Today I’m excited to introduce my friend, Glynnis Whitwer, and share her new book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your BEST Work Every Day.
I keep a to-do list next to my computer, and it drives my day. In fact, a great day for me is when I have crossed everything off that list by the end of the day! The problem comes when I have not and those tasks carry over to the next day. That, my friend, can sometimes take me to the edge, worrying how I’ll get it all done the next day.
Can you relate?
Glynnis’ book helps with this dilemma. Rather than focus on getting “through” our “to-do” list, she helps us bring balance to our “to-do” list. Through personal stories and Scripture, she exposes a word many of us identify with … procrastination, explains what it costs us, and equips us to overcome it. They key is not to get all things done or more things done, it’s to get the “right” things done each day. It’s God’s agenda first, not our own.
Don’t you love that? So freeing!
Below please find a message from Glynnis’ heart to yours. And when you get to the end of the post, leave a comment sharing at least one way you struggle with your “to-do” list for a chance to win a copy of Taming the To-Do List!!
I faced hard, challenging work, which quite honestly made me wonder what I’d learned in four years of college. It was easier to plead busyness than to admit I felt under-qualified and afraid to try. Would my work show I didn’t have what it took?
Procrastination popped up its bossy head as I got involved in church, volunteering and leading small groups and Bible studies. But its influence escalated when I answered God’s call How Can I Procrastinate When I’m So Busy?
Looking back, it’s obvious procrastination has been a life-long companion of mine. Only I didn’t see it because I was so busy.
Plus, it’s always been easy to find other things to blame. But digging down deep unearths the truth: I put things off that I really should do, I could do, but I choose not to do. And in doing so, my to-do list gets out of control.
Procrastination first showed up in school when I’d wait until the last-minute to finish an assignment. Just good enough to make the grade … but never feeling like I’d done my best.
It then showed up at my first job, when to write and speak.
It hasn’t controlled all areas of my life, but it’s impacted me enough that I finally said “no.” No to the lies that tomorrow will be easier. No to the fear that I’ll look like a fool. No to the threat that my best isn’t good enough.
And I also finally said “yes.” Yes to addressing the underlying issues of my procrastination. Yes to being brave enough to face some weak areas. Yes to hard choices that bring my responsibilities under control.
It turns out, my procrastination had a root problem. When faced with a choice between two tasks, my tendency is to choose the easier of the two.
For example, if I know I need to get housework done on a Saturday morning, but I also need to do some shopping. I’ll choose shopping, and then never quite get around to that cleaning. Or if I want to work on a creative project, but I also need to answer emails. I’ll start on the emails, thinking I’ll eventually get around to my project, but then never do.
With enough choices like that, I leave undone the work that will make the most impact on my life.
I’m learning, with God’s help, to be honest with myself about why I procrastinate doing certain things. Some times the answer is easy. But sometimes I have to dig deep to discover some fear or perfectionist tendency that’s keeping me stuck.
Sometimes, I just don’t know the best thing to do next. This is when I desperately need wisdom beyond what I can muster to make the best choice. To find wisdom, I need to silence the demands of many, to hear the commands of One.
God is faithful, and His Word promises we can receive wisdom. In fact, it’s a gift from God. Here is what James 1:5-6 says,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
My goal in dealing with procrastination isn’t to get more done. I want to get more of the right things done. Rather than follow my to-do list, I want to follow God’s to-do list for me.
It’s not easy, but it is possible. Thankfully God is faithful and an ever-present source of help. With His help, I have a manageable to-do list … most of the time.
Glynnis Whitwer is a wife, mother of five young adults and executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her latest book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day is available from Proverbs 31 Ministries. As a bonus for purchasing from Proverbs 31, Glynnis has prepared two time-management planner sheets to help you get control of your to-do list. CLICK HERE for more information.
Thank you, Glynnis, for joining us today and for generously donating a book to give away. Okay, girlfriends, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Taming the To-Do List!!