Fellow former procrastinators, you may have a backpack, briefcase or tote bag, but we’re all loading up for fall activities. Our tendency to delay makes it easy to grab ‘n go. Instead, let’s pause to deliberately make sure we have the vital things with us.
Grab your “toter” and dump it out before packing new things in. Throw away old papers, gum, lifeless rubber bands, and pens that don’t write. Turn that thing over and shake out the crud. It’s important to take care of the crumbs – discard all we can and tend to things left undone. No need to carry old leftovers around that weigh us down.
Now it’s time to pack. There are three critical things we should carry in our bag – priorities, routine, and margin.
Priorities – We define priorities for the year to help us know what to take on. (“Priorities and Activities” August 16, 2017). Defining priorities also helps us know how to approach what we do take on. (“Maximizing Activities” August 21, 2017)
What are your priorities? Daily quiet time with the Lord? Reading together as a family? Prepare for a mission trip – learn a bit of another language, study a culture? Take a project manager course?
Routines – These are the procedures we put in place to help us accomplish the most important things. They are the bowling bumpers that help us avoid the gutter so our ball stays in the lane and we knock out the priority pins. (“The Bumper Theme” January 9, 2017)
What routines will you establish? Get up early to meet with God? Scripture memory at lunch with the kids? Professional reading Tuesday and Thursday evenings? Third Mondays coffee with Susie?
Margin – This is how we guard against overload for ourselves and the family. We build in extra time for accomplishing tasks and we safeguard time that is unplanned. We set ourselves up to be calm and not rushed, to be rested, thoughtful, joyful. (See the blog series on rest and margin beginning with “Plumb Tuckered out?” February 22. 2016)
Do you have the time space to worship God? Get a full night’s rest? Recognize and think through issues? Enjoy what you’re doing? Ponder ideas? Just hang out? Nurture or develop friendships? Read?
There is overlap among these three things. We might consciously make routine a priority so we don’t lose other priorities. We build margin into routine.
When we dash around headed for the next commitment, it’s easy to come up shorthanded. We scramble, searching for what we lack. We scramble struggling to catch up from behind. This is avoidable. We can be equipped to carry what God calls us to. If we think ahead, we can make sure we first have in our backpack or briefcase these three things: priorities, routine, margin.
Don’t leave home – or stay home – without ‘em!
Have you packed priorities, routine, and margin in your backpack or briefcase this fall?