It’s All About Priorities

Many of us are rushing through life feeling frustrated.  We’re frustrated because we aren’t doing the things that mean the most to us. Or we’re not doing enough of the things that bring us joy and we’re doing too much of the things that don’t bring us joy at all.  (That’s how I feel when I have to spend my precious few free weekend hours doing housework or going to the grocery store!)  It’s still early in the New Year.  Maybe it’s time for us to look at our priorities and see if how we’re spending our time is in line with those priorities.  Try this exercise that I’ve adapted from  The Single Parent Resource by Brook Noel.

1.  First, number these areas in order of importance to you:

  • Family
  • Relationships, friends, social life
  • Emotional Health ( self-care, hobbies, etc.)
  • Physical Health ( exercise, healthy cooking, medical care, etc.)
  • Career/Work
  • Spirituality ( church, prayer, meditation, study, groups)
  • Other (anything else that is really important to you)

2.  Now design a pie chart for how your life is currently balanced, assigning  a % for how you spent your time this past week.

3.  Are your priorities much different than how you spent your time last week, or are they in sync?  If they are too far out of sync, you are probably feeling frustrated.  You’re not spending your time in ways that are really important to you.

4. Now imagine how your pie chart would look ideally and draw that chart.  Now you have a way to measure your progress.  Compare how you spent your time last week to your ideal chart.  In the week ahead try to move toward spending your time that way and see if you begin to feel more joy and less frustration.

Let me know how it goes!

About Gretchen Derda (Woosley), MSW, LCSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a private psychotherapy practice where I specialize in work with families and children. My focus is to help families improve their functioning so that each member of the family can reach their full potential, becoming the persons they were meant to be.
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3 Responses to It’s All About Priorities

  1. Dianne says:

    Great eye opening exercise!

  2. Mary says:

    I added this to my school class web page. Great ideas!

  3. Emily says:

    I know so many people who need to use this pie chart!!!

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