Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Toxic To Do List

We all have them, they are never are completed fully, and are often met with a groan when they are brought up. What are they? The mighty “To-do List”. You may keep yours on your computer, phone, or write it down on paper; but the idea is that you must accomplish “X” during a given time period. It is really easy to confuse activity with productivity.

This past Sunday, I was really excited to hear Pastor John Bray’s message at Heritage Church. He was talking about how many times our to do list actually gets in the way of our purpose in life. It got me thinking about the things that really matter to me like family, health, making a difference in people’s lives. Then I looked at my to do list which included various household chores, errands, and other tasks. I’m not suggesting that you should not mow the lawn or clean the kitchen because it doesn’t directly line up with your ultimate purpose, but make sure that your life is moving in alignment with your purpose.

Here are a couple of things that I have found useful in this process:

1. Dedicate quiet time, prayer time, or meditation time every day. Shut off all distractions and be alone with your thoughts. Larry King said that he “never learned anything interesting while he was talking.” Fight the urge to check your email, cell phone, or other demands on your time and be still so you can listen.

2. Be realistic about your abilities. This is a tough one for me personally, because I think I can tackle 143 things in a 45 minute time span. Shelly is a great sounding board for me with regard to keeping my time-frames reasonable. Perhaps you have someone who can act as a sounding board for your ideas.

3. Block out two or three 15 minute slots during the day for down time. Sometimes we are going non-stop and fail to gauge our progress. Plus, your brain needs a breather!

I’d be interested to hear what you do to keep balance throughout the hectic pace of your life. Remember that this thing called life is a journey and not merely a task. Enjoy your journey!
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