It is the holidays and I couldn’t be any less industrious. I sleep 12 hours a day and eat and nap most of the remaining 12 hours of the day. With no lectures, no assignments and no exams to worry about, I pretty much have nothing else to do.
As a student, my academics are probably the most important thing on my schedule. As a bread winner for the family, making money is probably the most important thing on my schedule. As a parent, raising my children well is probably the most important thing on my schedule; heck, it doesn’t leave my schedule! As a company president, leading the company to success, whatever our definition of success is, is probably the most important thing on my schedule.
But just because the preponderant aspect of our context often determines our number one priority doesn’t mean that there are no second and third priorities. Thinking this way often has us in a trap that as long as we satisfy the demands of our “most important purpose on earth” we have no purpose and therefore can do whatever we want with our “spare time”.
As a student, I am prone to the notion that the holidays are a time to waste: binge eating, binge drinking, binge entertainment and anything but a purpose driven existence because I checked off the requirements of my most important obligation; to pass the papers. Fortunately, I still have a family and friends to spend quality time with, a career I can build outside of the exam room and even opportunities to make a livelihood before I graduate. But no, those things don’t seem to be of any importance as long as the most important thing is the only important thing.
This is what I suggest, that we all take off some time to draw up a list of things important to us beginning with the most important to the least important; then make lists of things we can do to improve ourselves in each of these areas beginning with what promises to be of highest yield followed by what may be of less yield and so on. Then finally, accord a portion of time to each of these things according to their rank of importance with what is most important receiving the most of our time and what is of lesser importance receiving less of our time. Do this with the practicality of your context. For example, you may give less time to connecting with friends and family during the semester than you would during the semester but yet you will always commit some time to it be it during or outside the semester.
By doing this, everything that is important to you receives it’s fair share of your attention no matter the circumstances. However, don’t make a list of things important to you too big because whereas everything is important to someone somewhere, not everything is important to you.
Featured Image: To-do list on refrigerator