The Davis®️ definition of a sequence is: the way things follow each other, one after another, in size, amount, time, arbitrary order, and importance.
Jenny worked hard and juggled a lot of balls daily. She wanted to be dependable, yet no matter how hard she tried she always seemed to run 20 minutes behind. She paid attention to the clock, but things often took longer than she expected and never quite went to plan. She always felt she was rushing from thing to thing and she was building an unwanted reputation for always being late.
Jenny thought she must not have a good concept of time, but her real problem was her lack of establishing appropriate sequences of importance.
Part of Jenny’s stress was that each item on her to-do list carried the same level of importance to her, so if something didn’t get done she experienced a plethora of emotions from frustration and shame to disappointment and self condemnation.
After Jenny mastered her first set of Davis concepts which included time, sequence, and order vs. disorder, everything started to change.
Jenny realized she needed to end her day by establishing sequences of importance for the next day so she could start setting her alarm at a different time. She determined when her peak hours are, that time of day when she is functioning at her best. She examined her to-dos to weigh their true importance and found that not all things are created equal!
Then she reworked her sequences of importance for the next day so the most important items on the list were getting her most focused minutes/hours, and she put the lesser important tasks in the “grey zones” of the day that tended to need more flexibility (after school, just before bedtime, etc.). Jenny discovered she actually should be getting up 15 minutes earlier than normal so she could complete her morning routine and have a cushion for the unexpected before she got the kids off to school and she was starting her day off on the right foot. (This also meant she worked going to bed a few minutes earlier into her next day’s sequence of importance, so she wasn’t losing needed rest.) At the end of the day the less important tasks that didn’t get done then rolled into the next days’ sequence of importance and maybe bumped to a higher degree of importance (depending on the task) so they would get tackled during her peak hours the next day. This also highlighted some things that she just needed to take off her to do list altogether and allow someone else to take responsibility for.
By establishing these new sequences of importance (which again varied depending on the day) Jenny was happy to see that she was starting to create more order in her day as things began fitting into their proper places, proper positions, and proper conditions (the Davis definition of order).
She also found it easier to accurately measure the changes in her day so her concept of time was indeed improving (time means: the measurement of change in relation to a standard). She was beginning to better estimate how long tasks might take and she built in those buffers occasionally to allow for unexpected changes. Jenny also started to realize that some days her sequences of importance needed to include fewer things so she felt less pressure and wasn’t as rushed.
Overall, she began to accomplish more things completely and to a better standard than before and she felt more confident in her abilities. She even saw some relationships improve as people started pointing out how she was on time and more dependable.
Can you relate to the old Jenny, the one who felt rushed and always running behind? Would you like to feel like the new Jenny who confidently handles each day with grace?
Consider how you are organizing your sequences of importance. Maybe you haven’t been establishing sequences of importance at all and just have a long list of to-dos and hope you get it all done each day.
If this is a concept that is difficult for you to grasp, or you feel you need to explore further, you are not alone! These are the kinds of things that aren’t really taught, but are key elements for living a balanced-and-not-overwhelmed life. That’s what the Davis Concepts for Life℠ program is all about … giving you the opportunity to dig into these concepts, gain experiential knowledge and practical ways to implement them into your daily life so you start seeing the positive changes Jenny experienced.