Monday, 28 August 2017

Perfect Priorities

by Josephine-Anne Griffiths

When I first agreed to write today’s Blog post, I had something totally different in mind. However, the good Lord always seems to have other ideas and plans for me. As I was somewhat time-poor at the time of writing this, I decided to draw upon something I’d written in the past. My post from two years ago, initially posted on my old Webnode blog contains quite a few points relevant to this topic. If you’d like to refresh your memory, click on this link: Running on Empty

Hmm, priorities! I don’t just take on too many tasks in my private life, I also manage to do this with both reading and writing tasks. I have even managed to throw a couple of editing jobs into the mix … just because I can.

I don’t seem to have learnt how to simply say ‘No!’
But, didn’t you know I’m a jet? I love to multitask! … ahem.
The oxymoron ‘You must be empty to be full’ was explained in my post ‘Running on Empty', but in case you’d rather not reread it, it equates to this. When our hearts and minds are cluttered with so much junk, we are unable to focus on the important tasks at hand. We need to stay still for a while, sort through the less important stuff, and the unimportant nonsense, and just let it float away. Those things will still be around another day, and perhaps be more relevant then, or if we are lucky they won’t matter at all anymore. Once our tank is empty of nonsense, we can refill and regain energy to do what must be done.

When my manuscript (first draft) disappeared into cyberspace, I thought the world had come to an end. Then I decided to put any plans to rewrite it away for a while. Now wouldn’t you think this would give me a lot more time to play with? Yes of course it did, but I’ve managed to fill this time with ‘other obligations’ … ceasing to ever say ‘No!’.

It could be the manic side of me rearing its ugly head, however, I think not. I’ve got something to say, so listen carefully.

‘I am a Professional People Pleaser’ (PPP)
Now he has his priorities in place.

The problem is I’m pleasing most other people without any thought or regard for what I need. Right now, I need a better system. I have a paper diary, a wall calendar (so HoneyBun knows what I am up to), and my diary on my smartphone. But even with all these tools I still cannot remember what I’ve promised, what appointments I must keep, or even what I was going to buy to prepare that night’s dinner.

So why ‘perfect prioritisation’? Well, it may not be perfect as very few things are, but it will be perfect for me once I’ve finished tinkering with it. The calendar and diaries must stay (there’s a wee bit of OCD here), however, I have come to the realisation that I need to add something to my repertoire, something more immediately visual, and something that gives me more of an overview of the whole week. Introducing ... the weekly planner! ( either bought or homemade) ... Dada!! I desperately need to clean up my act, and I am hoping like mad that this plan will work.

I believe that whether we are working within an office environment outside of the home, on a building site, or indeed writing from home, a solid plan is necessary. Of course, there always needs to be room to move within the plan, considering unforeseen happenings, but I seem to have lost the ability to efficiently organise myself (Perfectly Prioritise). Maybe when I left my paid job four years ago I thought I didn’t need to be so orderly. Well if that’s the case, it’s not working, is it?
Just wondering if this is overkill??

Priority for this week: Make or buy a weekly planner, gather up all my pretty, colourful markers (ahem), and spend time thoughtfully reflecting upon everything I do throughout each day (and that would include time spent on social media, like Facebook and other equally important sites *wink*).

What about you? Are you running on empty? Is it sometimes okay to do that? How does lack of planning impact your writing? Do you have any suggestions or plans that work for you? How do you motivate yourself out of a corner that is filled with 'must dos'? I would love to hear from you.


Jo’Anne (aka PPP)


  1. Great post Jo'Anne. Definitely agree that we need to cut back often - only too easy to get bogged down with too much to do isn't it? I love the word 'No' and say it often! :) That's the way to do it. I've discovered that's the only way to guard my inner life and my outer life too. I find that the Outlook calendar has everything I need for prioritising because it reminds me at the start of each day (and even the day before) of what needs to be done. Loved your pictures Jo'Anne. So apt and especially love Pooh Bear! Over the last 10 years or so, God has been wooing me into a different life from what I had before. It hasn't been easy following His lead but it has paid rich dividends. It means that I constantly focus on what I believe is important and do away with the fluff. It doesn't mean I've got it right of course and sometimes I wonder if I'm being selfish. But - if I am to pursue God (and that's the crux of it) I find I have to constantly say no to the unimportant in order to have a life that is often 'still' before Him and led by Him. Not easy is it? God bless you Jo'Anne and well done on listening to that still small voice. Loved your post!

    1. Thank you Anusha. I agree with everything that you mention here. Yes, the fluff can be difficult to avoid sometimes. I think I might take up using the Outlook calendar and see how I go ... I'll probably still need to print out a weekly spread of it and place it on the fridge though.
      Thank you for you kind and wise comments. God bless you too!

  2. All the best with that weekly planner...
    I left my paid job just over a year ago. We have moved to a new area and I am muddling my way through life in need of a better plan as well Jo'Anne. Plan-lessness (new word??) leaves me a bit anxious for the days ahead.
    Recently I have been operating with a deadline-shoot-from-the-hip sort of plan. You know the one, the visitors will be here in three is amazing how you can clean the house and cook in that time frame!!

    Yesterday I was reading a few passages reminding me to live 'in' today by walking in love and being faithful. So that is how my plan for this week is going to start out.

    Trusting God to keep me ordered and following His plan for today! I am hopeful to be less anxious and to enjoy today!
    Be thinking of you this week Jo'Anne as you work with your weekly planner.

    1. Thanks Di :)
      Oh yes, I know how that 'shoot-from-the-hip' plan works. I know it so well. I seem to be doing everything that way lately. I haven't been able to set up my planner as yet, as Leon isn't well, and just this morning he went to hospital in an ambulance. However I'm thinking now that Anusha's Outlook calendar could work for me if I print out each week on the Sunday night ... God bless you as you settle in the new area. I know it can often take longer than 12 months to resettle, and leaving your paid job is enormous. All the best with adjusting, and watch out that all the hip-action doesn't dislocate something :-D

  3. Thanks Jo'Anne. It's very easy to let urgent but lower priorities invade and oppress the important stuff. Here's a link to a Joanna Penn seminar on getting organised as a writer. Now if only I had time to watch the whole thing ... :D

    1. Thank you so much Sue :-)
      I shall take a look at this as soon as I get some more time :-D I like Joanna Penn, but I'm not sure whether I've watched this one or not. Anyway with my terrible memory, I should even watch it again :-D

  4. Don't be too hard on yourself Jo. Yes having and trying to stick with plans is helpful but don't let the important things in life slip by. Just learn to juggle a bit more. :)

  5. Nice weekly planner, Jo'Anne. I so get where you're coming from. Even when we know our people pleasing tendencies, it sometimes takes an overloaded schedule to realise it's crept up on us again.

    1. Thank you Paula :-)
      I keep going through the motions of decluttering and reorganising, but I really do love to please people. My schedule is so overloaded at the moment, that I almost wish someone would come and kidnap me, and take me to a deserted island ... no phones, computers, TVs etc.
      God bless xo