September 28, 2015

Taming the To-Do List Giveaway

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!!

Glynnis.TamingToDoList

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!!

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Mary Tullila says:

    Howdy do sistah Wendy! Today my list is fall decorating the porch. Of course it’s been pushed from day to day doing lol. At this rate, i will need to paint the pumpkins Christmas colors lol. Now get back to your list Missy hehehe!

  2. Love this!

  3. Nellie Nieves says:

    sorry ladies, I am the queen of procrastination. I have been trying to empty a storage for over 3 years. I even pray about this because I’m good at it. Now I’m told I must empty by November. Stress and lost. God help me.

  4. I’m grateful for the revelation that “busyness” is still procrastination. Mind blown! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. Emily Reyes says:

    My struggle is realizing that NOT ALL the items on my To Do List HAVE to be done by ME…I have a capable husband and two able bodied teenage sons that CAN HELP if I would learn to DELEGATE MORE and STOP TRYING TO BE SUPERWOMAN…who then honestly will occasionally play the martyr card at them ( I am getting better at not doing this, but I still stumble).

  6. April Lopez says:

    I struggle with my to do list is procrastination mixed with health issues. I tend to wait until the last minute which causes me great stress. Also due to health issues I have very little strength to get things done.

  7. Wendy and Glynnis,
    You two ladies continue to inspire me through your God-authored ministries! Glynnis, your wisdom rings so wonderfully true, “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.” And all God’s girls shouted AMEN from the rooftops! I love you both… xoxo

  8. Glynnis has described my procrastination process to a tee….except I’ll clean before shop, that’s what I put off – ever afraid of spending too much on the wrong things & always settling for something ‘good enough -that will do’ & forever being disappointed in my shopping ability while standing in a return line. I’ve tried so many different planning tools, followed the latest & greatest organization strategies & not found anything that changed my behavior or attitude. Now I’m keeping a running list, not worrying about not getting it completed each day, instead I give the whole list to God each morning & send up shouts of praise for each conquered task. I’d love to read this book – I am finally in a place with God as the lead manager of my task driven life & I think I could actually incorporate & appreciate the guidance from Glynnis’s experience. Praise & Blessongs on both of you & your ministries – Proverbs 31 is always a priority on my task list!

  9. You have blessed my heart with this encouragement. It helps, not only to hear that other folks have challenges with procrastination, but to find Godly insight into how to change conquer it! Thanks so much!

  10. …and how come it is so much easier to help someone in need, even the yuckiest of jobs, and yet the floors don’t get vacuumed at my own house? I love my list, but I sure recognized myself when the description of what happened to the stuff that didn’t get crossed off the list…and how I can beat up myself for never getting enough done. I know that’s not how God would look at the tasks or myself, but I need to ask for help to break free of the guilt.

  11. I procrastinate because there are so many things to do and I feel overwhelmed and discouraged and just don’t seem to accomplish anything. Then I feel so bad and even more discouraged and disappointed in myself. It is a vicious cycle and I would love to get out of the cycle. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to read your new book.

  12. Thank you so much for these words. It is exactly what I deal with on a daily basis. I think us creative types have this problem of procrastination, and trying to prioritize our days. Then throw in daily living, like living on a farm, with additional chores that can pop up at any time, and you’ve got a mess! Appreciate your words, and thankful God has led you to write this book that will help this artist at heart.

  13. I struggle with taking care of everyone’s needs. But a car accident showed me the Truth of myself and of my family. Now I have to deal with a disabled husband and elderly parents who refuse reject fight off help, much like my husband. I Know I Can’t, Only God Can. Yet my struggle lues in showing them the way. I’m praying faith and your book will help guide me. Thank you. God Bless your ministry

  14. This book would be very helpful and a blessing for me and my husband and probably a multitude of family and friends! My closet is on top of my to do list, but keeps getting pushed down, for lack of space and fearing I’ll make a bigger mess, trying to tackle it. If I’m being honest, I love clothes probably a little too much and my closet is too small for all of my things! Yikes, not good.

  15. Polly Schneider says:

    Yes, I need this book. I have tried making lists but find I never know what to put on my list, so I stopped making a list. I think I’ll give it another try. Thanks for the encouragement.

  16. Well….I almost put down my iPad because I thought “hum, I will do this in a little while after I have thought about what I can write”. Sad, I know. I am at the point where I frustrate my husband with my procrastination on things I need do to. Mind you I never make a list…I don’t like lists….there lies the number one problem. (By the way, my husband may get very frustrated with me but always handles the situations of procrastination with grace) I can honestly say it has been a big source of contention in our marriage, in which we will be going on 26 wonderful years! Recently, procrastination has been rearing its ugly head more and more lately as life is full and a bit hectic for me. You see I am a very creative person in most of what I do. So, I can easily widdle away a day on a project and justify not getting anything else done. In my heart I know I am wrong and the guilt I feel at not getting done what I need to get done is acute! But somehow I manage to repress it and move on and pile more and more situations behind me until they explode. Mya I say that it is ugly! Ugh! I am frustrating my hubby and even my kids. So needless to say, I just LOVED and really needed to read this post for today! God is faithful and should be my go to for help in this area. With baby steps and the knowledge that God will provide me with wisdom, I need to become less and less of a procrastinator and more of the Godly wife, mom, daughter, friend that God wants me to be! Thank you so much for sharing your heart today because it has and is spurring me on to keep running the race and growing in my sanctification.

  17. Eileen White says:

    Now that I have retired, I need to learn to better organize my time. You would think that, after working in a demanding career for 40+ years & managing to keep things done around the house, that it would be a breeze once retired. But procrastination has become a big problem. Thanks for your insight into this problem.

  18. I find that I procrastinate because I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead. I don’t think that I will have everything that I need to finish it or enough time, so I put it off. When I eventually do work on it, I feel so accomplished!

  19. I’m finding that I have trouble on focusing on projects to be done. If I have too many things going on I end up not getting anything done!

  20. I find I put off doing the things I find most unpleasant and somehow I validate that by saying, ” it’s ok…look at what I did get done.” This is not always what I should be doing. I need to unlock the reasons I have deep-down for procrastinating on those jobs and assignments I really should address. I am happy to read a bit about this book…hoping for a help in looking deeper

  21. Don’t we all as young women fall into this “list” thing… Now that I’m a 63 year old grandma I’m doing a little better!
    Thanks!

  22. Abby Breuklander says:

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book, I can’t wait to read it for myself!!

  23. 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. I have had to do list for so long. I love the way you show how to manage them and how the Armor of God can protect us from harm. Thank you for leading us through it and writing such a great book.

  24. Kristi Veitenheimer says:

    My top 2 problems are laziness and procrastination. I constantly find other things to do instead of the things on my actual list!

  25. I am totally a list person…it’s become more of a running list than a daily list though. I find myself each morning circling the must do’s for the day. Something that’s helped is trying to be more realistic in what I can get done and separating what I want to do and what I need to do. Also trying to embrace all God adds to my list through the day, which with 5 kids is a lot! Glynnis’s words about procrastination hit home too! Oh to be mindful of what God wants me to do. Thanks for sharing Wendy!

    • Hi Jill! 🙂 Nice to see you on here! You and Wendy are two of my favorite mentors/friends. 🙂 May the Lord guide you to do all He is calling you to do with joy and thanksgiving! 😀

  26. Thanks for sharing this, Wendy! I’ve been wondering how you are doing. This paragraph jumped off the page at me, “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.”. I’m battling my biggest lifetime fear and I can be a perfectionist. I think I even spent time with the Lord where it gets to be “lazy” or “avoiding what He is asking me to do”. Ex. Sometimes I spend about 2 hours with Him in the morning and tell Him that I don’t have time to write. 🙁 My greatest JOY is being with the Lord alone each morning, it’s better than any vacation. Yet, I think it’s my comfort zone and God is opening my eyes that I can be lazy in doing the things He wants me to do. For example when our house looks a tornado. My husband said one day sort of recently, I wonder if our house would look better if a tornado hit it. He was joking and smiled (he is too easy on me), but I felt convicted. I love your heart for God’s Word, Wendy! And I love Glynnis’s heart for prayer for everyone she comes into contact with. Bless your day!

  27. I’m actually reading the book right now – it’s the current book of study for P31 OBS. I’m loving it! A second copy would make a great gift for a friend/

  28. I feel like my To Do List takes over my life! Haha! I definitely need guidance on how to stay organized and efficient but leave room for God to move me in my day 🙂

  29. I’m working my way through her book right now and it’s pretty wonderful!! I can’t wait to share a review soon!

  30. Gina Weeks says:

    Sounds like a book I need to read.

    Blessings,

    Gina

  31. Thank you for the beautiful scripture. I will remember this when I let my anxious thoughts about my to-do list take power over me and overwhelm me into taking no action at all. I procrastinate when I fear I cannot perform with perfection or when there are too many things that are both urgent and important. Reminder: take a breath and speak with God. He will show us the way 🙂

    XO
    Liana

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