Whenever I look around, there is always more to be done than can possibly be done in the time allotted.
Do I do dishes, laundry, bills, sort papers, clean floors, exercise . . . .
Well you know I could go on and on.
I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you how to make an organized schedule–that’s not me and if you have any tips in that direction I’ll take them!
But my point is that we can’t do everything.
So sometimes we have to decide what the best thing is. I remember a priest saying in a talk to women, that just because something is a good thing, doesn’t mean its the right thing for us. Just because something is good to do, it doesn’t mean its best for us.
So the question isn’t, “Is it good?” The question is, “Is it the best?”
For example, last March there was a one day women’s retreat close by and I knew a lot of people who were going. In fact, two of my closest friends were going. Now, wouldn’t I love to go spend a day with my closest friends growing in my faith? Yes, definitely.
But, for a variety of reasons, I’d been away from home a lot and I knew I had a weekend retreat coming in a month. For me to spend a day away from home again? It didn’t seem like the right fit for my family. So I said no. I said no to something that would be fun and faith-filled . . .because it wasn’t the best thing for me and my family.
My friend Nancy is really good at this. Through experience and discernment, she knows what she needs to get done when to make her schedule work for the week. If we’re making plans for a girls get together, she might say, “I can’t do it then. I’ve got to grocery shop during that time.”
I once had a friend reschedule a lunch with me because after looking at her schedule for that week, she knew she had to use that time to shop for an upcoming kids party.
The discipline and foresight of these women stand out to me because this is where I still need work. A chance to get together with friends? The schedule be darned!
But we all need discernment.
Look, what works for you doesn’t necessarily work for me because of my family life, my upcoming events, my temperament. . .so maybe my friends can say yes to the retreat, but I need to say no to this good thing because in my case, its not the best thing.
How do we discern? Here are some of my thoughts:
- Pray about it. Do you have peace thinking about doing it?
- Ask your husband. His opinion might put things in perspective.
- Ask yourself some basic questions. How will this affect me? How will this affect my family? Will it be any big deal to put off what I was planning on doing with that time? Am I putting an unnecessary burden on someone else to be able to do this?
- Consider what part of your desire to do it is because it’d be fun or nice not because it actually makes sense for you or your family.
Time management is a constant struggle. I’m still learning but through what I’ve learned so far, I know sometimes I have to say no to the good so I can do what’s best.