Focus on Priorities

focus-on-prioritiesLife can become very full very fast. If we first block off time for who and what is most important in our lives, it can actually free us up to really focus on all the rest.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”—Matthew 6:33 NLT

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Joe Gibbs, threetime Super Bowl championship coach and three-time NASCAR championship team owner. You could say that Joe leads a very active life—one full of things to do and people to see, whether he’s on the racetrack or on the football field.

One day I got a glimpse into one of the rules Joe lives by. It’s something he commits to only after time spent in a personal relationship with God, through prayer and reading his Bible.

And that’s his family time. I’ll refer to it as “Pat’s time.” As with all busy executives or famous people, in order to get on Joe’s schedule, you have to go through his personal assistant, and you have to want him on a date not already marked out as “Pat’s time.”

What’s “Pat’s time”? Pat is Joe’s wife. As I mentioned earlier, first is Joe’s time with God, second comes his time with family. Everything else comes after those first two. Many people may know Joe as a religious man. Well, I can tell you, he’s also religious about Pat’s time. It’s as simple as that. If you want him for something, at best you will be third in line.

The first thing for our soul’s health, the first thing for His glory, and the first thing for our own usefulness, is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus.

— Charles Spurgeon

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?

— Elbert Hubbard

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

— Stephen Covey

You’ve got to respect a man who lives by simple rules and is so true to his convictions. No matter how busy life gets for this world-renowned coach and leader, he has his priorities straight. He chooses to set aside time for what’s truly important in his life and in a particular order he feels is most appropriate.

Do you have an order for the priorities in your life, or is everything in competition with each other? Are you so caught up in what’s next that you have forgotten the person next to you?

Choose to carve out some “Pat’s time” in your life (whatever this may mean for you). You may find that it’s simply the best time of your life.

David Zerfoss

A leader with an innate talent to touch, move, and inspire others, David Zerfoss lives his purpose of "empowering others to create powerful futures." He leads the Zerfoss Group, which consults with think tanks, major corporations, and entrepreneurs. As an executive-in-residence at Queens University McColl School of Business in Charlotte, North Carolina, he enjoys sharing transformational thinking and leadership insights with aspiring MBA and executive MBA students.

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