To Do, To Don’t, Today

March 21, 2012

in the generous life

The past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring “to-do” lists. I’m naturally organized and I love lists, but my life has been feeling chaotic and I felt like the important things were beginning to slip.  

I actually put paper, tape and stickies on a wall to help me sort things out (I have a room that needs painting, so I put one of the walls to use). I started putting up all kinds of things that needed to be done on the wall. It looked about as chaotic as my life felt. So I pushed all the bits to the side and put up a piece of paper that said “GOD” (I figured that was a good place to start). Then I wrote things like “sit with Him, listen to Him, share my day, etc.” As I spent time with Him, I felt a calm and then I added “love and serve others.” As I started focusing on the concept of loving God and loving others, I began to see how and where all the bits of paper that I originally placed on the wall would fit.

Anyhow, back to “to-do” lists. I found that if I started my day looking at my wall, my priorities were better and I put the things on my “to-do” list that really mattered. I have a list of dailies to do (stuff that moves life along, I sincerely hope that dishes wash themselves in heaven) and then I give myself a few important things to get done that day and for the week. “Important things” can be something as simple as phoning a friend that God brings to mind. It might be playing a game with family and friends. It might be catching up on my email or writing an article. It might be trying a new recipe for dinner or dejunking the hall closet.

The nice thing is that I’m happy with my days and it’s so much easier to enjoy my husband, family and friends when I’m not rushing around and feeling overwhelmed by what I have to get done that day. Yes, I have crazy busy seasons like everyone else, but I’m learning to slow down a bit, create some margin in my life and focus on the important.

I encourage y’all to create a GOD wall too (or a GOD paper or a GOD.doc) and then work to make your “to-do” list reflect the values you find there.

To have a purpose that is worthwhile, and that is steadily being accomplished, that is one of the secrets of life that is worth living.   Herbert Casson

Image credit (c) Lori Byerly


This book has been very helpful to me as I sort out my values and simplify a bit ~ Organized Simplicity (aff link) by Tsh Oxenreider (she blogs on Simple Mom).  


An insightful post from the male half of The Romantic Vineyard (a nice treat) ~ Be All There  God has great things for us in the here and now.


I can’t wait to hear Kate’s response to Brad’s A Story of Zing 1 & Zing 2.  I love the “both gender” perspectives of One Flesh Marriage.


Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

L.C.C. March 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

Love this idea. Thanks for sharing!


Sis March 21, 2012 at 6:09 am

I make to-do lists every morning too, but never have I thought of actually writing God in the center of it and building from there. Love this!


Kim March 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

A God doc…I just love it! The hearts are a cute touch, too. :-)

It is always counter-intuitive for me. Taking time for God, in prayer, stillness, listening and following at first blush just seems to be an activity that “takes too much time”, but in actuality generally makes for a much better, more satisfying day. Even if the day is on the crazier side, then my prayer time still provides a solid place to stand.

I had joked in a comment over at today on a post on Margin by Jessica Turner that I guess God has a message for us ladies about making margin in our lives, and now I find you wrote about it, and I wrote about it twice this week.

Love reading all the different takes on creating margin in our lives!


Connie Foster March 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I love your wall and the title of this post. It’s a good reminder that the “what not to do today list” can be just as important as the “to do list”.


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