Paideia Tribune

Thinkers Engaging Solutions Nationwide


Shifting Priorities to Maximize a 24-Hour Day

2018-11-01 Eric and Sharla JohnsonEMOTIONAL

AMAZING LOVE, Healing, Hope & Happiness – Love desperately demands our attention. “Never fail to love because love never fails,” is a sentiment saturated in sincerity.

The cares of life can consume our thoughts, wear us down and steal our time. Time management is equally as important as guarding the heart and mind. Otherwise, life robs individuals of what matters most.

Getting overwhelmed and preoccupied with mismanaged priorities comes with the territory of trying to accomplish too much at the same time.

There are only 24 hours in a day, and time taken away from one thing can never be transferred to another.

You can’t recover lost time.

This is why conducting a personal study of time usage is important. How are you using the 24 hours of your day?

Simply put, where does your time go? Who gets all your attention? What do you invest the best of yourself into? Why do you spend your time the way you do? When do you make time for the things that matter most to you?

Time flies.

Before I even noticed, I’d created a habit of spending too much time away from home.

By and large, I found myself fulfilling major accomplishments, but I was guilty of neglecting the people and things that matter most.

By the end of each 24-hour day, my heart was broken. I failed to spend quality time with the love of my life.

How could I expect the most important person in my life take a back seat to everything else? The forces of this world will steal, kill and destroy your destiny if you don’t make time conscious decisions.

Society has a way of celebrating ambitious go-getters and undermining simplicity, contentment, and quality time. As a result, the importance of nourishing healthy relationships is devalued in our society.

Everyone needs a priority list. For me, it’s God, family, friends, church, work and then community. In reality, I’m guilty of recently altering that list.

My finances, health and problem of the day, recently redirected my focus.

Unexpected circumstances are destined to distract individuals from scheduled priorities. When distractions take precedence, your love life suffers.

Here’s how my 24-hour day looked; I slept 8 hours, hygiene consumed 1 hour, 3 hours of my day was spent during meal times, I worked 8 hours, travel time took 2 hours, 1 hour was spent cleaning, and nightly news drained the final hour of my day.

What’s wrong with this picture?

What happened to all the priorities I claimed to have? My days disregarded dedicated time for prayer, no carved out time for my spouse, family or friends, church had limited requirements, and community seldom fit into my routine.

Work was the only thing on my priority list that secured my attention, and perhaps that’s because wages were involved.

Like I said, time flies.

After 30 days of dating, Eric proposed. On the 60th day of our relationship we exchanged vows. It’s going on four years since I married the love of my life. We’ve both been committed to God and ministry since childhood.

Together, we started Johnson and Johnson Ministries and The Amazing Love Fellowship.

We also shared a life as prayer partners since marriage. We set aside time to enjoy one meal together and a weekly date night. We recently relocated over 2000 miles away from our home state.

We celebrated the matrimony of our oldest daughter in June. In September, we buried her newlywed husband. Our hearts were broken, and our saving account suffered.

Afterward, we became distracted by stress and the need to earn more money. I started working for an online delivery company.

The work is draining, but I remained focused on making quick cash. I managed to inconsistently squeeze in a little time for God, my husband, son and sometimes a friend here and there.

It seemed there wasn’t much time for love.

I’d completely abandoned my priorities – my main concerns shifted to working, eating and soaking. Perhaps you understand my choices, but when you love someone you carve, create and commit to spending time with them.

You’ll text a quick note or pick up the phone just to hear their voice.

Showing love is not really that hard – love requires attention – it thrives and survives because of it. The people I love were missing me and I was missing them. God was definitely missing our prayers.

My relationships suffered because I tried to micro-manage details that had nothing to do with my priorities.

I feared our finances diminishing. Instead of having faith, I cashed in the importance of protecting my heart, mind and time.

My wonderful husband, Eric, broke the downward spiraling cycle that I created. “Things may be tight,” he surprisingly said. “But we are going on a date today.”

He was concerned that we had not spent any quality together in weeks.

Eric found a way to make it happen. This helped me to realize that I needed to stop chasing money. Now, I chase love.

I refocused and returned to my original priority. Doors opened and our finances recovered. It’s a lesson learned. As a result, I see the importance of honoring priorities.

Many people long for a dream wedding, a fairytale honeymoon and a happy ending, but this can only happen when couples make love their priority.

Remember, in order to experience love, you have to be available to receive it, and make it your priority to give it.

Schedule time for love.