Rings of Relationships

Time management….it’s something we have all heard of and all of us have worked on at one point or another.  It’s the never ending struggle as we try to “adult” our way from one thing to another and get everything done.   

Some of us do it better than others and some people never learn to do it…but it is a key to success.

But what about “People Management”??? We deal so much with time and money and leading people….but how do we steward or “manage” them well??   

Cindy and I were terrible at this for so many years.  And lots of you are where we were:  spending all your time on the people who are not the most important and not spending the quality time you should on the people who matter the most. 

It was absolutely exhausting….and defeating.  Because any little bit of satisfaction to may get from helping the ones you shouldn’t is crushed when you realize you robbed time from the people that truly needed time with you.  

There were two men and two books that changed all of this for us…even though it still took us a few years to truly “get it”. 

The first one I ready was called “Choosing to Cheat” by Andy Stanley.  In this book Andy talks about the simple truth that we only have so many hours in each day.  

How you choose to spend you time will inevitably cheat someone out of your time.  

For example….if I leave work early to go to my daughter’s gymnastics practice or my son’s baseball game….I am cheating my co-workers or clients or patients out of time with me.  But if I stay at work and spend that extra time working on the project at hand…I will be cheating my wife and kids out of time with me.  So Andy teaches the concept that we are cheating someone out of time no matter what we choose.  The key is to cheat the right people…. So huge.  
 
The second book literally changed our lives and our marriage and our relationships forever.  It’s called “Keep Your Love On” by Danny Silk.  The entire book is on communication and boundaries and all kinds of things that are key to healthy relationships….but there is a chapter that talks about “Rings of Relationships” 

Here’s the concept:  All of your relationships can be placed into a specific ring around you at some distance to you depending on their importance.  Picture a giant bullseye with you in the center and rings continuously going out away from you.  

The first ring…the very center is SOLELY reserved for you very very closest.  For me, this is where Cindy and the kids stay.  If you are single then this would be where maybe your parents and your siblings are….

Your friends….no matter who they are and how close they are to you do not get to be in Ring #1.  They are probably with some of your extended family if you are close to them in Ring #2 or #3.  
 
So the key is to learn to place people in the appropriate rings where they BELONG.  Not where THEY think they should be….but where they actually BELONG.  So the way Cindy and I literally had to train ourselves to think about this was in every single situation involving people.  For instance, one Saturday we had 5 kid birthday parties we were invited to…FIVE!  Cindy was super stressed about it and didn’t know how she was going to pull it all off.  We sat down and realized we were only going to be able to be at 3 tops so we asked ourselves:  “What ring are each of them in??”  And we worked to be at the parties of the people closest to the center ring first and worked our way outward.  You know what?? It worked like a charm AND we didn’t feel guilty about the ones we couldn’t get to….and at the end of the day, they weren’t expecting us to truly make it there anyway!!
Jim Bob & Cindy Anniversary
As human beings I think we put so much dang stress on ourselves to be everything for everybody and if we aren’t we feel like we are failing them when that’s not only not the case…it’s physically and emotionally impossible!  

Give yourself grace in this area with people and grab both of these incredible books. THEN, start placing your people in the rings they need to be in and then you can not only manage your TIME….you can manage your PEOPLE too.  
 
Be well,
 
Dr. JB
2019-05-30T14:57:21-07:00

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