Priorities, busyness and stress reduction
Jesus had no more hours in a day than we do, yet 'fitting it all in' is a constant challenge. Some thoughts on how to avoid being run off our feet or ending up flat on our backs.
first published 20/04/09
Ways to reduce stress....
A Christians Together site member forwarded the following list which he had receceived from a friend. (It is reproduced below in slightly modified form (and may benefit from further inputs).
Much of the list comprises that which would be found in any secular advice; but that doesn't mean that it is not helpful.
First read the list below and then go to the story about -
'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'
1. Pray; and then pray again.
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say 'No' to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health. (If they don't fit, they are probably not in God's will for you.)
5. Delegate tasks to others who are capable of performing them; and it will help them grow.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places. (In life's journey don't forget to stop and smell the roses.)
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together. Give yourself achievable targets; and rewards for completing difficult or unpleasant tasks.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; avoid getting into debt.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc. (And with regards vital information stored on your computer, 'backups' are also essential.)
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble (cf Job's 'comforters').
15. Do something for the 'child' in you. (Adults are just little people in big bodies.)
16. Carry a Bible (or at least a book) with you to read while waiting in the queue; or use the time to pray.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat sensibly.
19. Get organised so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone; and especially alone with God.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus.'
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down. (God made us human beings, not human doings.)
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.
37..... What works for you? See Footnote.
GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31)
The Bible also advises:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Phillipians 4:6-7
The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. As the class began, and without speaking, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar, and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more! if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "Yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff.
First things first
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the mower. Take care of the 'golf balls' first---the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just 'sand'."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."
See article R U 2 bi C 2
Christians Together, 03/03/2011