Directions. I have been directionally challenged my entire life. Unlike others who have an innate sense of direction, I am the exact opposite. I have gotten lost seemingly going around the block. Unless the sun is rising or setting, I have no idea which direction is east, west, north or south. One theory that has worked well for me over the years is that when I come to a crossroad and need to decide which way to turn to get to my destination. As I sit in my car and ponder which way to go and I have a feeling I should turn to the right, I pause and reflect on my precious decisions at times like this, and then I go the opposite direction! Over the years I learned if I think I should turn right, more often than not the way is the exact opposite! Then one day I heard about Global positioning service, better known today as GPS. It was as if it saved my life. Now I could merely plug in an address, and I would receive a turn by turn direction by a pleasant-voiced lady. You have no idea how much this trimmed from my travel time. It struck me one day what if there were a global positioning system for organizing your day. Get up in the morning plug in the 5-7 things you need to do that day and presto the GPS voice then begins to give you “turn by turn” directions to help you navigate your day. If only life were that simple.
Whereas there is no actual GPS device for navigating life, there are things that can be used to navigate your day.
To Do list. The emphasis is not the list, the point is the things that are on the list! Negativity toward to-do-lists happens because some people keep adding items and the to-do list has 35 separate activities and before long less gets done while more things get added to the list. What I have found to be effective is a “VIP” list. The night before I write down three to five things I must do the next day. After jotting them down, I rearrange them in order of significance. I work on one, and when it is finished, I go to the next one. I do my best to take care of a couple of them before I arrive at the office. If I can get one or two critical items taken care of from my list, early in the day, it makes the day flow much better. Always look at your list and decide what is the one thing that is difficult or challenging, but crucial and make that item the first that you tackle. At the end of the day, I start my new VIP list for the next day. In my opinion keep a separate file with all of the things you hope to do this week, month, year, etc. but only work today off of a list of 3-5 things that are essential to do today.
Take time for rest, recreation, family, and spiritual development and reading. Using the GPS illustration again, I have used a GPS device to go on all kinds of trips. It is not only used to get me to appointments that are work-related, but I use it to go on vacation, to a restaurant and to see family and friends. Make sure you plan to read the Bible, pray and think! Too much activity and too little time attending to our soul will cause lasting problems. One action that I had to do the other day was to have my car’s oil changed. I could have kept pushing ahead, the car was running fine, but if I want my automobile to continue to operate, I must do things today that will keep it running into the future. An organized person does not see personal development as a waste of time. It is preventative maintenance.
Write a list but make sure you are not overlooking your own health and spiritual development. These items are not luxuries they are essential. Now plug in your organizational GPS and safe travels.