  Stay with those priorities you set.  Before you know it, these things will become second nature to you.  You will find yourself following the routines you have established automatically.

Yes, there will be days when you have “Divine Overrides” to your schedule!  Doctor’s visits, babysitting grandchildren, company, appointments, meetings, etc.   We all have things happen each day that we didn’t plan for.  Don’t let it throw you.  Just reschedule your priorities.  Shift things around a little in your week.  Maybe EVERYTHING you planned will not happen, but you will be surprised at what all you WILL accomplish.

Use these priorities and shine like the beautiful diamond pictured at the top of the page.  You can do it!

Until next time!

Blessings,

Julie


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