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Your list of things to do today

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- As you aggressively pursue your career, and all that is involved in being successful, it is easy to lose focus on what is really important.

A recent editorial gave some wise instruction on how to manage your most precious resource, your time. I would like to take that a step further and talk about what you are spending your time on.

In the grand scheme of things, how important are the things you are chasing after? What do you have on your "to-do" list today? What item on your list will you give the most priority to?

Here are some suggestions:

- Tell your significant other you love them and tell them they are more important than your work.

- Give your mom and dad a call just to talk.

- For those of you with kids, play with them as soon as you get home.

- If you are single, give someone who is important to you a call and tell them you appreciate them.

I went to a class reunion several years ago and one of my favorite teachers stopped by. As he was getting ready to leave I pulled him aside and thanked him for all of the life lessons he had imparted on me while I was in school. He died a short time after and I was thankful I had taken the time to tell him how much he meant to me.

All four of my grandparents have died since I joined the military and I never made it to a single one of their funerals. I was on overseas deployments for two of them and it would have been impossible to make it to their funerals, but the only excuse I have for missing the other two was I thought what I was doing at the time was too important to leave. I will always regret not putting what I thought was important on hold and paying respect to a couple of people who meant so much to me.

There has been a lot of talk lately about bucket lists, where people identify all of the things they would like to do before they die. I don't think any of the lists would include completion of more professional military education, another qualification, or make it to that great school. I am not going to suggest these things are not important or necessary because they are. The challenge is to meet all of the demands required of you on a daily basis and include some other things that will lead to a balanced and healthy life.

Manage your time wisely, but don't forget to add some things that really matter to your list of things to do today.