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?