Priority & Focus

I’ve been having focus issues. I have tried to work around them by making new schedules, changing which days we do school and which hours were my “office hours”.

I wasn’t hitting the root of the problem.

The answer hit me yesterday as to what is the source of my failure:


Better than that, as I have come to that conclusion many times, is the answer I came up with to fix my priority mismanagement. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before!

My main issue starts out as a good intention.

I don’t focus during my Bible study time in the morning until I get my blog post out there for the morning. I would just update it automatically, but I don’t have my post go live until 6:00 am each day, meaning I have to push the post myself each morning.

And then, in the midst of that “minute to post” I see an email, a message on Facebook, a tweet, a company requesting a review, the list goes on and on. Before I know it, the first part of my morning is gone, with no prayer or study to be had.

No shower, no made bed, no laundry, and kids waiting for instructions from a distracted mom.

I am a powerhouse on the weekend-with less emails coming through and less people online. I get all of my work done and then don’t feel guilty when I read a blog or peruse curriculum later. I see the value of my top priorities.

I need to keep my weekend mentality every day of the week.

God first. Others second. Self last.

The plan:

Schedule the next day’s post for the night before, 9:00 or so. That way I can use Buffer to have my tweets/ Facebook going before I do for the day.

I changed my Feedburner settings to send my emails earlier in the morning, I hated them going out at 10:30. I didn’t even know I could change it, but searched the idea and found a simple tutorial.

Tweet live with friends/read blogs/answer emails when school is over and lunch has been cleaned up. Office hours will coincide with quiet time for the kids at 1:00.

Save some time in the evening for last minute post review before they go live.

Follow the routine. {It shouldn’t be that hard!!!}

What have  done to keep your priorities in place, or do you struggle as well?


© 2012, Sam. All rights reserved.

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  1. says

    We are hashing throught the same stuff at our house. I spent the last few days sick with a sore throat too. Everything comes to a stand sitll. 2 things that have worked well for me are blogging while my little guy is in his speech class (I am enjoying the auto post feature), Bible work durring quiet time in the afternoon (little guy watches a bit of tv/a movie), and My husband gives me Wednesdays as a kid free work day for my boutique. The rest sort of falls in place around those. I deffinitely streatch myself a little thin at times though.

    You’ll have to let us know how the new priority system works out. Good intentions don’t always lead to success, I’m sure we have all been there!

    Michelle Morgan latest thoughts..Owl RollMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Sam,

    I can totally understand this, I feel some days I am so bogged down, it’s hard to know where to start! But I stop, take a deep breath and focus on what is important and necessary for that day. I always have my to do lists done and I try to stay on schedule as much as possible. The challenge is running the kids to activities so I have to be sure to plan time frames accordingly.

    sounds like you have a good plan going!

    Wishing you the best!!

    Jill latest thoughts..Starting a big backyard project!My Profile

  3. says

    I am proud of you!!

    And yes– I have been dealing with the same thing. It was one of the biggest things that I learned during my comment-free time.
    I love your new plan — and yes— taking advantage of the email delivery schedule in feedburner rocked my world when I learned about it. :)

    Praying for you!!
    Meredith latest thoughts..What I learned during my Comment-Free LentMy Profile

  4. says

    I can relate. Usually 6-8 is my morning quiet time – for coffee, email, FB, blogging and God. Sadly, not enough God and that is what I am working on changing. I typically do Bible with my ds, but I realize more and more I need my own bible study. Sunday School and bible time with the ds just aren’t enough.

    The main thing that distracts me during the day when kids are working is Words With Friends! The computer is always on and I access it a lot for school, so it is so hard to stay away!!

    Good luck with your new plan :)

  5. Joann says

    Great post and so true! This is for info or learning on my behalf. When your post is displayed, part of it is unreadable by a bar called digg digg. Not sure if I’m supposed to remove it or you need to move it to the left, so it is not covering your writing. Just wanted to let you know / learn. I encourage you to be faithful to Him first and everything He wants us to get done, usually does.

  6. says

    Oh boy! Do I ever!! I actually tried my hand at blogging a few years ago and noticed myself on the computer all the time. So, I gave it up. I constantly struggle with schedules, time management, and priority. A lot of times I’ve found that if I’m having problems focusing, it means I’ve got too many irons in the fire. Last fall a friend gave me a sewing machine. So what did I do? I put everything else on the back burner so I could teach myself how to sew. I learned a lot about sewing, but God said, “Sarah, you can sew later, right now, you need to spend time with ME, your children, and your husband.”
    Needless to say, I haven’t sewn a thing since December. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that struggles in this area and we do need accountability. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah Jordan latest thoughts..It is FINISHED!My Profile

  7. says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am struggling with the same issue. I can’t balance it all! I am losing track of everything. I can’t focus on anything. I am just ALL over the place, stressed out, and emotional. I, too, have been doing the extras before my bible time. I need to dig deeper and put HIM first again….even if that means I have to juggle baby girl while doing so.

    It has taken 4 kids to make me realize just how much I need MY quiet time to recharge (whether in prayer, meditation or by writing or running) I need quiet to calm my mind, nurture my spirit, sort things out and spend time with my Lord. But, honesty…some times it is so hard!!! My kids are all early risers. They are with me all day, every day. I love them and my life as a homeschool momma, but my quiet time often suffers.

    Do any of you have suggestions for building some “quiet” into the day? Thanks again for the post, Sam!

    • says

      If they are morning people, are they early to turn in for the night as well? Maybe you could carve some time in the evening.

      My kids do not get up early, and we are night owls. For me, I can get some quiet time in most mornings, and I do my workouts at 7 each evening when my husband can keep the kids busy.

      See if you can schedule in quiet time otherwise-we call a quiet time at 1 here each afternoon, and I get online stuff done then. Perhaps you could do your study while the kids read/color/rest.
      Sam Kelley latest thoughts..Priority & FocusMy Profile

  8. says

    Oh yes…you have LITERALLY taken the words and thoughts from my mind!!! (Except I don’t get much response to my blog and no review requests, so my blog doesn’t keep my busy like yours does). I have placed God and my alone time with Him on the backburner for so long that it’s no wonder at times I am absolutely spiritually empty. :( I am in the midst too of trying to gain focus back to my First Love–Jesus. When you wrote that you would get on the computer to post a blog and then check and email….and then you end up on some tangent you didn’t even mean to be on…been there done that like times 1000! It’s rather sad, and it breaks my heart and I become riddled with so much guilt.

    I will say a prayer for you that your week goes better, and that your priorites become as you purpose them to be! :) Hugs!
    Shannon latest thoughts..Faith-Filled Fridays: I’m Glad Wildflowers Don’t Last ForeverMy Profile