Managing “To Do” Lists

I’ll bet many of you have your “To Do” lists ready to go this week. I’ve got my list ready. But even as I was working on my list last night I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to get everything done that I’m hoping to get done. Do you ever feel like that?

So how do you respond? Just doggedly press through no matter what? Let off the gas a little because you know it’s not all going to get done anyhow? Or just scrap the list and fly by the seat of your pants?

Here are 4 things I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) that might help you:

  • Begin the day with prayer. The Bible says that the steps of the righteous are directed by God. He knows what’s in store for you today and He can help guide you in your list-making time.
  • Know the difference between important and urgent. The urgent things always scream at you, while the important things usually stand by silently. Focus on what’s important. And here’s one key guideline: People are important.
  • Don’t try to get it all done today. I love John Maxwell’s reminder, “We overestimate what we can do in a day; we underestimate what we can do in a year.” If I only get time to read one chapter a day in a book, that’s still 365 chapters at the end of the year, and that’s quite a few books! It’s good to take a long-range view.
  • Look for the small time-wasters. If you just track one week’s time usage in 15-minute increments, you’ll be amazed to find out where a few minutes here and a few minutes there add up to a whole lot of time at the end of each week.

I’m still learning this stuff. If you have some tips or strategies that work for you, I’d love to hear them. Please share in the comment section.

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