I am one of those list-maker types. A person afflicted with a sense of organization and progress tracking that I fear must border on a psychological disorder. The common terminology that is used is anal retentive, a term to characterize a person with such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others. The definition goes further to say that the anally retentive person develops such a routine that they eventually become a major annoyance to themselves! For me, I make a detailed to-do list when I arrive at work each morning. I work on a number of different projects that each have different deadlines, and each project has several people connected with it. I fear that without my to-do list, chaos would result. Critical project deadlines would slip past and the folks working with me would grumble and complain. In short, I would forget to do what is necessary and important for me to do.
I have included a photograph from my to-do list for yesterday. The first three items in my list are the same each day. They always read:
1). Say prayers
2). Work to improve
3). Update thoughts log
The reminder to pray is more of a reminder to keep God central in my life as I go through my day, from start to finish, to keep my eyes and ears open to his word and his presence. My second item to improve is necessary to be sure to keep my focus on lessons that I have already learned so that I don't slide back into old patterns. To be sure that I work to put forth my best effort each day and to look for ways to do better, to be a better person, a better friend, a better father, a better worker, a better Christian. Finally, I have found it a good exercise to journal in my thoughts log a bit each day. To keep track of what has happened so that I don't grow complacent, so that I can examine what I did right each day and what I did wrong. Each listing is critical for me to be sure that I don't forget to do what is most necessary and important for me to do.