When you have to do something, you should do it when it needs to be done, preferably as soon as possible. Though I’m a procrastinator, I have found it’s actually much less stressful to just do something right away instead of putting it off, that way I don’t have to worry about it anymore. When it’s done, I don’t have to do it anymore! Then I can go put off something else – until I realize I need to get that done, too!
But sometimes there’s just something so much more enjoyable than that thing you have to do, and you do that fun thing instead. It might even be something that needs to get done, so sometimes you don’t even realize you’re putting off something else. For example, when I was a child I had things I really, really liked to do and think about, sometimes to the point of neglecting homework and chores. Most often I would play Star Wars games and the piano for hours. None of the things I liked were wrong to enjoy, and piano was something I needed to practice, but they became wrong when I put them ahead of more important things.
When I got older I grew out of a few things, but soon found new things that can take my attention from responsibilities. Again, these things are not necessarily bad, they just need to be set in a correct order and place. If I have work to do, I can’t sit around messaging friends if it’s going to disrupt or distract me from my work. I can’t go hang out or play video games with friends too late at night if I need to have sleep for something in the morning. Spending time with friends is certainly important and time should be made for it, but finding the balance between family, loved ones, work, spiritual needs, and other life responsibilities can be a challenge.
Setting priorities for how, where, when, and why you spend your time is important, and there will be multiple times in life when you will have to stop, sit down, and take a good look at what your time is going to. Things creep in all the time, and if you don’t sit and take inventory once in a while, time and important things will slip away from you before you realize it.
How do I go about setting priorities? Start with prayer. God is the Inventor and Creator of time, and He has seen all of it, beginning to end, so He knows what to tell you about time and priorities. God will help you see who and what needs your time and attention, and who and what doesn’t. He will show you who and what needs more of your time, and who and what needs less.
When you prioritize God first and put Him in the place He is supposed to be, the rest of your priorities will be much easier to place.