I am going to assume you know I believe God is my Savior and if anything is accomplished in my life, it’s because I’ve relied on Him. He “holds it altogether” (Colossians 1), but in the meantime, the struggle of meal prep, school appointments, and work deadlines is real. We are all one good tip away from improving our life systems, so I am sharing today how I use certain tools to prioritize and increase my capacity. I ask God regularly for more joy and peace, more discernment and wisdom- and about five years ago, I started to ask Him for more capacity. The tools listed below are the three tools I most heavily rely on. Maybe they will inspire you to share your own with those you love!
The App- (Ticktick)
This is not a paid advertisement; I found Ticktick through someone I interviewed on a radio show once. I asked them how they keep straight the many projects they were working on and this was their answer. Ticktick is a productivity app that syncs with your phone and computer. It means I can be out somewhere, have a thought about a person I should call, or an idea I should write about, and I can log it in this app. The bonus is I can share different lists with different people. So, my assistant and I can go through the list regularly, seeing which tasks are better for each of us. I can share one with Todd, and he and I have a common place to put birthday gift ideas, vacation plans, financial decisions to make, and groceries to pick up. It even has a very satisfying “ding” sound when you complete your task and cross it off!
Every night for a decade now, I get out a new 5×8 notecard and write the next days’ date at the top. Then I draw a line down the middle, putting the non-negotiable schedule on the left (pick-ups, phone calls, meetings, appointments) and the hope-it-gets-done list on the right. It helps me feel like I am in control of my day instead of the day is happening to me. I decide what my priorities are, both personally and professionally, and can meal plan on that card, decide where I might multi-task and even let people know the night before if I have over ambitiously scheduled something I can’t possibly arrive in time for. It’s very satisfying to throw away the card at the end of the day and imagine the possibility of the next day’s adventures when I begin again.
We have a kraft paper decorative scroll that hangs on our pantry door and I pull it down and rip it off every Sunday night. Then I write on the scroll the meals for the week and the times it will be served. I will write who can help me, and if any guests are expected. My teenage and young adult children write their work schedules and anyone they were planning on joining us. This family calendar has kept me from answering questions about where people are and what is for dinner, and allowed everyone to engage in an agenda other than their own. It helps me personally when I come home from work so I am not faced daily with the what’s-for-dinner dilemma.
These are just three very practical ways I maintain a rhythm of people and tasks throughout my day and week. I would love to hear what you do… Each day just happens once, and we exchange it for activities that we pray add up to a life worthy of the calling He has for us. It takes my breath away we can’t get it back, so let’s steward it as wisely as possible!