Let me ask you a question. Are you living a purpose driven life? Or are you living day to day, just moving along wherever life chooses to take you? Take a moment and think about it. We live in a time and age filled with distractions. We are bombarded by media at all hours of the day and night. It’s easy to lose track of what’s important and what we should be doing.
When we have animals, crops, large gardens, small children, perhaps clients and even elderly parents who are all dependent on us – living day to day in a constant state of reaction means that someone will slip through the cracks.
One way we cope with this information overload is by focusing on the “what”. What do we need to do today?
There’s a reason there is such a huge market for planners and organizers. There’s a reason why so many of us work with daily to-do lists. They help us sort through the mess and pick out a handful of things we need to get done today.
In other words, these organizers and lists are a way for us to cope with the overwhelm of too much information and too many things we could be doing.
They help us simplify a complex life.
While these tools are certainly necessary and helpful, they also hold a hidden danger. They make us focus too much on the “what” at the risk of losing track of the “why”. (And you’ll hear me talking about this what vs why issue because it affects many aspects of our lives as homesteaders, preppers, parents and even as people of faith.)
It’s hard to see the big picture and make sure you are following your purpose when you’re staring at your list of things to do. Especially if you’re homesteading, that To Do List can be overwhelmingly long, with new items added daily. Believe me, I understand. Here’s a shot of the Honey Do list that is on our kitchen cupboard door. I’m sure we forgot some things, too.
But there’s an easy way to fix that while still being able to use all those tools to kick overwhelm to the curb.
Here’s what you do.
Set aside a little time each month, or even each week, to reflect and look at the big picture. If you need it, put it on your calendar to make sure it gets done. (Yes, that’s a great way to use your calendar!)
Spend that time reflecting on what you’ve gotten accomplished this past week and how it has helped you move forward in the right direction. Don’t get hung up on the “what” – keep turning your attention back to the bigger reasons behind what you need to get done.
What tasks helped you fulfill you purpose and what was just busy work? We all have things we do on a regular basis, just because that’s how we’ve always done it. Examine those things and see if there’s maybe a better way to spend your time. Maybe there are other things you could try that might work better or align more with your big “why”.
As you look through the things you’ve gotten accomplished this past week or month, take note of what’s worthwhile and what you should do differently. Having a journal, a calendar, or those daily to-do lists can be a big help here.
Last but not least, start planning your “what” for the coming week or month. Think about what you need to do to move forward. Always keep your purpose and your end goal in mind. Don’t ever forget your “why”!