Tag Archives: to do list

Excuses vs. Reasons (Guest Post)

Signposts: One arrow says "one way" and the opposite one says "or another".
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Excuses vs. Reasons

By Steph Beth Nickel

Do you scold yourself when you don’t get everything done on your daily To-Do List or when you don’t achieve everything you’d hoped to achieve?

Beating yourself up about it rarely, if ever, gets the job done.

However, we all must be honest with ourselves and evaluate if we’re making excuses or have legitimate reasons for failing to cross everything off our list.

Excuses include the following (just ask me how I know):

  1. Watching “just one more” episode of a show we’re enjoying…or, at least, tolerating.
  2. Scrolling through our newsfeed for “just a few more minutes.”
  3. Thinking, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” (Trust me; I put the PRO in procrastination.)

On the other side of the coin are legitimate reasons for not achieving the things on our list:

  1. Something truly urgent comes up that demands our immediate attention.
  2. Our expectations of ourselves are unreasonable.
  3. Our physical and/or emotional well needs refilling.

These are only a handful of examples, but you get the idea.

And now for the good news!

Whether you’ve been making excuses or have perfectly good reasons for what you do or don’t get done, there are ways you can silence that finger-wagging inner voice:

  1. If you make a To-Do List or simply record deadlines and occasions you don’t want to miss, prioritize your list. What is time-sensitive and something you must/really want to remember? To make sure you don’t miss anything important, write it down somewhere you will check often—whether in a paper planner or on an app.
  2. While it’s important to take other people’s feelings and ideas into consideration, be careful not to allow their priorities to influence your schedule unless those priorities line up with what you believe to be God’s plans and purposes for you.
  3. Be reasonable. There are only so many hours in the day, and you’re only one person.
  4. If you don’t achieve everything on your list, be honest with yourself. Did you have legitimate reasons, or did you find yourself making excuses?
  5. If you find you’re making excuses, choose ONE to work on until it’s no longer a default. Don’t try to eliminate all the excuses at once, or you’ll simply become frustrated and scold yourself even more.
  6. Get into the habit of making an Accomplishments or Victory List. Record what you get done and regularly review the list. It will help when you’re tempted to become discouraged. (Include household chores and running errands. It may feel like you’re getting very little done, but an itemized list will put that misconception to rest.)
  7. As believers, committing our day to the Lord before we get out of bed, praying over each task, and laying down what we did or did not achieve before Him each night will make a huge difference in how we create our To-Do Lists. It will also help us keep our focus where it belongs and will make us more sensitive to His leading.

Be positive. Be patient. And be prayerful.


Photo of Steph Beth Nickel
Photo credit: Jaime Mellor Photography

Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at nurtureandinspire@gmail.com;
join her Facebook group:
 https://www.facebook.com/groups/2725853534313738;
or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.

Money in the Bank (Guest Post)

Money in the Bank

by Steph Beth Nickel

Summer is upon us. Warmer weather. Sunshine. And vacations. And with vacationing comes that extra long To Do list.

My hubby and I are going east for approximately 2.5 weeks in July. And while it’s exciting (I’ve never been to the Maritimes before), it means getting things done ahead of time and making sure my responsibilities are covered. This includes gathering a long list of camping supplies. We hope to tent most of the time we’re away.

As things come together, it’s like money in the bank.

We’ve likely all lived from paycheque to paycheque at some point. But it feels so good when we don’t have to consider our bank balance or the remaining credit on our Mastercard before making a purchase.

It’s the same when we “bank” other things as well.

As the admin at our church, I am responsible to publish the bulletin each week. I am currently in the process of preparing all of July’s issues. Thankfully, we simplified things and are now putting out a half sheet of 8.5 x 11 instead of the tri-fold we had been creating.

I have an editing project I hope to make significant progress on before I head east and a coauthoring project I want to leave in good shape as well.

And then there are the books I’m reading, the books and movies I’ve offered to review for HopeStreamRadio, and the guest posts I sometimes leave to the last minute. <cough, cough> (Sorry this is arriving the same day it was to be posted, Janet.)

The extra responsibilities and longer To Do list can be overwhelming, but I actually work better when faced with an imminent deadline.

The Benefits of a Deadline

It has a way of chasing away my tendency to procrastinate. I can’t put things off until tomorrow if in very few tomorrows I’ll be on the road.

A deadline—or several—also helps me prioritize what really needs to be done and what can wait until I return.

A deadline encourages me as I see how much I can accomplish in a fairly short time.

As I cross each thing off the list, I breathe a little easier. It really is like money in the bank.

How about you? What are your plans this summer? Do you have to accomplish more than usual before you leave? How does that make you feel?

Tweetables

Deadlines chase away the tendency to procrastinate. (click to tweet)

Deadlines help us prioritize what really needs to be done. (click to tweet)

Meeting a deadline shows us what we can do when we put our mind to it. (click to tweet)

~~~

Steph Beth Nickel

Steph Beth Nickel
(Photo by Stephen G. Woo Photography)

Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.