A lot of demands were coming at me at once and my multi-tasking skills were being pushed to their limits. I had made a “to do” list for the day and the week, but where were they? I kept on taking the interruptions . . . the phone calls, the emails, the walk-in visitors, and employee’s questions. Before I knew it the day was over and I was exhausted. I had no idea if I had met my day’s objectives because I had no idea where my “to do” list was located. A mound of papers stood on my desk.
Life without a List
With relief, the clock struck 5:00 p.m., and I packed my bag and ran to the car. Exhausted and happy to be heading home, I began to slink into my vegetative state for the 30 to 40 commute. I was happy to being going home that Wednesday afternoon and my body ached with fatigue. I was looking forward to the following day’s trip flying to Sacr amento with 12 alumni and would be getting up at 3 a.m. the next morning so I could meet the students by 5:00 a.m. at the Ontario Airport. We would get home late Thursday night and so I would take Friday off to rest, because that Saturday I needed teach eight hours in Inglewood.
I felt content that my bag was packed and I had everything I needed for the Thursday trip and for the Saturday class. I could really rest on the day in between . . . or could I?
The problem arose when about halfway through my commute home, I realized how absent-minded I had become. I had set my purchased lunch leftovers on the counter at work and had forgotten them. The chimichangas inside were to have been my husband’s and my dinner. Now, I would have to prepare dinner. Then, I realized that I had forgotten my business cards and a gift for the State official who was organizing the Sacramento Emerging Leaders’ Institute for my students. How unprofessional of me not to have my business cards! Additionally, how nice it would have been to have had a “thank you” gift. Then, finally, as I was just about to pull into my driveway at home, I realized that I had not brought home all of the materials needed for my Saturday class. Now, I would either have to go back into work on Friday or get up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and make a special trip through La Mirada on my way to my Inglewood class.
Lord, help me!
It did not take me long to realize that my goals for the week and daily “to do” lists were an essential part of my accomplishing the needed tasks for the day and fulfilling God’s calling in my life in an effective, efficient manner.
I wonder if your homeschooling day could use an organizational boost by utilizing an effective, prioritized “to do” list? It’s easy to know how to write down a list and order the priorities, but it is another thing to actually carry it out in the complexity of the day. Prayerfully consider the following:
- Lord, do I organize my curriculum the night before or the morning of?
- Lord, do I plan short-range and long-range in my homeschooling endeavors?
- Lord, do I have the organizational tools at hand to help me bring peace to the process or is my disorganization costing my children learning time?
- Lord, show me if I need help and if I should find a homeschooling parent to mentor me in my organizational skills so as to maximize the learning that takes place in our home.
Lord, help me to be faithful to your calling by using my time wisely. Help me to utilize organizational tools, such as prioritized “to do” lists, in order to be a more effective homeschool parent. Most importantly, Lord, help me not to take on more tasks than I am capable of and to have wisdom as to when to say “yes” or “no” to requests from others so that I might give priority to the homeschooling of my children, as well as family responsibilities, church responsibilities, community responsibilities, and professional responsibilities. Amen.
June Hetzel, Ph.D., Dean of Education, Biola University