Waking up on a Monday and anticipating all the things that need to get done the upcoming week can be a bit much to handle. Even when the things on the ‘list’ are fun, they can pile up to become debilitating. The thought of all the ‘to-do’s’ of the day can be daunting. Sometimes the overwhelming list can cause us to want and pull the covers over our head and go back to bed until everything goes away.
I have had these feelings many times and running away doesn’t make the to-do’s go away… it actually makes the list grow and then my anxiety grows and I feel like I’m never going to get anything done.
Have you ever felt this way?
Thankfully there is a way to get through this feeling and become more productive and I will show you how below.
How to Organize Your Day
- Begin with a blank piece of paper. It’s up to you if you want it to be lined or blank. For me, I like lined because I can keep it organized, but am not picky.
- Write EVERY SINGLE THING down on a piece of paper that you want to get done.
- Add any and all the personal, business, house items, errands…
- Take a look at the list and pray, “what absolutely has to get done today?”- circle these items
- Take those circled items and write them on their own piece of paper (hopefully this is shorter than the original :-))
- Now it’s time to prioritize the list. Typically, it’s best to start with the things that are either quick to complete or that are the things you really don’t want to do.
- Number the list of items starting with 1 being the first thing you want to get done and go all the way through the list.
- If you’d like, rewrite the list in numerical order
- Begin with #1 and continue through your day down the list… enjoy crossing off each item as you accomplish what is necessary and God-directed.
Optional: Now for you who like to have the pressure of time in order to complete a task, you can do the following:
- Write a time frame for which to complete the task
- Leave 5 minutes in between each task
- Don’t forget to factor in lunch
- Offer yourself grace if you don’t get something done or if you go over on one task.
Example with timeframes:
- Quiet time (6:45-7:15)
- Journaling (7:20-7:40)
- Breakfast (7:45-8)
- Write blog post (8:05-9:00)
- Jog (9:05-9:30)
- Shower/ get ready (9:35-10:15)
- Client meeting (10:30-11:30)
- Lunch (12-12:30)
- Complete Backpack to Purpose for Kineo (12:40-2:15)
It feels good to look back at the list at the end of the day and see how much you have crossed off.
The big failure is when we make our list based on our own wants and desires of what needs to be accomplished. Praying about where you are to be using your time throughout the day is impactful as it helps guide us to know we are working with God and for God as opposed of for ourselves based on our own desires for selfish gain.
During each task, we can pray for help to do the action and for guidance as we navigate through to completion. Asking God for the strength, focus, intention, knowledge and the ability to complete each task helps us to learn that our actions throughout the day are guided by and for God, we are simply his faithful servants.
Biting off more than you can chew is also an issue. It certainly has been for me over the past seasons. This leads me to place too high of expectations on what I’ll be able to get done each day will lead to failure and frustration.
What about you? Ever felt the pressure of packing too much into your day and feeling as though you’re living that day to complete the to-do list?
Solution: Accepting that you may not get everything done that you want to… and that’s ok.
BIG KEY FACTOR: As long as you are showing up each day, doing the best you can and putting forth the effort that is being asked of you, you’ve done enough!
Yet, if you are allowing laziness or procrastination or distraction to take you away from focusing on what God is asking of you today, then those are the things to be noticing and praying over and working towards changing.
We only have the capacity to do so much each day. Modifying the expectations you place on yourself and becoming more realistic of what ‘needs’ to get done vs. what would be ‘nice’ to get done can also help when you’re deciding the priority of the daily ‘list’.
It’s been a practice for me to not complete everything on my ‘list’ and simply move items onto the next day…
It’s not a symbol of my worth if I don’t finish my ‘list’… I did the best I could and whatever didn’t get done, wasn’t supposed to. There will be another day.
Living each day to complete a list may fulfill a temporary feeling of productivity, but as these days add up to weeks and months, we become enslaved by the ‘to-do’s’ and miss out on the opportunity to enjoy life in the unplanned and the unscheduled.
If you’d like some help with organizing your list or talking about your priorities, shoot me an email or comment below. Would love to hear how you organize your days!
Share any tips you have on organizing your day in the comments for others to learn.