Shiny Butterflies

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Guest post by my awesome wife…enjoy!

I have what my husband calls, “Shiny Butterfly Syndrome”. I get easily distracted. A typical day for me went something like this: I’d be sitting on the couch by Eric and think “I’m really thirsty, I could use a glass of water.” I’d go to the kitchen to get the water and realize that the dishes need to be done. So I’d start to do the dishes, but the dish rag is the one from yesterday and smells a little weird so I take it to the laundry room. Then I notice that the clothes in the washer need to be put in the dryer, but the dryer is full of towels.  So I start to fold the towels when I hear a voice from the bathroom say, “Mom, I’m done”. So I go help the child and now the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  By now, I am working up a sweat and start thinking, “I’m thirsty, I could really use a glass of water.” So I get my water, go sit back down and Eric asks, “Where have you been for the last hour and a half?”  To which I reply…”Getting a glass of water.”

I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get anything done. There were many things I wanted to incorporate into my schedule, but felt I was so busy and couldn’t see how to fit it all in. I felt rushed, unbalanced and unable to give my best to all my priorities.  I have heard LIFE Co-Founder, Claude Hamilton, say, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.”  It hit me that maybe I need to inspect my daily actions. It was time to take an honest evaluation of what I was actually doing with my time and identify my true priorities.  It was also time to stop allowing my busyness to keep me from achieving the goals I wanted and expected.

When you are that scattered you need a system to keep you on track. There are some great books through LIFE on organizing your time, prioritizing your schedule and how to stop procrastinating. Those books are: “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephan R. Covey. The “7 Habits” book is one of my favorites because it helps you identify your core values/priorities and walks you through how to set up your schedule based on those core values.  My initial plan was to keep track of everything I did throughout the day for a whole week. That only lasted about 2 days. I quickly realized how much time I wasted by being distracted and by not having a specific plan for each day.  I also realized there were things in my schedule that were interfering with my priorities.

Once I identified my shortcomings, I could now come up with a plan to change. I took my to-do list and assigned a time slot to each item. I treated those things as an appointment I had to keep. Over time I learned to focus on one task at a time and that I could make time for what matters most to me. I also learned it was okay to say, “No” to anything that would keep me from my priorities.  At the end of the day, I felt I had invested time in each area of importance, felt more balanced and at peace knowing that I was doing what would lead me to the results I wanted and expected.

Only when you identify where you are currently at can you make the necessary changes to move toward your ultimate goal.  Your future will be a result of what you do today. Don’t get distracted by “shiny butterflies”…make today count.

God Bless

Jennifer Blomdahl

27 responses to this post.

  1. Great post Jenn! Amazing how when we align our priorities up with our purpose so much more gets accomplished with the same amount of time.Thanks for leading and being a great example for all.

    Reply

  2. To find solutions, we must be honest enough to realize a problem…Great Job…apples never fall far from the tree…

    Reply

  3. Posted by Wendy Crockett on February 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Gosh Jennifer, your opening paragraph is so relatable! Thank you for putting in black & white the words I needed to “hear” once again to realign my day. You are a beautiful woman of God and I’m very thankful for your servant heart.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jessica Dehn on February 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the great post Jen! This is a great reminder for me to not waste one of my most valuable assets! I am also a fan of the shiny butterfly icon :0)

    Reply

    • Thanks for your comment. You are right. We never know how much time we have so every minute is valuable. I really liked that icon too. My awesome husband found that. I’d probably still be looking for one and this post still would not have been published yet. 🙂 (Jen)

      Reply

  5. Jen, Thanks so much for sharing that article and perspective. It is always helpful to know someone else is having some of the same issues you are and there is HELP! Thank you for sharing and always showing you are human and have some of the same struggles. Love ya, Chris

    Reply

  6. Posted by sue deer on February 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    oh wow jen i thought you were talking about my actions.That is just like the things i do.t.hank you i have alot of shiny butterflies in my life.

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  7. Posted by natbrat87 on February 22, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I have appreciated this. I like what you said about figuring our your priorities and then putting them into your schedule as being top priority.

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  8. Posted by Toosh on February 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Great reminders, Jen! It’s a matter of stopping the busyness, long enough, to set the trim tab. That sense of peace is so worth it!

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  9. Posted by Tammy on February 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

    OMG I’m a shiny butterfly!!!! Who knew??? Not me until now….thank you Jennifer!

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  10. Posted by Amy Schroeder on February 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

    That sounds exactly like me! Sometimes I wonder where my time goes, but I get distracted just like that if I am around the house. Thanks for the great reminder to stop and look at each thing you do in your day and make sure it aligns with your priorities! I haven’t read 7 habits yet, so I think that will be a good one to be next on my list!

    Amy Schroeder

    Reply

  11. Thank you so much for this post. Of course I read it when I had a shiny butterfly moment myself. Time for me to get back to scheduling my day off.

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  12. Posted by Gloria Klomsten on February 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jen. I especially enjoyed the concept of treating each thing as an appointment. Your perspective’s are very helpful and appreciated. Thank you and God Bless. Gloria

    Reply

  13. Posted by Tammy Maney on February 23, 2013 at 9:10 am

    O Jen you are soo right on! I couldn’t help to giggle while i read this because I have done this and still do this and my husband shakes his head most days:) I can officially tell him there is a name for it:) Thankyou for sharing and this article helped me see i need to get better in this area.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Carole Eldredge on February 24, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Hello Jen! Thank you for making sense out of the trap of busyness. You’ve made the simple a profound thing that I need pay attention to! I so appreciate your wisdom. And Eric’s too!

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  15. Thank you Jen for this blog and great reminder. I definitely have to do this. I can totally relate to the series of events that happens that gets you off track, both at work and at home. I have been putting off diving into “7 Habits” so now I have some inspiration, thank you!

    Reply

  16. Posted by Lisa Mangold on April 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

    This was a great article Jen! I read it before and was glad to come back to it for encouragement. Managing this limited resource that we all have is definitely a process of developing good habits and being willing to re-inspect how we are doing over time. I am certainly working on fine tuning how I use my time. I appreciate you sharing this because you are not alone in chasing the shiny butterflies!

    Blessings,
    Lisa

    Reply

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