How to resist the checklist trap

Post Date : August 15, 2022
Reading time: 2 minutes

I read a book over the summer about not making lists. My first thought was, don’t take away my lists. I love making lists of everything! That is kind of the thing that #PlannerGirls do. Right? I mean, we have a planner for everything; faith planners, home planners, project planners, and perhaps even a planner for lists.

The hunting behavior

The book is in German, which is a new language for me, and the fact that I have only read about 50 pages of the book means I can’t give you a fair review of it yet. However, I can say that the author is very funny and relatable. I think she aims to make us realize that lists aren’t everything in life, and she even calls it the “check things off the list hunt.”

She explains that the problem with this kind of hunting behavior is that by constantly checking things off your list, you forget to enjoy them while doing them. Instead of going to the gym and enjoying the workout, you focus on getting it done and checking it off. By doing so, we are risking making life lifeless. Isn’t life so much bigger than the lists we write?

The never-ending list

I realize that we can do it with our faith too. We have a list each morning: reading the Bible, doing the devotional, making a prayer, blessing the food – check, check, check! From what I have learned from the first 50 pages of the book, the solution to this pattern is that being more present in the moment and really taking time for what you are doing is very important. And I think this applies even with faith-based things like praying, going to church, and having the evening devotional.

Being in the moment

Being in the moment can be challenging because sometimes we don’t like the moment we’re in. Perhaps it is uncomfortable, frightening, anxiety-producing, or just plain unpleasant. In those moments, it’s vital to come to God and be very honest. Tell God exactly what you’re thinking, feeling and perhaps whisper a silent prayer: “God, it’s hard for me to focus at the moment because life feels too much. I really want to spend time with you because I know I can do anything when you give me strength to do it “.

Weekly challenge

So this week, my challenge for you is not to keep checking everything off the daily to-dos of devotionals and prayers. Instead, focus on the prayers you’re saying and check in with God on and off throughout the day. Then see how He can influence your daily to-dos to be more meaningful, less hectic, and stressful. So you’re not running around trying to catch as many to-dos as possible, and you’re leaning in and letting God lead.

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