Doesn’t it just feel that way sometimes? Your colleagues, your family, your friends, they just seem to be the center of it all. Sometimes it even feels like it’s at your expense; your priorities take a back seat because of circumstances beyond your control. And it happens. We have obligations outside of our own little universes that take over. We don’t live in a vacuum, and as nice as it would be to be able to say, “You need to drop everything and work your situation out on your own, because I’m quite occupied with getting my grip,” the world just doesn’t work that way. As much as you need help from other people, they need help from you. Our friends go through transitions that drastically affect them, and in turn there is an impact on us as well.
That said, there comes a time when it’s necessary to step away from Other People’s Drama (oh, that’s not nice, is it….) Priorities and re-center around your own. Sometimes, you may choose to rearrange yours to make room for theirs for a time, and that’s valid. There are certainly situations where Of Course I Will Drop Everything! is the only right answer. Take the occasional inventory of how many Drop Everything situations you’re dealing with. Everything simply cannot be the top priority.
It’s hard to say no when someone asks for help. Maybe because we know it’s so hard to ask for help. I’m not talking about committees at work, or that person who regularly drags your attention and energy to what is important only to them (oh, right now you’re picturing that person, aren’t you? yes you are. it’s OK.). These people? File them under “To Be Let Go”. The ones who genuinely need you, when you make room in your priorities for them, that’s getting a grip on what really matters.