Spirituality Information

First Things First-- Balancing Your Priorities!


I'm not sure Paul had the Japanese culture in mind at the time when he writes, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you." I'm not sure how much popularity the bible has in Japan today either. Yet, it seems as though the Japanese people have at least one biblical principle figured out. In the book, "First Things First", Steven Covey helps us understand how and why the Japanese people think how they do and accomplish so much more than American's in a same twenty-four hour period. Covey explains, that we can divide all our daily tasks into two main areas of our lives. One area is the Important/Urgent-NOT Urgent area and the second consists of tasks in the NOT Important/NOT Urgent area.

In the last twenty years Corporate America has marveled at the efficiency and productivity of the Japanese worker. So we decided to study their behaviors. Over time researchers have come to this conclusion that boils down to one basic principle, the "80/20 rule" in life. They found that the Japanese spend eighty percent of all their time on tasks that are Important/Urgent to NOT urgent and twenty percent of their time on tasks that fall into the Not Important/Not Urgent at all area. In other words they determine what daily tasks are important by lining them up with their priorities. Then they will spend the majority of their time focusing on those tasks at hand and less time on less significant areas. Researchers have also studied the behaviors of Americans, and in contrast they have found the opposite thinking holds true. Americans spend eighty percent of their time in the Urgent/ NOT so important issues and twenty percent of their time in the important areas. In other words, we spend most of our time on urgent things that don't necessarily line up with our priorities and take up a lot or most of our time and emotional energy.

In the bible this principle can be illustrated by looking at the relationship between Jesus and the disciples. Jesus spent some time with all of them teaching and leading them, and then their were only two or three that were in his inner circle that he spent most of his time with that went out and taught others more. The point is, Jesus would not have been as effective if he tried to talk with everybody all the time so he prioritized his time and efforts with his priorities. His priority was to teach the disciples so they could teach others. Yes, Jesus had questions for God on top of struggles all through out his life. Yet, he sought after the kingdom of God first and fought through the small bumps of life.

If we look at each one of our lives right now we may find that there are similarities between our spiritual lives and our day-to-day life. Ask yourself, are you spending most of your time in less significant areas and not in the areas that line up with your priorities? Or in in another way ask, are the things I am doing everyday filling me up spiritually and giving me meaning in life? If not then look at the 80/20 rule in your life. What priorities are you seeking first? Are they in the Important or are they the urgent?

The amazing thing that occurs when keeping first things first is this. If you first make a list of your tasks and categorize them either I for important or U for urgent. Then focus all your energy on the "I" list you will find that it will seem as though the Urgent tasks on your list will take care of them selves. The next thing you will realize is that you will have more time to devote to what matters most to you in your life and that will give your life more meaning and significance. Try this you will be amazed at the power our Lord.

I'm not sure Paul had the Japanese culture in mind at the time when he writes, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you." I'm not sure how much popularity the bible has in Japan today either. Yet, it seems as though the Japanese people have at least one biblical principle figured out. In the book, "First Things First", Steven Covey helps us understand how and why the Japanese people think how they do and accomplish so much more than American's in a same twenty-four hour period. Covey explains, that we can divide all our daily tasks into two main areas of our lives. One area is the Important/Urgent-NOT Urgent area and the second consists of tasks in the NOT Important/NOT Urgent area.

In the last twenty years Corporate America has marveled at the efficiency and productivity of the Japanese worker. So we decided to study their behaviors. Over time researchers have come to this conclusion that boils down to one basic principle, the "80/20 rule" in life. They found that the Japanese spend eighty percent of all their time on tasks that are Important/Urgent to NOT urgent and twenty percent of their time on tasks that fall into the Not Important/Not Urgent at all area. In other words they determine what daily tasks are important by lining them up with their priorities. Then they will spend the majority of their time focusing on those tasks at hand and less time on less significant areas. Researchers have also studied the behaviors of Americans, and in contrast they have found the opposite thinking holds true. Americans spend eighty percent of their time in the Urgent/ NOT so important issues and twenty percent of their time in the important areas. In other words, we spend most of our time on urgent things that don't necessarily line up with our priorities and take up a lot or most of our time and emotional energy.

In the bible this principle can be illustrated by looking at the relationship between Jesus and the disciples. Jesus spent some time with all of them teaching and leading them, and then their were only two or three that were in his inner circle that he spent most of his time with that went out and taught others more. The point is, Jesus would not have been as effective if he tried to talk with everybody all the time so he prioritized his time and efforts with his priorities. His priority was to teach the disciples so they could teach others. Yes, Jesus had questions for God on top of struggles all through out his life. Yet, he sought after the kingdom of God first and fought through the small bumps of life.

If we look at each one of our lives right now we may find that there are similarities between our spiritual lives and our day-to-day life. Ask yourself, are you spending most of your time in less significant areas and not in the areas that line up with your priorities? Or in in another way ask, are the things I am doing everyday filling me up spiritually and giving me meaning in life? If not then look at the 80/20 rule in your life. What priorities are you seeking first? Are they in the Important or are they the urgent?

The amazing thing that occurs when keeping first things first is this. If you first make a list of your tasks and categorize them either I for important or U for urgent. Then focus all your energy on the "I" list you will find that it will seem as though the Urgent tasks on your list will take care of them selves. The next thing you will realize is that you will have more time to devote to what matters most to you in your life and that will give your life more meaning and significance. Try this you will be amazed at the power our Lord.

Greg Ryan is a best selling author of the Changing from the INSIDE OUT series. A powerful five step plan to better your life, get healthier, and have more energy! For FREE mini Course click here! http://www.resolutions.bz


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