Practical Lenten Activity

In my last blog on Unconventionally Practical Spiritual Resolutions, I mentioned I would share a very helpful activity I am doing for Lent this year.

I adapted the idea from a blog written by my friend Dr. Lynn Jones called “Simplify by Saying No”. I encourage you to read her blog.

As a member of Regnum Christi, we identify our root sin and develop a “program of life” to overcome it by focusing the development of an opposing virtue. One of the two virtues I am working on is “simplicity”, so Lynn’s post immediately caught my eye. (You can see what a problem I have with simplicity as I could not just choose one virtue to work on, but rather have two!)

Reading Lynn’s blog made me realize that I don’t have a problem saying “no”, I just don’t want to say “no”. There are so many things I want to do. However, this gets me into a jam because without realizing it, the too many things on the plate put me into crisis mode almost all of the time.

Lynn’s provides a visual aide by showing Stephen Covey’s box listing the four quadrants that categorize all of a person’s activities. Quadrant 1 is for activities that are important and urgent. Quadrant 2 is for activities that are important and not urgent. Quadrant 3 is for activities that are not important and urgent. Lastly, quadrant 4 are for activities that are not important and not urgent.

We are to spend most of our time in Quadrant 1 and 2. Lynn points out we must balance our time between Quadrant 1 and 2 each day or we will always be in crisis mode. When we aren’t able to achieve this balance it means it is time to start saying “no”.

Bingo! She nailed me.

So, to develop a new habit this Lent that will allow me to be more present for God and the people in my life, I created a modified form to help me apply this principle. I am using it each day so I can visualize easily my Quadrant 1 and 2 activities. So far, it has been a very useful tool to helping me think a few more days ahead.

Since using this system, there have been moments when I was not pressured by some deadline that I was not quite sure what to do with myself!

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: If you think you might benefit from using this tool, download the form from the members only section here. Click on “Blogs” link then go to the section on Simplicity Blog and enter the password Quadrant1&2.