News of Stephen Covey’s death this past Monday took me back to a world I don’t think about often: Corporate America. At my first “real” job with a pharmaceutical company, Covey’s bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, filled storage closets and was dispensed freely to those of us on the management track. I read it, digested it, and put it into action. And eventually…I forgot about it.
The news of his death inspired me to dig out his book and refresh my memory. I immediately zoned in on Habit #3 – Put First Things First – because this is one that I’ve let slide lately. With the renovations going on over at our new house and our upcoming move, our lives have lost all sense of order. While I know this situation is only temporary, I don’t like how I’ve had to let the truly important things (being a kind, loving, patient, caring wife and a dedicated, thoughtful, inspired writer) fall by the wayside in order to handle all of the urgent matters that keep popping up. It has felt like every time I fix a problem, another few spring up instantly. Upon realising the AC unit at the new house had broken, we found an AC repair company who came and fixed it (similar to Green Horizon – you can find more information about Green Horizon One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning here.) Problem solved. But then an electrician puts his foot through our ceiling again, the new tile floor in the guest bathroom is laid so unevenly you’d probably stub your toe on your way to the toilet, and a shipment of bi-fold closet doors arrive that were all the wrong style despite my personal visit to the millwork company where they’re made. Rather than having the time and energy for dinner dates, movies, blogging, and writing, I’ve been scrambling all over town to find the perfect backsplash tile and secure the right size recessed lights. Sometimes I do wish we’d picked a house that didn’t need so much work doing to it. Every time that I see this or something similar, I can’t help but be envious of the houses and that leads me to think that we made the wrong decision. I have to remind myself that once it is all finished, it will be worth it.
All of the focus on these renovation demands – and the lack of focus on the truly important things – has left me feeling stressed and burnt out (which, coincidentally, is how I often felt in Corporate America). I’m thankful that this situation is temporary because I don’t like being back here, in a place where my writing and my hubby are shoved aside because of problems, deadlines, and pressing priorities. I hate feeling this way, and even though these deadlines and priorities are stressful, I still want to complete these tasks to the best of my ability. It even got to the point where someone I knew told me that I should consider taking something similar to this black diamond strain to help me get relief from the stressful situations that I find myself in. It just feels like it’s taking over my life at the minute, but the only good reminder that I have about all of this is that it’s only temporary. And I’m grateful for this important reminder about how I want my life to be.
I suppose for the next few weeks all I can do is balance everything to the best of my ability and keep my eye on the prize: a new home where Dave and I can get back to putting first things first.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities.”
– Stephen Covey
What are your priorities?