Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Do It

No, I am not trying to get Tiger's lost endorsements. Just been thinking a lot lately about "getting things done." Seems this time of year is one where people start thinking about the things they have not accomplished, the things they hope to accomplish in the new year, the things they never seem to get to. I know I do. I look around at the unfinished projects, the missed opportunities, the things I never got around to doing. Is that you? Do you wonder why you can't ever get anything done? Do you feel like there are so many things you want to do, but you "just don't have the time" ? Often people ask me how I do the things I do. I am never quite sure how to answer that question, I just do them. I see this question asked of many people, and I have even found myself asking it of others when they seem to be accomplishing so much more than myself. In the past year I have read several books that seem to hit this issue, and here are some of the bits of advice I have found to be helpful for when I feel frustrated about not being able to "get it all done". First, don't be concerned with what another is doing. Do that which God sets before you. Second, do the important things first, or as Covey puts it "Put first things first". Don't fret over the time, don't wish you had more - we all have the same amount, it is all about how we use it. "There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the important" (Coniaris p17). We can spend an hour watching TV, surfing the internet or reading a book (guilty of all three :). Third, look to the moment, be in the present. There are many daily (seemingly bothersome) things to which we must attend. These are not things that get in the way of life, those moments ARE our life. I love the way Kathleen Norris words it. "The often heard lament, 'I have so little time,' gives lie to the delusion that the daily is of little significance" (p 16). The daily chores we do are a part of the life we have been given. Their purpose is to provide us with that which we need to regain the true image of Christ within us. We are to take those moments and transform them into moments that glorify God, that He might transform us through them. Finally, JUST DO IT. There are so many lost hours in each day; hours we spend procrastinating, talking about what needs to be done, thinking about what we should be doing, planning what we should do. Now, I am all for planning :). I think lists are a helpful way to keep you on track. I love my notebooks, they give me a sense of direction. But, if I find I am spending more time planning or organizing than doing, I have failed as strongly as if I had done nothing. If it is important, stop and JUST DO IT. If it is important to hold your baby, stop what you are doing and JUST DO IT. If it is important to spend time with your spouse or children, stop what you are doing and JUST DO IT. If it is important to talk to or do something for someone in need, stop what you are doing and JUST DO IT. If it is important to pray, stop whatever you are doing and JUST DO IT.


Pres. Kathy said...

Thanks for the post. I need to get more things done!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Great post, AM! I have found this to be so true of myself - only I call it the "do it now principle." I tend to procrastinate anything that I don't think I can do perfectly --- and then end up with days where I did a whole lotta nothin but fume over what's not getting done, lol. I've been working over the last year or so to be more aware of what needs to be done and just "do it now." So freeing! Thanks for posting.

Alicia said...

Thank you for this post. I have read it twice now as I am thinking more this last quarter on getting "focused and accomplished." I too have been looking at books to help me and may well look at the Norris book you quoted and put on your Books that Have Changed My Life list.
I am really trying to look at the things I need to do as opportunities not burdening tasks. Opportunities for spiritual growth, that's one to work on.

Alicia in New Zealand