I’m always trying to find ways to organize my life. Categories, lists, reminders. I love it all because it helps me be productive and move toward my goals, and I love checking things off my to-do list. I’ve experimented with various apps on my phone to help me achieve this, and I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Trello, at least so far, is working for me.
There’s a particular area of my life in which I am extremely unhappy. It reduces the quality of all the other areas of my life, too. Every day I ask God to save me from this thing, and every day that I am not saved from it I am faced with the question, “Is God going to save me from this thing, or am I supposed to save myself from it?” How much of this is in God’s hands, and how much of it is in mine?
Some of my longest, most depressing, and most anxiety-filled months were those in which both myself and my husband were unemployed, with rent and bills piling up every month on my credit card. Having that kind of stress and fear hanging over our heads was debilitating. To the degree that occasionally, out of hopelessness, we stopped applying to as many jobs as we could and just succumbed to the inertia that grabbed at us. Not getting the results for which we’d hoped discouraged us from putting more effort into trying.
I found that I needed a perspective-shift.
I love efficiency. I love getting things checked off my to-do list, and the more things I check off (and the more quickly I do that), the more accomplished I feel. And subsequently, the more happy.
So when I got married and acquired twice as many to-do’s and a to-do partner who doesn’t value efficiency as much as I do, I became twice as inefficient. And I got a little depressed. I mean, who was I if I wasn’t being super-productive??
I have a hard time relaxing. I have a million and a half things on my to-do list, and it’s difficult for me to take a break when I know there are so many things that need to get done. In college I was the student who took a break from one class’s homework assignment to do another class’s homework assignment. I was surprised to be told that it didn’t really count as a break—it was just a shift in activity.
I love to be productive. I get an adrenaline boost with every item I check off the list, and I feel good about myself when I accomplish a lot. But sometimes my productivity starts to say things about my worth that I don’t think it should be saying, so I need to stop doing and just be for a change.