// I tend to live my life by lists. I move from check to check and if I do something that is not on my list I definitely write it down afterwards so I can check it off, too. My brain is swirling enough that I need to write things down the moment I think of them or they are gone forever and they leave in their void a sinking feeling of forgetting some essential task for the day. I hate that sinking feeling. I avoid it at all costs.
On the other hand, I get a squeezing feeling from looking at my lengthy to-do list at the end of the day and seeing all that I didn’t accomplish. All that I have left to pile onto my shoulders and onto my to-do list for tomorrow. And my head starts to feel tight and I grasp all the tighter to my list as though that will somehow make me more productive.
But I’ve found that when I dig into an old purse and find one of my lists from another era and see all that remained distressingly check-less… it doesn’t really matter now after all. Those things didn’t get done and the world didn’t come to an end. Maybe I put a little too much weight on those lists of tasks after all. Or maybe they put too much weight on me. //
I saw an innovative idea recently for how to remain realistic when making a to-do list and I’m loving the implications of it. The blogger who shared this idea seems to be a serial list maker like me, and a very unrealistic one, also like me. She said someone told her to write her to-do list on an index card so that she didn’t have too much room to write down too many plans for the day. But, she shared, an index card was still to big! Girl, I can relate.
Instead, she began using those teeny, tiny post-it notes – the kind that are only about 1 inch by 2. There, she said, no matter how small she writes, she can’t fit very much. The physical size of the post-it note reminds her about how much time she actually has in the day. Brilliant.
This tiny post-it note can remind us of our limitations, of our smallness, so we don’t plan too big. It is a tangible symbol of how not in control or in charge we are. The world is not depending on us to save it singl-handedly armed with our to-do lists. God has infinite space and time to write His list. We get a tiny rectangle two inches by one.
Continuing on with my Write 31 Days theme of "31 Days to Slowing Down and Living More Simply"
with reflections based on my reading of Emily P. Freeman's book Simply Tuesday and the prompts given at the FMFW page. My "Five Minute Free Write" portion will be enclosed with // and any extra thoughts will follow.