Deep Breath

You know those days where the so-much-to-do-so-little-time cliche is overwhelmingly true for you? When you are surrounded by fires and are spinning in circles, beating each blaze in turn? When you don’t even have a minute to think?

Our natural response to this is to go in swinging — do as much as we can as fast as we can and all at the same time. This is counter-productive. Our heart is in the right place, but our head isn’t driving.

Next time this happens, would you try something new?

Take a deep breath.

Take a deep breath and rapidly prioritize. I’m only talking about a minute here, no major planning. Just decide what needs to be done next and then next after that. Once you have a start on your priorities, start doing them. I’m all for plowing — but in a straight line! It works better than running in circles or a scatter-shot approach.

The deep breath gets you off on the right foot. Collect yourself a minute. So often we respond to others’ urgency or react emotionally before thinking things through. Remember, tension will work against you. Give yourself a few seconds to make sure you react wisely and think through your priorities well.

If you will focus on one thing at a time, knocking them off the list as you go, you will get more done faster. You will be thinking more clearly and be able to handle each item well. Once each thing is done, you have one less task to think about, and that relief will snowball the more you do.

DEEPBreath --Now Get it done!

A Place for Everything Refresh

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

This is key for organization. It’s not cute boxes and nifty shelves. It’s things assigned to and in places. When they are needed, they can be found and used; when they are not needed, they return to base.

Unfortunately, jazzy systems can only go so far. Putting everything in place, no matter how wonderful that place is, requires discipline. Ugh!

Now, we’re not talking boot camp discipline here. Perfectionism is not required, even though it would keep those shelves absolutely perfectly organized. But that (fortunately) is not the ultimate goal.

Keeping things orderly has several purposes, but none that should be overtaken. Reflecting God’s character is lovely, but obsessive organization shouldn’t become a god. Making the best use of our resources is ideal, but shouldn’t be the ultimate driver. Saving time is great, but we don’t need more time just for the sake of having free time.

Keeping things in place is a way to serve God, your family, and everyone around you. If you make a habit of using things and then returning them to a reasonable location, you will have fewer hindrances as you fulfill your purpose.

  • The frustration you feel when your home is a disaster area can be minimized.
  • The time wasted searching for necessary books and papers before school can be converted to a calm departure and good conversation on the way to school.
  • You don’t have to tear the house apart for a bandaid when the skinned knee comes limping in from outside.
  • Guests are welcomed to a home that is lived in but not hazardous.
  • Bills can be paid on time rather than lost in scattered stashes of mail.

Basically, it’s not rocket science or out-of-reach creativity. You can do the simple, basic steps needed to bring order to your household and life. Not perfect order, but purposeful order.