Sunday, July 5

Intentional To-Do

I have a definite love for making lists. My to-do list, specifically, has bounced over and over again from a spiral notebook, to my Outlook task folder, to full-page organizers, to little pieces of scratch paper. Once that list wants out of my head, I get it down in whatever medium I have available.

One summer my satisfyingly extensive to-do list wasn't even enough. As I was recording daily what my baby was learning and doing (see, another list!) I began to also journal three or four things that the entire family had done each day, thus underscoring all the things I had been able to cross off said to-do list.

After nostalgically re-reading some of that journaling this weekend I noticed one thing. It was all about what we did and nothing about how we did it or who we became in the process.

Last month I had the opportunity to attend a workshop by Keith Dorscht of Live Fully Engaged. Among all the really useful things he said, one thing that stuck with me was the idea of how to approach my to-do list. What it boiled down to was to ask myself this question, "At the end of the day what will "well done" look like?"

In the past few weeks, that phrase has been priceless to me.

We so often push "well done" into the heavenly scenario that will take place at the end of our lives. But this mentality seems to only give us space to blow-it daily and fall back on idly trying again tomorrow. But what if we only continue to screw up our teaching, our marriage, our parenting, our priorities? What tragedies befall us if we keep putting off the changes we need to make? What if there isn't a tomorrow?

Asking, "What will 'well done' look like?" daily opens up my to-do list to the true priorities: making my voice respectful, looking my kids in the eye when they ask for my attention, responding with patience to the irritating things of life, doing the hard things in relationships, thinking outside the box, tackling the tasks that will bless others, show love in ways that are meaningful to the recipient, [insert your own personal growth issue here]...

This summer my to-do list seems much shorter than in years past. Truthfully, I have plenty of things to do, but I'm not nearly as focused on what I have to do as I am on who I aim to be at the end of the day. It's amazing what at little mental shift will do for you.

So, at the end of your day today what will "well done" look like in your life?

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