One of the important reasons we need to teach our children how and why to establish priorities is that if they don’t learn to do it, their time and focus will be dictated by other forces around them. Each day our time gets filled up with activities and responsibilities, and if we do not know how to prioritize them, the most important ones are forgotten or not completed.
One of the most disheartening aspects to this, is that what is really most important in life — our relationships — is oftentimes neglected or forgotten. In life, we focus our time and activities on what has our attention. This often means that our days are filled with many “urgent” activities that consume our time and tire us out by the end of the day. What doesn’t get our attention are the quiet “unsqueaky” things like our family, friends, or even God.
When our day gets filled up with so many other things, it is the quiet ones, the ones not screaming for our attention, that get crowded out. Time with God, one-on-one time with our children, away time with our spouse, never really happen, and then all of a sudden another year has gone by, and then another. And before you know it, our relationship with God is stale or stagnant, our children are grown and out of the house, and our relationship with our spouse is not what we had hoped or “planned” for.
In this world, where busyness is a constant part of our daily lives, learning to set priorities will not just be about accomplishing more and getting more done. It actually might mean the opposite. Setting the right priorities will mean getting less done, but spending more time with those who matter. You might be accomplishing the most important things when you are doing very little, especially if you’re doing it with the right person.