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Priority Pyramid & a Printable

"You can do anything but not everything."
~ David Allen

I wear many hats...wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, nurse, coach, maid...I could go on, but I won't.  With so many hats to wear and requests coming from every direction, it's easy to get carried away and overwhelmed with activity and life.  Then there are things that I want to do for myself...believe it or not, they do exist.  How can I keep it all straight?  It's hard, and over time it may change.  I can do anything but not everything.  This week I finally organized my priorities.  The principles I learned in doing so can apply to your priorities in life as well as how you prioritize organizing your home.  Anything that needs prioritizing can be applied to this method and will give you a clear order in which to accomplish what needs to be done and to cut out what is unnecessary.
I read an article the other day {I'm really bummed that I cannot remember where so I can link it up} and it talked about how we approach our priorities.  Instead of listing them out or ranking them from top to bottom, this blogger approached her priorities as a pyramid.  The most important priorities listed at the bottom as the foundation and the less important priorities laid above to build structure and balance.  When thinking of a pyramid, the foundation is the widest {and represents the most time consuming} whereas the less important priorities get narrower {and should require less of our time}.  I loved this approach!  But wanted to dig a bit deeper.

Good ol' Google to the rescue.  I did a quick search for priority pyramid that led me to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a psychological theory that prioritizes a humans most basic needs.  That was great to know and all, but how did that connect to my own life's priorities?  The same principles applied.  Build upon the foundation of what is most important and the rest will fall into place.  It reminds me of scripture...

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well."
~ Matthew 6:33

Taking those principles, I did some soul searching and really thought about how best to spend my time.  It's something that I had been struggling with for a while, and especially since I began blogging.  I needed to get my priorities in order so that I could function to the best of my abilities and balance my life out.  Taking the time to do this would then help me to plan my days into how much of my time should to go to certain things.

The Priority Pyramid is made up of 10 layers.  The most important becomes your foundation and every other priority gets laid on top of that, all the way up to 10.  The lower the layer, the more time is required; the higher the layer, the less time is required.

For my own sanity, I began to apply these first to my life's priorities since that's what was on my heart.  I approached my life's priorities in terms of my relationship with...{fill in the priority}.  The first half was super easy and obvious, but the last half was a bit harder and really needed some thought.  Being the overachiever that I tend to be, listing out my life's priorities wasn't good enough.  I had to also list ways of fulfilling those priorities.  The words in yellow represent the most important actions I can take to maintain that relationship, followed by other action words to focus on.  As you can see, I didn't even have a 10th priority.  I guess you could say I was making room for margin in my life {really, I ran out of ideas}.

If the thought of prioritizing your life seems too large to wrap your head around right now, that's okay.  Taking baby steps is the key to achieving life's larger goals.  Start prioritizing something tangible, something you can see, arrange, organize.  I took the "home" layer and created a Priority Pyramid for that specific category using the same action words to fill in the pyramid.  As you can see, it didn't fill up the whole pyramid, and that's fine.  Don't feel like you must complete each layer.
Are you ready to take your priorities, run them through the wash and see how they come out?  Once you lay out your priorities, compare it to how you actually spend your time now.  It will likely look like a diamond or a snowflake {I know mine is majorly disfigured}.  Use that to shift your approach to the way you manage your time.  Getting caught up in the unnecessary is easy to do if your priorities are not in order.  Organizing your priorities is one gift that will make life more balanced and reveal what is truly important in the day to day. 

Have a go at your priorities!  Whether they be life, home, work or blogging, it's an investment of your time that will return discernment, peace and stability to the aspects of life that are most challenging.  Make sure to date your pyramid so you can look back on it to check yourself or restructure when new opportunities come your way.

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