Sometimes the more you work, the less you get.
If you’ve ever felt so exhausted you don’t have any energy left to do the things that would fill you back up, you wouldn’t be alone.
I often wonder how much of the nuclear family’s limited time, energy and resources are gobbled up making everything fit into individual bite-sized meals, grocery runs, laundry, errands, chores, educational events, and special activities leaving nothing left to nourish vital friendships because everybody else is now working harder for the same individual bite-sized slices of life. It’s easy to feel trapped in an endless cycle of diminishing returns. But what if — what if we could make a better investment with our daily sweat, blood, and tears?
For the last month, a family friend and I, with whom we have kids of similar ages, began a “crazy” experiment to address some of these issues. The idea was to see if there would be any mutual benefit in doing our school time together as two families working as one.
There’s Only One
The term priorities, with an ‘s’ on the end, is self-contradictory.
If something is a priority, it is the most important thing. When we have two or more items defined as the most important, it doesn’t elevate their importance. It does the opposite. We no longer know which one is more important and it’s confusing, overwhelming and wastes far too many resources. Like a top heavy Jenga puzzle, more stuff piled on top guarantees it’ll come crashing down.
When a priority competes with another priority, it loses all of its power — the power of clarity.
When you know what’s most important, you don’t have to ask needless questions. You reduce decision fatigue. You focus your energy. You can move forward in confidence giving your full attention to what’s in front of you. You already decided to focus on the most important.
But it only happens if we do the hard work of deciding the priority in life right now. If we had to choose only one, forsaking all others, what would endure and retain its value?