The Pareto Principle tells us about setting priorities. It basically says 20% of the work produces 80% of the results. The problem is it can be hard to find which 80% of the work needs to go and which 20% needs to stay. When we plan our days, we need to make sure the important things are scheduled first and then we can fill in the rest of the time with the other tasks. Take care of the big stuff so the small stuff can still get done.
This principle was illustrated in the book by this video. Take a moment to watch it.
When you take a look at the life Jesus lived, you can see he prioritized his time. From the perspective of others, it appeared Jesus would just up and leave for no clear reason. This happened on several occasions. He wasn’t doing it willy-nilly, he was following his schedule.
When I plan my day, I take a look at my calendar to see what meetings I have scheduled for the day. I will go over what needs to happen that day and decide a time I want to be done for the day. I try to put a hard stop down for my time away from my family. There are some ancillary things that can be accomplished after the kids go to bed but I trade that off with making time to see my family during the day (I know not everyone can do this and I went a long time not being able to so I take advantage of it). The rest of my time is filled with the tiny things of the day.
My day is a balance of others and myself. I tend to find the balance very quickly as the day progresses. I always build in time to sit back and pay attention to thing happening around me so I can discern my next steps. God may be prompting me to do something but if I’m too busy, I will miss it.
There are things in my world that only I can do. No one else. No one else can make the connections I want to make for The Oak House. No one else can set the tone for what The Oak House will be. No one else can be a husband to my wife. No one else can be a father to my kids. Those are the things I prioritize for my day. Almost all the rest can be delegated and supervised. Of all the things I do during my day, I get the most results, and the most fulfillment, from being the architect of The Oak House (operating in the clouds) and being there for my family.
As I work through my next book for the year (#18 unless I finish another one beforehand), I will be journaling my answers to the book “Habitudes: Images that form leadership habits & attitudes”. This particular book is the 3rd in the series. You can read the other posts in this series here.