March 2, 2011

the difference between "full" and "busy"

To-do-list

I sometimes get asked, "You're really busy, huh?" Most of time I respond with, "Life is full. But I'm not busy." Busy implies--to me--a hurried, over-taxed lifestyle without healthy bounderies; without a sense of sabbath. I don't think that is how I live. My life certainly is full with a lot projects and things going on. Who'd expect less with three kids, a full time job and seminary on top? There are three things that come to mind first when considering how this is balanced in my life:

To-do lists: Every day I make a list of approximately ten things that I need to get done that day. I do this before I check email, listen to voicemails, etc. It's the first thing I try to do after I spend time alone reading, praying and journalling in the morning.

A clean and simple workspace: I find that if my workspace is chaotic, my life gets chaotic. I regularly clean things out either throwing out, recycling or giving away what I don't need for regular use or records. Taking the little time it takes to keep things clean and organized has a huge impact on the rest of my life.

Practice gratitude: I've mentioned before the practice of this. But it makes all the difference! When I remember to be grateful for all the things I have in my life--my wife, three kids, my community, a chance to learn and a job that compensates me for my work--it changes my perspective. It keeps me humble and simultaneously keeps me from feeling burdened and taxed by all that is in my life.

This is what works for me.

What works for you?

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