You would think with all the technology that was invented over the last decade, life would get easier, and we would have more time to relax and enjoy ourselves. And yet, as I take inventory of my schedule, it seems I have less time than I did years ago. I find myself saying, “There is too much to do and not enough time to do it. There is just not enough hours in the day.”
Because of this, we find ourselves continually living in a stressful environment. Often this stress causes us to react in ways that are not pleasing to God. Psalm 32:8 (NLT) “The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” It may sound simple, but I daily ask the Lord to guide me in the things I need to accomplish that day.
Every time-management book instructs readers to make a daily to-do list. I definitely agree we should do that. I do it consistently. However, I also believe we should ask God to instruct us and guide us in our daily life. I find that many times God wants to add some things to my to-do list I might not have included on my own.
For example, God may instruct me to speak a word of kindness to the server who took my order at a restaurant. Or He may quicken me to call a friend and encourage them or pray for the need of a fellow employee.
If we are not careful, we get so engrossed in checking off our to-do list, we forget one of the greatest exhortations in the Bible: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad” (Prov. 12:25 AMPC). God can bless others through us by guiding us to say an encouraging word at just the right time.
I was so blessed recently when I received a note from a well-known person I admired for many years. In the note, she expressed how much she enjoyed my column and what a blessing I had been to her. The day I received her note, I needed a word of encouragement in the worst kind of way. That note gave me a lift and helped me tackle the hard tasks and decisions I had to make that day.
How vitally important that word was for me on that particular day. And how thankful I was that she had listened to God’s to-do list. We must always keep God’s list in mind. However, it is equally important to keep our own to-do list. I find that writing down on paper any future tasks I must accomplish allows my mind to focus my full attention on whatever I am presently doing. Writing future tasks down also helps me to organize them according to their priority.
I know many people make lists on their electronic devices rather than paper. I found it is easy for me to ignore my electronic device. But with a written piece of paper, I am staring at it constantly. You may call me old fashioned but that works best for me. You should adapt to the method that is most effective for you. The most important thing is to get the tasks accomplished in the least stressful method.
I always write tomorrow’s to-do list at the end of each day. I am not a morning person, so I tend to function better in the afternoon. In making a list, you may find you have more on it than you can accomplish in one day. Don’t let that frustrate you. Simply move any “not done” items to tomorrow’s list of things to do. When I find I am consistently getting behind on my list, I ask myself, “Can I delegate any of these items to someone else?”
This kind of delegation eliminates stress. For instance, many working mothers stay frustrated because they are trying to work, keep the house clean, cook for the family, and spend time with their husbands and children. Spending time with God seems to take a back burner and that is the person we should spend more time with.
So what should you do? Look for tasks you can assign to someone else. I encourage you to organize your life. It will not only relieve stress but also give you a sense of accomplishment.
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