Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Prioritizing your Life and Work

I was reading a Facebook post that listed a number of special days in September.  It seemed excessive so I googled "special days in September".  I selected a nice sounding page to visit:  verywell.com.  Oh my…nearly every day in September has a special day attached to it.  Here is the list:


Month-long Observances


National Photo Month

National Mental Health Month

National Military Appreciation Month

National Inventors Month

Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month

National Family Month


Week-Long Observances

National Family Reading Week - May 1 - 7 (first week)

Children's Mental Health Week  -  May 1 - 7 (first full week)

Teacher Appreciation Week - May 2 - 6 (first full week, M-F)

Children's Book Week - May 2 - 8

Screen Free Week - May 2 - May 8

Wildflower Week - May 2 - 8

Astronomy Week - May 9 - 15

Reading is Fun Week - May 8 - 14 (second full week)

National Backyard Games Week - May 23 - 30 (week before Memorial Day)


Special Days and Holidays


First Four Days

May   1 May Day

May   1 Mother Goose Day

May   1 Law Day

May   1 Make a Book Day

May   1  World Laughter Day (first Sunday)

May   2  Sibling Appreciation Day

May   2  Teacher Appreciation Day (Tuesday of first full week)

May   3  Sun Day

May   3  Kite Day

May   4  Intergalactic Star Wars Day


May   4 National Weather Observers Day


Next Eight Days

May   5  Museum Lovers Day

May   5  Cartoonist Day

May   5  National Day of Reason (first Thursday)

May   6  No Homework Day

May   6  International Space Day (first Friday)

May   6  Tuba Day (first Friday)

May   7  Space Day (first Saturday)

May   8  Mother's Day

May   8  V E Day

May   9  National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

May   9  Peter Pan Day

May 10  Windmill Day

May 11  Eat What You Want Day

May 12  Limrick Day

May 12  International Migratory Bird Day


Next Six Days

May 13  Frog Jumping Day

May 13  Tulip Day

May 13  Blame Someone Else Day (first Friday 13th of the year)

May 14  Star Wars Day

May 14  Stars and Stripes Forever Day

May 15  International Day of Families

May 15  Over the Rainbow Day

May 16  Biographer's Day

May 17  World Telecommunications Day

May 18  International Museum Day


Last Week

May 20  Endangered Species Day (third Friday)

May 21  Armed Forces Day (third Saturday)

May 22  National Maritime Day

May 23  World Turtle Day

May 24  Scavenger Hunt Day

May 25  Nerd or Geek Pride Day

May 30  Memorial Day (last Monday)


I grew weary just reading the list.  What about you?  It is almost silly to attach such titles to nearly each day of the month.  We might say that someone has September’s priorities a bit messed up.


Chaplains have to be masters at prioritizing.  There are new patient’s that have to be seen/contacted in their first 5 days of admission.  Ongoing patients have to be seen every 30 days.  Crises must be addressed each day.  IDT meetings must be attended.  Chaplain meetings must be attended. Documentation must be up to date. The unexpected requests must be addressed.  How does the Chaplain get a grip?


Here are three basic guidelines that will help the Chaplain:

  1.  Place all known meetings (IDT, Chaplain meeting, and any other known meeting) on your Scheduler first.
  2.  Place your compliance visits on your Scheduler so you have direction, then fill in on a day to day basis with new patient visits.
  3.  Learn to say, “No” to requests that someone else can fill.  For instance, if you are gifted in speaking you may be asked to present at a meeting of some sort, but this meeting conflicts with compliance or new patient visits.  You must say, “No” and put the blame on your manager.  I always understand when a Chaplain  contacts me about this added stress and they need a way out.  I contact the organizer and either do the meeting myself or recommend someone to do the presentation other than that Chaplain. 


We are human and have so many hours in a day.  The expectations are always high; therefore, we need to be certain our priorities are in the right place…not like the calendar I referenced above.

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