The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

To-Do Lists and Human Nature August 18, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — ashleybarrett @ 5:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m a big fan of to-do lists and writing down what I want to accomplish. When I suddenly remember something, I will stop what I’m doing and write it down. Then, I feel relieved because I don’t have to think about it until I do it.


However, to-do lists come with drawbacks.  Sometimes the list grows frighteningly long and I find myself moving as fast as I can to shrink the list. When I’m in a rush, I don’t enjoy my tasks, don’t perform them as well and wander through my day anxious and self-centered.

This behavior doesn’t sound like the abundant life Jesus told me about.

So one day last week, when I had a lot to do, I decided I would work through my tasks, enjoy them and let myself not finish everything. I actually never finish everything on my list (does anybody?) but this time, I would not stare at my incomplete lists and gloomily move tasks to the next day.

That decision was put to the test at the grocery store when I locked my keys in the car and couldn’t reach my husband. What should have been a 45 minute shopping trip stretched more than two hours. While waiting in the parking lot, I tried to make the best of it by enjoying the sunshine, snacking on my groceries and reading a magazine (even though the magazine wasn’t terribly interesting, I had nothing else to do and don’t think this goes against my decision not to read articles I don’t enjoy).

And despite those obstacles, I accomplished everything that needed to be done and several things I wanted to get done. Maybe that’s what Jesus meant, there would always be more than enough for needs. At the end of the day, instead of feeling drained, I had more energy than usual. I thanked God for everything I completed that day and planned for the next day.  Then I enjoyed an evening with my husband instead of collapsing on the couch until I drug myself into bed.

Are you a to-do list fan or do they make you anxious? How do you accomplish the essentials while staying sane?


5 Responses to “To-Do Lists and Human Nature”

  1. Erin Joy Says:

    Thanks for the good reminder of how to prioritize what I need to get done. I’ve fallen away from making a to-do list. Perhaps that’s why I’ve not done laundry all week even though I’ve been doing 101 things every day!

  2. Ha! It’s easy for the little things that bug us to feel like a priority.

  3. lyds Says:

    I have recently not even had the energy to make it through my day. I had a similar inspiration, we spend too much time complaining and fighting to do everything perfectly. I decided to make reading my scriptures a priority everyday, knowing that if I did, I would be given the energy to get through the day. It’s worked wonders all week! Let’s see how long I can keep it up.

  4. Lyds,
    I do the same thing I either read the scriptures or (if I have to be at mom’s super early) I listen to some Biblical teaching CD for the drive there. And I definitely notice a difference when I miss a day!

    Thanks for reading the blog by the way :).

  5. […] me with the number of projects I’ve started and have yet to finish. (And, yes, I have read Ashley’s post on […]

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