I don't know much about country music, but recently the lyrics of a Johnny Cash song have sung within me as I navigate the increasing demands of work. It's not necessarily the song's words or meaning, but the conviction in Cash's voice that has been lending me strength and confidence. See, lately it feels like the world is pulling at me. I seem to be in high demand these days, and a resource for many. This isn't a bad thing but in the midst of a busy season, I've been learning to recognize when to say "no" to assignments that aren't mine. I'm learning to stay in my own lane even when the lane next to me is in flames...or when others think it's in flames. I'm learning to say "that's not
my fire" when people want me to jump in the fire with them. And I'm learning to do this with the assurance that God has called me to steward only what is in front of me, not what is in front of others.
The truth is, the world will always try to pull us in different directions, and people will always ask us to take on more than we can handle. We have a natural desire to help, but as stewards of our own time, energy, and responsibilities, we need to learn how to prioritize our tasks and responsibilities. Knowing what to say "yes" to and what to say "no" to is crucial for managing our priorities effectively.
It's important to trust God not only with our "yes," but also with our "no." We're not called to jump through everyone else's fires, but to manage our own. By doing so, we can be better stewards of our time, make a bigger impact in the areas where we're called to serve, and experience more peace and fulfillment in our lives.
This year, I've been more intentional with how I manage my priorities. Here are 3 things I do to stay focused and not get distracted throughout the day:
Write down a priority list for the day before you begin work. This will help you focus on those tasks first and stay focused.
Begin the day by reading a chapter in Proverbs and selecting one verse to meditate on throughout the day.
Write a gratitude list. Studies show that people who start their day with a gratitude list are more productive and accomplish more than those who don't. Grab a journal and thank God for 10 things in your life.
Bonus- Pray. Starting your morning with worship and prayer will allow you to place God first in your day and give you the space to hear Him throughout the day.
"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way" - Psalm 37:23
As we begin this new week, take a moment to intentionally consider your assignments. What priorities do you need to manage better? What tasks or responsibilities should you be saying "no" to? How can you delight in God's way this week? By aligning yourself with God first, you can focus on what matters most.
If you want to spend intentional time sitting with the Lord and planning what's important for your year, grab the Reimagine 2023 journal! Filled with journal prompts and devotionals, this journal will help you to see clearly what you want to focus on this year!