Prioritizing Life’s Demands


It seems like life is getting more and more demanding of our time—or is it? Maybe we’re just increasingly preoccupied with false demands.

Tony Schwartz is a writer who also runs a business that helps people accomplish a lot without feeling overburdened. He writes,


Those pings—like Pavlov’s dog, we just have to respond. It could be in the middle of a meeting, a conversation, an afternoon with the kids, or even a dinner-date with your spouse. Ping. We can’t resist, and we pick up our phones. At the end of the day, this incessant interruption of productive thought, valuable relationships, and even spiritual reflection leaves us feeling unfulfilled. By responding to every ping, we give in to instant gratification and sacrifice long-term satisfaction.

Mr. Schwartz goes on to identify four priorities in our life that we need to focus our daily rituals around in order to be at our best: body, heart, mind, and spirit. Let’s look at each:


Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles adds to this list to keep our lives in balance:


Paraphrasing Aristotle, philosopher Will Durrant said, “We are what we repeatedly do” (The Story of Philosophy [1991], 87). This principle is also expressed in Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits philosophy. By creating habits and rituals based on the most important things in our lives, we find ourselves more self-satisfied at the end of the day.

A new approach to our day might be to turn off the electronics during those times of highest priority, times when we are working on mind, body, heart, and spirit. We can also create rituals that ground and improve us.