Confession time… How many of you are looking at the list that you made this morning, or maybe this past Monday, or even on January 1st, wondering what you’ve accomplished? Time keeps ticking by, but nothing seems to get done. You are not alone!
I LOVE lists. Seriously. I can’t get anything done without writing everything down, color coded and in order of importance. I will write tasks in my planner. I will put them on my Apple Calendar. I make sticky notes. I even use Teamwork to organize, categorize and add due dates. No matter what I do, the list doesn’t ever seem to shrink.
Human beings have a need for achievement. We like to feel like we have done something. Therefore, the type A list makers out there, like myself, will write down a task with a little check box next to it, ready to be checked or highlighted with a confidence that surpasses all.
Done. Isn’t that the best four letter word?
Oh, and if I do happen to complete something that wasn’t on that list? You better believe I write it on there and place the satisfying check mark in it’s rightful place.
But why can’t we finish that to-do list? Every time we check something off, we add something else. We live in a busy and hurried society that tells us that we need to constantly be doing something and achieving the next thing, when what we really need is to slow down and look at what we are doing.
First things should be first.
In my life, God comes first. Before everything else. The best way to start my day is with God and a hot cup of coffee. But y’all, I’m a mom of two little kids, ages 5 and 2. My typical day starts with someone who has peed the bed yelling my name from the other room… or worse they were in MY bed when they did it. Chaos ensues as I begin to wash a child who isn’t ready to be awake, so, in turn, is screaming my ear off. Obviously, the other child has been woken up by the racket and is in a bad mood too. Telling myself I’ll clean the sheets later, I dress my two year old who turns into a wet piece of spaghetti every time I try to put pants on him, while simultaneously arguing with my five year old about why she can’t wear her pink sun hat with a red and black plaid shirt and brown leopard print pants to school. I make their lunches and try to convince them that walking down the steps and to the car without me carrying them both will not kill them. Whew! Can you hear it? The busyness of life that just took over the concept of slowing down and being quiet….gone.
But then, I get in the car. I turn on K-Love and well all three sing and praise God for the day. I drop them off at their school and enjoy the silence as I drive back home, thanking God for every second of this crazy life.
I walk inside, sit down with my computer, and what do I do next? Well, I make coffee first, of course. Then, I either consult the list I wrote last week and haven’t finished yet, or I start a new one. I obviously write “Make coffee” on the list and check it off. Yay! I’ve done something. But then, I take a good look at the rest of the empty check boxes and I’m immediately overwhelmed. The business owner and entrepreneur inside of me feels defeated before I even start. The peace that I felt after my time with God is gone.
Do you want to know the number one reason why I can’t finish the list?
I’ll tell you. The tasks are too big. They are too vague. None of them can actually be accomplished in one day. So, here’s what you and I have to do:
We need to break it down. Take that one huge task and break it into 3-5 more manageable tasks. I know what you are thinking… “Kristina, that will only make my list longer!” No, my friend. It will only appear longer. This new list will liberate you. It will boost your confidence. When you are able to mark one, two, maybe even five things off of that list, you will get a fire under you bottom that makes you capable of taking on the world.
The take away? Here’s my list. 🙂
Slow down. Take time to experience God in the morning. Before you start on that never ending list, take a deep breath and be thankful that God has given you another day. Another day to build your business. Another day to make a difference in this world. Another day to help others. Be thankful for each and every person that God sends your way, including those closest to you, your family.
Make lists. List lovers everywhere, let’s keep making lists. But let’s make lists that we can actually finish. Tasks that we can handle in a day and tasks that we can place that beloved check mark next to. Let that list make you feel good and helpful, instead of bringing you into a pit of worthlessness.
Make goals. After breaking down your “task list” into smaller tasks, look back at that original list. Those things are your goals. The new task list is filled with your goals for today. But the old one contains your goals for the week, the next month, or even the next year. Remember that if you keep moving forward, you will eventually be able to place a check mark by those big goals. Can you imagine the satisfaction of achieving that goal that you’ve been working on for three months? Instead of feeling defeated every day for three months by that huge “task” that you can’t seem to complete, you can be confident marking tasks off each and every day, chipping away at the list of tasks that now comprises a goal. And in the end, you have the satisfaction of achieving the goal itself.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (HCSB)
JumpGlass prides itself in helping others. We can help you create a better to do list. We can help you set proper goals. We can even assist you in tackling some of those goals. We do this for businesses, but also for everyone. If there is some way that JumpGlass can help you, call or contact us today!