The Most Important Thing

| by Katie Weeks

This week I had a blog all set, based on implications of the new federal tax laws, but then I read Shannon Williams blog last week entitled “One Thing At A Time”.  She pointed out how she is always multitasking. I immediately thought, “GUILTY!"    

My constant desire to do more and be more is ever present.  

Recently, a dear friend asked me, “Katie, why are you always trying to shove 50 pounds of potatoes into a 10-pound bag?” And she was right. As a working mom of two young kids, the "to do list" of things to accomplish each day is vast and I am in a constant struggle to check as many things off my list as possible. 

Through our work at Armstrong McGuire, we work with organizations to help them set priorities. We often ask the question “What does your nonprofit look like at its best?"  We seek feedback from a wide variety of people including staff, donors, board members, and clients. The goal is to get a broad set of perspectives to identify themes that can help the organization work in its optimal state and focus on the most important things.  

Now the question is, do we ever ask ourselves the same question? Do we ever ask others to help us identify when they have seen us at our best?  

I am currently reading the book "Drop the Ball" by Tiffany Dufu.  Through her personal story, she explains how to create a more intentional life.  She asked the people around her to share a story with her about a time when they experienced her at her best. Through this activity, along with others, her top personal priorities became crystal clear. Armed with the clarity of her top three priorities, Dufu is able to use that as a lens to focus on how she makes decisions on what she will allow into her limited 10-pound bag. She is focused on doing the most important thing and being okay when she must 'drop the ball' on other things.     

My challenge to you is to extend Shannon's encouragement of considering one thing at a time, and add this encouragement: Make that one thing the most important thing. 

PS. For those of you who would have preferred a blog about the new federal tax laws, check out this simple summary with several additional links on the National Council of Nonprofits Website at: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/sites/default/files/documents/tax-law-checklist-nonprofits.pdf 

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