When Organization Keeps Me from Getting Things Done

We’ve all had days when organization – or rather, the lack of organization – keeps us from getting things done.  The clutter on my counter is directly related to the clutter in my mind, and it exacerbates my brain fog.  On those days, I must take on the mess before I tackle my to-do list.

But this week, organization has hindered me in a different way.  As I learn my son’s middle-school routine, and as I prepare for my own classes to start next week, I am writing and revising the lists that keep me organized throughout the year.  Daily routine lists.  Meal plan lists.  Lecture lists.  Term calendar lists.  Don’t-forget lists.  From-now-until-Christmas lists.  {Did she really just say that!?}

But I am so busy planning and organizing and rethinking and what-if-ing that I am not doing.  This is a problem.  Because each day, my newer, more-neatly-printed list contains items that weren’t completed yesterday and must therefore – somehow – be squeezed into today.  To get it all done perhaps I need to make another list?

Don’t misunderstand.  Organization is wonderful, and I love lists!  Nothing would get done if I didn’t have them.  But some days – okay, today … and yesterday… and the day before – very little gets done because I am too busy obsessing over them.

How do I stop the list-making and start checking things off?  Honestly, I am writing.  Yes, it is another procrastination tool.  But it is also a way of reminding myself that my plans are nonsense.

I can be organized.  I can have my lists to get me through the day.  But obsessive list-making and list-revising implies that I can come up with the perfect plan for the day, week, term.

The best thing I can do today is to breathe.  In.  And then out.  And to remind myself there is an Ultimate Plan.  But it is not mine to outline.  It is not even mine to understand.

The Bible tells us, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. (Prov 19:21, NLT).

My to-do lists are nothing in the grand scheme of things.  So of course, spending excessive time figuring and writing and revising is not helpful.  In addition to not completing my chores, I am also not relying on God as much, or as readily, as I should.

The good news is that if we ”commit [our] actions to the LORD [then our] plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3, NLT)

It is time to prayerfully leave my lists as they are and just get to work.  If God has other plans for me today (or this week or through the holiday season…), He will let me know.

I’m linking up today with some of my very favorite blogs (see below).  Please visit them to see more great posts!

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