Admit it: the best leaders you know can make a decision and move on. No matter whether you’re plagued by the chipped paint in the hallway begging you to put a fresh coat over it every day or if your work environment places additional projects on your plate every day, you’re not at a loss for things to do. If you’re like me, the list is longer than the time you have in a day. What to do?
Recognize 2 facts:
1) You can’t do it all.
2) You don’t want to do it all.
Do you realize that coming to terms with these two points means you can take action to break free from the stress of feeling bound by all that needs to be done? It’s an incredible feeling.
Let’s take the hypothetical chipped paint in the hallway example from above. Do you like to paint, and can you make time to do so in the near future? If so, the answer is simple: write it down on your calendar, buy the supplies, and enjoy painting while being pleased with the results. Note: the peace that comes from having it scheduled should immediately remove some of the anxiety you have.
Now, let’s say you can’t or don’t like to paint…well, it’s still a pretty clear-cut decision in my opinion. Either schedule and pay for someone to paint or let it go. Seriously. If you can’t afford to have it painted, then recognize it’s not something that needs to be a priority at this time. Going into debt would only transfer your stress from the bad-looking paint to your finances. It’s best to let it go. Perhaps the opportunity will come later to paint, but for the time being you can be pleased to not let this situation concern you.
Any guilt we feel for appearing to have things undone comes from what culture places on us. We think we must have a clean home every day. We believe that preparing picturesque meals for our families each night makes us good parents. We’ve been taught that lawns must be kept tidy and leaves can’t gather in the gutters.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not encouraging living in a pit. I’m encouraging freedom from all of the “shoulds” so that time is invested in what matters most. “Good enough” doesn’t count in the minimalist life. We make intentional decisions, knowing that wasted time can turn into a wasted life.
Think for a minute about what’s bothering you today. Struggling to make a decision? Can’t determine what to do about something that’s annoying you? Take some time to seriously admit what matters most. Remind yourself of your values. Then schedule it, do something about the issue, or let it go and move on. Your time isn’t best spent on trivial issues that will amount to little when it’s all said and done.
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Dana Byers and her family are passionate about adoption and online ministry, and they sold all they owned in 2007 to live a mobile lifestyle overseas and expand online ministry practices globally. She’s the author of “The Art of Online Ministry” and recently moved to Oklahoma to become the Community Pastor for LifeChurch.tv Church Online. All opinions shared here are expressly her own.