Friday, October 10, 2008

Ordering my Days

Often, I'm asked how come it seems like I'm able to get so much done in a day. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I make a to-do list every single day. In fact, the only day I don't do that is on Sundays because my entire day is mostly taken up with church.

I find that I do so much better with a plan for my day. If I start off without having any thought for what I want to accomplish, more than likely nothing gets done. I've been doing this for the past 6 years and it has really made a difference in my productivity.

I'm also kind of compulsive in the fact that I love to check things off my list! I make my list on the computer and I highlight each item as I complete it. It just doesn't seem the same without all that nice blue highlighting. LOL!

Here is my plan for today:

* Kids up and dressed
* Walk 3 miles with Dan
* Make breakfast & cleanup kitchen
* Shower & dress
* Strip the beds and remake them
* 3 loads of laundry
* School (Math, English, Bible, Science, Piano Practice)
* Declutter pile that is on the floor by my craft dresser
* Bag up candy that was leftover from Fall Festival for trick or treaters and then TRASH THE REST!
* Lunch & cleanup
* School (Read aloud, Government/Social Studies, P.E.)
* Clean downstairs bathroom
* Get music together for worship leader
* Peel, cut-up & freeze apples
* Make applesauce cookies for dinner out tomorrow
* Make & can applesauce
* Dinner preparation
* Dinner & cleanup
* Emily to Awana; Dan & I out for coffee
* Bed

There you have it! Nothing exciting but at least it's a plan. I find that it helps me to have a compass for my days. I don't always accomplish everything on my list but I do try to. There are days when I struggle to get anything done. I'm tired, I'm stressed, and I'm distracted. Those are the times that I'm reminded of the poem quoted by Elizabeth Elliot:

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."


  1. Oh I did enjoy reading that Terri. I'm no good at making an ordered day, I used to when I was teaching...but retirement seems to bring a slower way of life. I think I could do with a bit more planning though.

  2. Love the poem.
    I groaned at the three mile walk bit - you must be very fit!
    Love visiting here Terri - thanks for all the caring and sharing you do here!

  3. Elizabeth, if I was retired, my days might be a bit slower!

    Lynn, I laughed out loud when I read the very fit part! HA!! I may be fit but I don't really look fit.

  4. Wow! I am completely in awe of your organization.

    I love to make lists too. I sometimes break down jobs into smaller items so I can mark off more things!!!

    I also love that poem. I gotta go "do the next thing"!

    This is a great post Terri!

  5. Thanks Debbie. I started doing it just to be organized and it actually helped me to see how much I got done during the day, especially the days when I didn't feel like I did anything!

  6. I found you through Debbie's blog. I would say you are pretty amazing to get all that accomplished!

    I tend to run out of steam due to my health. However, I'm always inspired by ladies like yourself.

    Your blog photo and colors are so lovely by the way.

  7. Lyn,

    Welcome! I'm glad you visited. I don't want to mislead you though. I don't always get everything done on my list and when that happens it just gets added to the next days list. Also, we are all in different seasons of our lives and things will look differently for different people.

    I hope you'll come visit again!

  8. are busy!!! I bet if I wrote all I did in a day I would have a good size list too!!! I need to start to do list's. Very Sweet blog, I will be back.

  9. Welcome Lisa! I hope you'll visit again. :-)

  10. Hi Terri,
    I'm back blogging. I still have the dial up though :) I have settled my issues with it:)
    Funny you should post this....about ordering your days, I have been trying to do a better job at it over the past month.
    Thanks for stopping by to visit me.
    Love Kerri

  11. Kerri, I'm really glad you're back!

  12. I so need to think about starting to write a list, it's not that I am so busy it's I get too lazy to get things done!! My home is far from disorganized and dirty but I need to accomplish more in my day!!! Thanks for sharing what you do!~Wendy

  13. I always enjoy reading your lists, Terri. ;-)
    Don't you love that poem? Last time Jenni posted it, I copied it and hung it on my wall!



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