While there are a lot of benefits to being able to work out of your own home, there are some downfalls too. One of them being those moments when you realize that you haven't stepped outside in a few days (yes, it has happened on more than one occasion!). The other one is that there is no punch clock at the end of the day. If there is work to be done, it doesn't matter if it's 6:00 and you should be calling it a day, you've got to finish. And I don't know if it's Murphy's Law or not, but at least with the various jobs and commitments I'm involved with, it seems like when it rains, it pours and I'm left desperately trying not to get wet (or miss a deadline)!
That's what the last few weeks have been like for me. On top of my regular commitments, I've had quite a few unexpected things come up as well. But even as challenging as it's been to get everything done, it's been good in the sense that I haven't allowed myself to become completely overwhelmed by it either. Through doing this kind of work, I've learned my lessons (often the hard way) and as a result I've got quite the system for my to-do list. I have it set up so at a glance I can see what needs to be done, who it's being done for and when it's due. And when I finish an item I cross it off and don't start a new list until Monday morning. It gives a sense of accomplishment when you look at your list and see more items scratched off than left on, doesn't it? Well maybe it doesn't for you, but for me it does and it allows me to stay organized and keep my focus on what matters.
Another thing I've really learned the value of is saying "no". In fact, the only reason I got through the past couple of weeks is because as certain areas of my life increased their demand on my time, I had to put aside other things.
But it isn't easy to say "no" or "I can't" or "not this time" because no one wants to let someone else down and it's also not easy to accept and embrace our limitations, but it's not healthy if we don't. I've learned (the hard way) that I can't be all things for all people. Over the last year or two I've been on the journey of deciding what's important in my life and what things, jobs, people, ministries, and relationships I want to invest my time in and go with that. Of course that list is a work in progress and as things come up, I do re-evaluate, but keeping that in mind has allowed me to have the boundaries I need in my life to be well-balanced and keep my focus on what's important.
Because when I look back on my life I don't want to look back on one disorganized mess of a life where I was so busy running from one thing to the next that I didn't get anything done. No, I want to look back and be able to say that I was faithful with what God gave me and what I did, I did well. No one's perfect and I know I have many mistakes ahead, but at least this is one step forward on the journey...