Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Lost My List

Have you ever had a day where you didn’t feel like you were getting anything done? The truth is, you are probably getting some things done, but not necessarily the most important tasks. Or, you aren’t fully aware of what you have been getting done, because what you are getting done isn’t what you had planned on doing, but rather tasks that have popped up at the moment.

A number of years ago I went to a time management seminar, and one of the tips they gave was to make a list of what you need to do each day. However, having the list isn’t enough, you need to make sure you prioritize it from the most important tasks to the least. That way you will be making sure you get the important tasks done first, and if you run out of time, the less important ones can be moved to the next day. Another great thing about having a list is that as you get work done, it is encouraging to cross it off the list, which gives you a sense of accomplishment.

There is a challenge to this, however, in that you can get too dependent on your list. What happens if you lose your list? I know that if I get too dependent on my list, that if I lose it, I lose track of what I am supposed to be doing. SO, I need to be careful that I don’t let my list completely govern my life. I need to make sure that my list doesn’t trap me into being inflexible in my life.

Sometimes I get so into my list, that an interruption can cause me to be frustrated. This is not good, since the primary concern of my job, and really my life, should be the people God brings into my life, and not all the tasks I feel I have to get done. This reminds me of the story of the Good Samaritan (in Luke chapter 10). In this story, a man is beaten and robbed and left for dead. A priest and a Levite both pass by, probably thinking they didn’t want to be interrupted or get involved or be bothered with this man’s troubles, so they passed by on the other side and did nothing to help. But then a Samaritan came and attended to the man, and took him to an inn, and paid for it all!

Sometimes it might be good for me to ‘lose my list’ so that I get done what is most important (not necessarily most pressing). Sometimes it would be good to ‘lose my list’ so that I would be more available to the leading of God’s Spirit in my life. Sometimes I might need to ‘lose my list’ so that I don’t get too caught up in the “have to’s” of life. How about you, would it be good to lose your list? Blessings.