What I Learned About To-Do Lists from My Eight-Year-Old Son

This is a guest post by Barry Hill, Jr., a storyteller, blogger, speaker, and barista. You can read more on blog, The Ordained Barista and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I love to-do lists. Are you a to-do list person? Not sure? Take this one question quiz to find out if you might be an official to-do list person.

To-Do List -Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/SparkleArt, Image #5092097

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/SparkleArt

Question: Have you ever completed a task that wasn’t on your to-do list, and then added it on to your to-do list, after you completed the task, just so you could enjoy the twisted satisfaction of crossing that task off of your to-do list?

If you have, then you, my friend, are officially a to-do list person. Welcome to the club.

The major challenge I have with my to-do lists, like many people, is that I have more tasks to do on them then any ten people could possibly finish in a week. Sound familiar? Because we live such frenetic lives, we can quickly become mired in the tyranny of the urgent, and prioritizing my tasks for the week becomes paramount if I am going to move closer to my goals.

One of the questions I like to ask myself, in order to determine what tasks get assigned a higher priority, is the following,

“What tasks on this to-do list should, or can only, be accomplished by me?”

We can all think of tasks in our area of responsibilities, for many reasons, that are best done personally, and asking the question, “What tasks can only be accomplished by me?” is an especially important question to consider when we are organizing the tasks and responsibilities of our professional and personal lives.

Last summer my wife, Rachel, found this to-do list that my then eight-year-old son, Harrison, had in his room, and it really made me re-think the types of tasks that are on my to-do lists. Take a look.

Harrison’s To-Do List

In case you can’t read my son’s writing let me go over the list:

  1. Bionicles (this is a toy made by Lego)
  2. Go to Joshua’s (his friend)
  3. Legos (Do you remember when Legos were on your to-do list?)
  4. Nap (I wish!)
  5. Go-Go’s (This is a toy not the 80s band)
  6. Computer (I was glad to see that #6 and #7 were left incomplete.)
  7. T.V.
  8. Play with Dad

Even though Harrison had a hectic summer schedule, which consisted of playing with friends, building Legos, and recreational-sleep he still put “play with Dad” as an important task to be completed.

Honestly, this to-do list got me more than a little choked up. At times I can be more focused about writing down work related tasks than I can be about the things that matter the most, like my family and important relationships. It made me think about the fact that I spend a crazy amount of time being strategic and intentional with my job, and I want to remember to apply that same intentionality to my relationships as well.

I am great about creating and tackling lists that need to happen to lead a productive work day, but I am less intentional about the fact that:

  • I am the only father my children have.
  • I am the only husband that my wife has, and I am called to be her partner, champion, and lover.
  • No one is going to run three miles for my heart or loose fifteen pounds on my behalf.
  • If I don’t spend regular time with God I will have a harder time recognizing his voice in my life. (John 10)

Like many people, I am much more comfortable asking the question what is there “to-do” and a lot less focused on what/who I am called “to-be.”

So, in order to be more intentional with developing habits that remind me that I am not simply a collection of my accomplishments and my to-do’s, I have started thinking about not only my to-do list but my to-be list.

What is a to-be list? It is simply a list of the time and tasks that I need to invest in, so that I can move towards being the person God has called me to be.

Here are a few examples of my “to-be” categories with one task on each list.

In order “to-be” a caring father I will:

  • Find time each week to spend with each of my children, one-on-one, doing something they love.

In order “to-be” a loving husband I will:

  • Make sure I tell Rachel every day how much I love her, and give her specific example of how much I appreciate what she does for our family.

In order “to-be” the Barry God has created me to be I will:

  • Exercise at least three times a week for thirty minutes.

In order “to be” a child of God I will:

  • Spend time listening to God’s voice, every morning, for at least twenty minutes through prayer and the reading of scripture.

You see, I get so focused about meetings and tasks that sometimes I forget to prioritize the things in life that most need to be accomplished, and that can ONLY can be done by me—like my relationships with my friends and family.

Let me encourage you that I am not writing this because I have all the answers figured out, but because I have been challenged by these things more than I would like to admit, and need helpful tools, and people, to keep me accountable. It took the to-do list of my eight-year-old son to remind me what is important in life.

As an exercise, I encourage you to take a few minutes today and write down a few “to-be” categories and add one task to each category.

Question: How could a to-be list help re-frame the list of things you feel compelled to do? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Did Harrison give permission to have his to-do list published online? Isn’t this like posting a page from someone’s diary? 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       I asked him If I could share it and he proudly said, “yes.”

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        I know he had to be SO proud that Dad would want to use his material.  “A little child shall lead them.”  And I know you are so proud of him too, Barry. 

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        Alright. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, even though I haven’t had a chance to depose Harrison to get his side of the story.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Hahahahahahaha! That’s awesome! If you want to send an affidavit over you can have at it! Thanks, CQ~ Well played, sir! Well played! 

          • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

            I’ll put it on my to-do list.

          • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

             Touche’

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Barry, I love that you kept the list and posted a picture. Made your post so much more powerful!

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    I love this, Barry. Glad you found the list and thanks for sharing it.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, Jeremy. I’m trying to think of what other treasures I might find in my kid’s rooms. :)

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Be careful…you might be sucked into a Huck Finn type situation where the kids are trying to get you to clean up their rooms to find hidden treasures.  *smile*

  • http://www.grace-marshall.com/blog Grace Marshall

    Love this reminder to lead a productive (i.e. personally meaningful) life rather just productive work. Have you read Patrick Lencioni’s 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family? I found it really useful and insightful for leading an intentional family life.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Grace,
      No, I haven’t, but I will put it on my list! It sounds like a great book for a family with 6 kids 10 and under.

      • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

        6 under 10.  You win!  :)  We have 5 under 8. Unexplainable challenge. Unexplainable blessing!  …we’re no doubt better for it.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Travis— I am soooooo stealing (er.. Borrowing) that saying! “Unexplainable challenge—Unexplainable blessing” sums it up PERFECT!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          How about 6 including 3 five year olds and 3 teenagers? Does that warrant any points? ;) I agree — unexplainable challenge, unexplainable blessing.

      • http://www.cindyfinley.com/ Cindy Finley

        6 under 10?  My husband and I were there once.  Now we have 7 between the ages of 10 and 19.  :)   Pushing the double-stroller with the 7, 5, and 4 year old gripping the side and pulling the grocery cart … memories.  And of course, the never-ending “Are they all yours?”  

        My reply, “They ARE!  Aren’t I blessed?” would always leave them staggering.  

        Those years were wonderful, but we also love these teenage years and consider it SUCH a privilege to have a role in launching our kids for the Kingdom.  

  • http://www.SiaKnight.com/ Sia Knight

    In today’s hectic environment (work, home, church, etc.), this type of perspective can help us focus on what’s important. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Sia,
      I wish I was better at always knowing what the “most important thing,” at the moment, always is. Ya, know? But, this was a good reminder! 

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Great stuff Barry!  Having a to-be list sounds a lot like a simplified life plan.

    By framing things like exercise and marriage from a to-do list into a to-be list can help simplify the acts and give inspiration.

    I know while exercising it can become quite boring and if all it was was something to check off the to-do list it could easily be put aside. But by classifying it as a to-be(to be healthier, to be energized, to be stronger) it provides a goal alongside it. Giving inspiration…

    Thanks again for sharing Barry!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Joe,
      Thanks, my friend. I think you are right—I think sometimes I (we) make things more complicated than they need to be—especially when we get too busy!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I’d like to share a “picture” that I carry in my spiritual wallet–a “picture” that changed my concept of prayer. I am sitting on a couch, snuggled between my Father and my big brother. No matter where I am at or what I am doing, I am safe on that couch and am in constant conversation with the Ones who love me the most. And, I am constantly telling my Father and my big brother how much I love them. Snuggling on that couch has changed everything.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Patricia,
      What a great image and practice! I am sure that has a had a huge impact o your prayer life! Sometimes it’s just those little “re-framings” that have such an enormous impact! Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: WELCOME! ~My Guest Post At MichaelHyatt.Com And The Winners Of The Frank Peretti Book Giveaway. | The Ordained Barista

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great insights, Barry. I love the fact he is making to-do lists at only 8 years old. You have a very organized son, who obviously takes after his dad. This habit will help him through school and into the future.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, John! Yeah, Harrison is a list guy. However, I have several other children who are NOT list kids (ha). It’s so fun to watch how different they all have been created—starting from the same two parents.

  • sherristone

    Barry what an amazing take on ‘to-do’ lists.  I’m a list maker from a long line of list makers and never once have I thought about tasks in terms of who I am to be! Such a simple but profound concept! Thank you for sharing this with us and for sharing a wonderful glimpse of Harrison who still wants to play with Dad. If that doesn’t melt your heart nothing will! 

    Enjoy your play dates!  :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Sherri,
      Thank you for kind words! Yeah, I think there are people who are born with the to-do-list gene, and there are those who have to learn it. ha. Thanks, again!

  • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

    Barry, your son’s to-do list says it all.  And your list shows us where your son learned this valuable skill.  Thanks for sharing.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, Michael! Now I just need to work on his spelling. :)

      • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

         I have a feeling you will make spelling fun for him and he will master it.  Keep up the great job you are doing.  I really enjoyed your story today.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Thanks Michael! I hope things are well in Iowa!

          • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

             Iowa is an amazing state.  This place is loaded with incredible writing talent.  I applied for a writing job at the University of Iowa, it’s #1 on my to-do list.  Once I get that done, I can work on #2, housing.

          • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

             Wow! Awesome I hope you get the new gig! Remember to hit me up when you get to the Field of Dreams home! :)

          • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

             It’s on the list.

          • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

             Sweet!

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        I think list-making is much cooler than spelling. ;) 

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Barry – I absolutely love this post! (And may I add, as a fan of The List – the old fashioned pen & paper kind, I was 100% on board from the start.) 

    Wise words to focus more on who we should be, and when we focus on that, our to-do list will likely change dramatically. My To-Be list includes the words closer, better and fearless. I wrote about it here, http://www.chattykelly.com/2012/01/my-one-2-3-word.html

    Thanks for a great post Barry. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Kelly, Thank You—you are too kind. Yeah, I am a child of technology but I still like to put most of my around the house to-do things on paper. Work—Digital after it hits the molskine it goes in the MAC.

      I went over to your site, which is awesome, and shared with you my word for 2012! I am totally going to use that as post next week!

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        I will definitely be over to your blog to read about your one word next week. Have a great day today! I remember how crazy busy I was on my guest post day. I quickly realizing why Michael recruited community leaders. He could spend 1/2 day each day just commenting on his blog.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          I still don’t know how Michael did it all? I have a top secret theory that Michael has found a way to duplicate himself and there are actually 4 Michael Hyatts in the world! 

  • http://www.laramsey.com/ Lori

    Guilty!  Though I do not always take the time to make a list, I have a master list of to-do’s to get me through anyway.   This list is my “dream schedule” then I have a list of things to do to get to that list.  I’ll be so thrilled once I make it to that point.  Thanks for sharing, nice to know I’m not alone.  :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Welcome to the club, Lori!—You are in good company here! I always get anxious when I hit work and I have been there for a little while and haven’t been able to cross anything of the list. I start to hear a little list voice in the back of my head—get to your list… Get to your list…

      Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  • http://www.thenancyway.com/ Nancy Roe

    I visit my mother twice a year (over 600 miles seperate us) and she makes a “to do” list for me.  It’s my idea.  I love to help her out any way I can.  She puts items on the list like clean out shed, paint mirrors, and clean curio cabinet.  Also on the list are shopping, going out for lunch, and playing Scrabble.  It’s a balance of work and fun.  I do enjoy crossing items off the list!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Me, too. Crossing items off a list is energizing for me! By the way, I love that your mom’s list includes both work and fun. Perfect.

  • http://franthony.com/ Fr. Anthony Messeh

    Wow!  This is perfect.  Perfect message and perfect timing.  Thanks so much for sharing this.  No matter how much I share this same message with others, somehow I still need it to hear every so often as well.  Thanks Barry.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Fr. Anthony,
      Thank you my friend! I see you are in Arlington and used to be in Fairfax Co. I am in Chantilly and work in Vienna! We should get a cup of coffee after Easter sometime?

      Blessings!

      • http://franthony.com/ Fr. Anthony Messeh

        I would love to!  I actually live in Clifton even though the church is in Arlington – so I am between the two areas all the time.  Let me know when you’re free next week and I’d love to get together.  Thanks.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           Awesome! I’ll contact you next week!

  • Tracie

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been reading about simplicity ang focus for a year, and this is a perfect summary. Your son’s list is precious — a good way to plan a vacation.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Thanks, Tracie!
      I have been reading about minimalism life style design for a little while to and am also very intrigued by it. As my kids are getting a little bit older I really want to focus on the things that matter.
      Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaBagley Josh Bagley

    Great post Barry, thanks for sharing… Agreed sometimes the to-do list actually causes more problems in our lives and makes us loose focus on the important with out us realizing it… I’m going to go and create that “to-be” list to remind me what I live for.

    Thanks to Harrison for sharing as well!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Josh!
      Thank you for sharing. My wife will tell you that I can only focus on one thing at a time, and so if I am not careful I can really loose perspective, and like you said it can cause problems. I would love to hear about any of your to-be-list that you are willing to share!

      Thanks again, Josh!

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    The last two years of my life have been aboit simplifying, and that includes the use of “to do” lists. I am just completing a series on Simplicity Principles that shows the lessons I have learned from that process. Along the way, I have learned to use my “to do” list to keep me focused on what I want to be rather than letting it define my life in accomplishments. My tag line illustrates what I want to be (determined, creative, deliberate, etc.). Today, for me, my “to do” list is an effective tool for accomplishing my goals and no longer something that determines my value.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Wow! Kari, You said so much there! My to-do-list, in the past, have CERTAINLY determined my value, and I am learning to not make that the case! And, I love your tag line!
      Kari, thanks so much for sharing!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Don’t know about you, but the process was somewhat painful. Exceedingly worthwhile, but painful.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Yes, Painful is a good word. It wasn’t utill I got married, and had kids, that I really started seeing it! It’s still a battle and can find myself slipping all the time!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Which is exactly why I have “be intentional and deliberate” on my tag line. As my U-per (someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) step-dad would say, “You can’t lick it off the grass.” Odd way to say it, but spot on.

          • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

             I LOVE that saying! I have never heard it before—but I love it! I am so gonna use that!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Believe me, I have gotten some mileage out of it. Will probably get more too!

          • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

            Ha. Love it!

  • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

    Barry, What a refreshing article to start my day. The simplest solutions are often the best and there is nothing like getting a reality check from a child. Your son is a mirror image of you in terms of organizational skills. My next task would be to see if I can become a higher priority on my son’s list. As an 8 year old approaches the teen years, the best case would be for our relationships to be more valuable that our kids’ friends.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Hank,
      I know, right? There is something really grounding when your kids teach you something! You are not kidding—when the kids et older they will want to hang out with there friends more, but I still want to be somewhere on the top of the list? We shall see!

      Thanks again, Hank!

  • http://twitter.com/bicienzo Vincenzo Vecchio

    Great post. 
    Really!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Vincenzo—Thanks a ton! Blessings on your day!

  • http://mommainprogress.blogspot.com/ Momma_in_Progress

    I love that someone else’s child does this, too. My daughter composes these lists all the time. I even wrote a post about it 
    http://mommainprogress.blogspot.it/2011/12/my-sweet-e.html
    Kids really have a way of putting things in perspective, don’t they?

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    I am only occasionally a “to do list” person.  But I always like the feeling I get when I check them off.

    Heck, I almost choked up reading Harrison’s To Do list. 

    Great story!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Thad,
      Occasional check list people are welcome in the club too! :)  Thad, thanks for the comment and kind words!

      • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

        I just sent you an email about a potential 12 oz Interview (I have checked out your blog too).

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           Thad—Thanks a ton! I am really excited to check it out!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

     Wow, really great post.  I am a list maker! I love lists, but I really do have to make sure my priorities are right. God, family…then work! 
    Thanks for these powerful words!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Establishing priorities in a list is such a great idea … I usually operate more from a position of urgency rather than priority.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        I thinking working as an ER RN helped me learn the beauty of using triage in all areas of my life. Though to be honest, I find I am usually in the state of urgency as I tend to over extend myself.

  • Scott

    This idea is very consistent with Steven Covey’s approach in 7 Habits.  The idea of building our to-do lists out of the roles we find most significant in our lives helps us stay focused on the important stuff.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Scott,
      Thanks! I am a huge Covey fan— I love the illustration he does with the Big Rocks first… Do you remember that one?

      Classic Covey! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8705cHTKEgQ

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Thank you, Barry.  This is a valuable leadership lesson and reflects the changing face of leadership, which is about inspiring people to fulfill their potential.  (their greatness!)

    This should be required reading at the office.  People on the path to who they are meant to be  bring a whole new level of passion, purpose, and energy to their work.

    PERSONAL SUCCESS POWERS PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Travis,
      Thanks for your kind words! I am with you 100%— I think helping people realize their full potential and what they were created for is the name of the game! People are so much more energized when they are “doing” out of “being” (i.e.—what they were created to be)
      Travis—thanks again!

  • Michael Bells

    didn’t michael hyatt post recently that having a nap is a good leadership tool! 

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    Barry, I am inspired and reengaged now because of your message.  Chip Ingram in his book “Good To Great In God’s Eyes”  inspired me to make a list that is essentially a “to be” list.

    I have to knock the dust off of it and get refocused.  This is a great weekend for new beginnings! 

     I am a new creation thanks to what we celebrate this weekend.  Thanks for the reminder about what I committed to being.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Thanks, Dave!
      I will have to check out Chip’s book—It sounds great! Yes—this is my favorite week of the year! The reminder about forgiveness, new creation, redemption, and love are unparalleled!

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    I’m definitely a “to do” list type of person as I always add something to the list, after completed, just to cross it off. Thanks for the chuckle!

    One thing that I’ve been really aiming for is the prioritization of my tasks. I realize that there is no way that I can do everything but my brain is always swimming with new ideas. I’m a INFJ type of person – the type that has big dreams and creativity ideas. The thing is trying to make them all come to life.

    I wonder how others deal with delegation of tasks. It’s not that I am a control freak but rather that I like to see the job done to the highest level of quality. So many people like to do things only half way – so how do you know who to delegate to so that your mind, body and soul are all at peace with letting something go?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Shannon,
      Glad you laughed—Welcome to the club!

      I am an INFP  http://theordainedbarista.com/2011/02/27/infp-personality-type/

      I think there is a process to delegation—where you are helping people get to the place where they need to be and giving them ownership. I like the 80/20 principle. If the task can at least be done 80% of the way I would do it—the person can grow into the other 20%, but the net gain is that you can move your attention onto what you need to do.  Win-Win.

      You also need the right people in the right seats on the bus! finding what people are gifted to accomplish is all part of the journey as a leader!
      Thanks again, Shannon!

      • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

        Thanks so much Barry! I love the 80/20 approach and I’m definitely going to sit down and see how it would work for my business. 

        Any suggestions to finding the right people? I have a great “partner” list with some talented people but it takes a lot of work (in-person meetings, talks, etc) to make sure they are up to snuff. Given that I am a solopreneur, I’d love to find a way to streamline this process – if possible. 

        Thanks again!

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           I have a staff of 4 people and the one thing that is a non-negotiable is passion for the area we serve in—teenagers. If you find someone who really likes what they are doing—then I find that they are willing to learn, take constructive direction, be a team player… etc… If someone is just filling there time until something else comes along then it might be a tough time. I want t find a way to fit people in the calling they were meant to do!

          By the way—I love human SEO –Brilliant!

          • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

            Awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback, Barry. It’s always great to get real life experiences to help increase focus on the areas of greatest importance.

            And thanks for the “Human SEO” feedback. I’m working on a book by the same title… to help other entrepreneurs. I love helping others and I hope my innate skill in SEO and marketing will do just that.

            Have an awesome weekend!

      • TheRealBlogGuest

        The only problem I have with delegation is that I work with a lot of talented people and most of them can do the job 80% well or more. How do I move myself at the “next level” while at the same time not just become a PM where I delegate everything that comes my way?

  • http://www.cindyfinley.com/ Cindy Finley

    Love this!  Thank you for encouraging me to truly prioritize relationship over task and going after the tasks which only I can do.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Cindy,
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I really appreciate it!

  • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

    Tyranny of the urgent bites me in the butt every single day. I tacitly understand my roles and responsibilities, but maybe writing them down will help me to prioritize some things that often are left undone at the end of the day because I let my work or my project take over…

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Jason, My friend! You are not alone! Even the best, most productive people in the world, get mired in the TOTU! You are in good company! But, the advantage you have is that you realize that it’s a challenge! We need coffee soon! Coming toward me any time soon?

  • http://orgspring.com/ Craig Grella

    I love the fact that your son has “TV” on his to do list. He has a promising career in hollywood ahead of him, no doubt.

    I think my head would explode if I didn’t work off to do lists. There’s something about crossing off a list that makes you feel like you’re making progress. 

    Sometimes when I reach the end of a really tough day and I look back to find out I haven’t been able to cross anything off my list – I just insert something really easy to do and then cross it off and I feel better. THen I review the list and make a plan (in my mind) of how to attack it better the next day.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Craig,
      I know, right? Yes—I love the feeling of crossing it off the list! I have totally added a couple of easy tasks on my list before to make sure that I can at least cross of something!

      One of the things that have really helped me is reviewing and refining my list the night before! That has been a game changer!

  • helloheady

    This is DOWN RIGHT awesome.  Headed to make my new to-do list.  

    Go Win!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      HH—
      Thanks for the kind words! I hope you have a blessed day!

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    I like the idea of having a life list that determines most of the things you put on your to-do list.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Ha—Yeah! I like the idea of a filter for the most important things, too. Now, if I can make a list about the list for my list—the we’ll be cooking! :)

  • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

    Tell your son this is the best to-do list I’ve ever seen., and he has a 7 year old buddy in Texas to play legos with anytime.

    I love one question quizzes! And wow did this hit home for me. I add tasks after they’ve been completed (and enjoy the rush of crossing them out) at least once a day. It all started when I sent my best friend two birthday cards. I couldn’t remember if I had actually sent it, dreamt about sending it, or just thought about sending it. So I sent another one. Now I can look back at a list and see if I actually did it. I might need counseling.

    Seriously, though, this concept of a to-be list is right on time for me. This is typically my busiest week of the year at home. I’m hosting Easter, have out of town guests, and my husband and both kids have their birthdays! This post reminded me to focus on the importance of the celebrations rather than the busyness of all the tasks.

    Thanks, Barry!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Tracy—deal! I’ll tell him! But he may not leave me alone if I do! Dad, when are we going to Texas? Dad, when are we going to Texas? Dad?….. X 1,000 :)

      I have been told I may need counseling too—not just for that! :) BTW, I think two birthday cards just shows how much you care! :)

      I hope you have a great Holy Week and that your time to celebrate with your husband and son, on their special day, is a real blessing!

      Thanks, Tracy!

  • http://twitter.com/glenn_ferrell Glenn Ferrell

    Congrats ! Truly an awesome honor when you get put on your son’s to-do list :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, Glenn!

  • Charla Pickerel

    I was just saying that very thing, just yesterday, about adding something to my list just so I could check it off!  This is perfect timing!  I laughted out loud!  And I have begun to make a “to-be list” as part of that list.  It can actually be somewhat offensive to those you love, at first.  They think “How crude that I have to be on a list.”  But it is an effort of love on my part to make sure my loved ones don’t fall through the cracks of this busy life.  Loved the article!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Charla,
      Thanks so much for the kind words! I am glad that you got a good laugh! I have people say that to me before as well that, “you actually put your kids/spouse on a list?” But, you are right— for a list person it’s the highest form of flattery! The goal, like you said, is not to please people on the outside who don’t agree with your methods, but to not let your loved ones fall  through the cracks! I am AMAZED how fast it has gone so far!

      Thanks again, Charla!

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    That’s adorable. I have a 3-year old and I can’t wait to see him do something like this.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Just wait Loren—oh, just wait! Oh for every good thing like this there is about 10 where you are left scratching your head! hahaha! I wouldn’t tade it for the world!

  • conniefoster

    Barry,
    My husband had a stroke in 1997 and is permanently disabled. Sometime I get so busy being his caregiver, I forget to be his wife. Your blog is an important reminder of the need to prioritize those most precious and dear to us.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Connie,
      Thanks for taking the time to share a small part of your journey—I am sure there is much could learn from it/you! Thanks for your kind words!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      So wise, Connie. I’ve done the same, but with my children. I get so busy being their provider/caretaker, I forget to be their mom. Thank you for that.

  • Kirsetin Morello

    One of the best posts I’ve read this week. Thank you.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kirsten,
      Thanks for the kind words! I hope you have a blessed weekend!

  • http://RichardBurkey.wordpress.com/ Richard Burkey

    Yes, I have added the completed item off my to do list that I had not listed and enjoyed the sweet satisfaction of marking it off. Thanks for the reminder God made us to be human beings, not merely human doings. I love the “to be” list idea.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Richard—
      I love the distinction be tween a human-being and a human-doing—it’s one of my favorite! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has added stuff on their list after it was complete—for a while I thought it was just me! Ha!

  • James Henderson

    I think us To-Do List people also have a tendency to create out list based on our work day/hours.  This splits us into catagories.  The reality is, however, that we are all living one life.  Our lists and calendars are better suited by reflecting that more wholestic view of our lives.  This very much ties in with the philosophy of To-Be list, as each of the rolls we fill in one aspect of who we are.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       James,
      I agree with that 1,000% I don’t know why I am not more wholistic in my approach to tasks management and why there are those compartments that you are speaking of!  I think things are changing though—people are becoming more aware of the toll that living 2 lives (work/home) can take on you. I think employers understand it more now too.

      James, Thanks again for sharing! 

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I am definitely a list  person.  I use Nozbe projects mainly, but I also keep a few notepads handy…

    I would hold on to that list of your son’s.  That’s awesome!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Jeff,
      I have been using things, but I am thinking about trying out Nozbe, especially after Michael’s endorsement—and yours! :) You can be sure I will be holding on to that to-do list for a long time!

      Thanks, Jeff!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I started using Nozbe a year ago…  I love it!

  • shawnvincent

    What a nice post!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, Shawn! Looks like you have your hands full, too! Blessings on your day!

  • Doña B

    Great reminder.  I am a major to-do list person (regularly putting already-completed items on so I can cross them off!).  I actually have a self-care section of my running to-do list where I put things that are just for me, not for my kid or family or work, that are generally hard to find time for.  I also make a family to do list each weekend and try to list as many fun things as chore things.  I haven’t thought about making a to-be list, though.  I’ll try it!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Dona,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I like the fact that you are listing the fun things on your list, too, and not just the mundane! For us list people I think that gives ” the fun stuff” a whole level of credibilty! 
      Dona—thanks again!

  • http://christianmommyblogger.com/about Nikki

    I totally add things I have just completed to my “to-do” list! Glad to know I am not alone! I really appreciate this “To-Be” list idea. What a nice way to cater to my desires to be a list maker AND stronger Christian/better wife and mother.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Nikki,
      For a while I totally thought I was the only one—almost like list cheating. What great reasons that you list to to work your to-be list! God, Wife and Mom. The three highest callings in the world! Nikki, blessings on your day!

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com Adam Rico

    Pow! Exactly what I needed to hear Barry. It’s my daughter’s 4th birthday today. I’ve cleared my schedule and we’re gonna have a great day together. Great post!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Adam!
      That is fantastic—I hope you have a fantastic day together celebrating her birthday! I hope she was able to clear her schedule, too! Ha! praying you have a blessed day!

    • Jim Martin

      What an investment!  Wonderful!

  • Tim Osborn

    I’m in the club! Do we get a patch (will check it off when I
    receive it)?

    Honestly, I find it motivating to add items already
    completed to my list, only to immediately check them off. Progress and
    motivation seem to go hand in hand.

    Recently Microsoft introduced an attempt to stimulate
    motivation through progress, when they added badges, achievements and a
    leaderboard to their popular development tool (http://www.geekwire.com/2012/coding-fun-microsofts-visual-studio-badges-leaderboard/).
    Pondering this, I understand that competition can certainly be motivating, but
    when it’s amongst peers on a team and encouraging evaluation relative to one
    another’s performance, it’s best to count the costs first before moving ahead. (Is
    your purpose to beat your colleagues?)

    Alternatively, and just prior, the Email Game (http://baydin.com/blog/2011/10/the-new-improved-email-game-is-here/)
    moved away from points towards smileys, tweaked to provide emotional
    satisfaction of the user on their own, not relative to others.

    I think for sustainable passion, you need both purpose and
    progress. Progress (to-do) without purpose leads to disillusionment and
    everyone doing what is right in his/her own eyes. Purpose (to-be) without
    progress sows disappointment and frustration. Lessons learned, and still
    learning.

    Barry, thanks for the transparency and succinct reminder: we
    need both progress and purpose in our “to lists.”

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Tim,
      I’m working on a patch—it’s on my list! And, yes, I agree—progress and motivation are 2 sides of the same coin! But as you mentioned “what is your motivation matters almost as much as the motivation itself. Don’t you think?

      I really like purpose and progress— I like purpose because it really gets behind your motivation for progress! And progress? well, I just like it because it’s progress! ha. and without it, like you mentioned, we flounder!

      Tim,
      Thanks for such thoughtful comments and your great sense of humor!

      Blessings!

  • http://justmerach.wordpress.com/ justmerach

    Wonderful article – this gave me an aha moment as it gave me one more jigsaw piece in the puzzle of clarifying tasks that while important, need frequent recurrence.

    I used to add these to my todo list (as repeating tasks), only to discover they could get de-emphasized in the priorities/motivation.  If some one-off task has a deadline of today, you’ll push yourself to get it done… but it is harder to have the same motivation for a high priority devotional time, when you know you should be coming back to it again the next day too anyway.

    So… recently I have started using the don’t-break-the-chain system (e.g. Chains.cc has an enjoyable interface) to help me keep track of “to be” tasks.  (Though I haven’t called them this.  This is where your article has helped me – it has defined the boundary between what I put in my “todo” list, and what I put in my chains, and why I am making that choice.)

    With chains, (as I expect most of you already know) rather than merely the satisfaction of merely crossing an item off the list, it gives an added incentive that for regular priorities, you want to consistently remember that priority day after day to avoid “breaking the chain”.  And the longer and stronger your habit gets, the bigger your motivation gets – in proportion – to avoid that break!Even better, an additional benefit that I’ve discovered over the todo list, is that you have the ability to review your track record over time on that one specific task: am I consistent only on weekdays?  Do I keep slipping up on one priority in particular, and need to have a mental refocus on it?

    The only drawback I’ve found of this method, is that not everything occurs on a daily schedule.  (You used the example of spending time with each child once a week.)  I’ve therefore redefined these tasks to work to their own schedule.  

    E.g. I always take Sundays off exercising.  Rather than breaking the chain for this, I’ve defined my chain as “Excercise to my schedule”, so for days when I don’t exercise (deliberately), I still continue the chain.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      JM,
      I really love the “don’t break the chains” language and imagery. What I really like about it is that it helps you understand the benefit of putting daily small incremental efforts in, so that you get a big result—chain! Michael talked about that in his last podcast: He called it the power of incremental change — yours could be called:
      “The power of incremental chains.” ha!

      http://michaelhyatt.com/006-the-power-of-incremental-change-podcast.html

      Thanks for taking the time out of your day to leave such a thoughtful comment and I am going to head over to your website before the end of the day!

      • http://justmerach.wordpress.com/ justmerach

        Barry,

        Thankyou for your interest!  I did pull together my thoughts into a blog post.  (Sorry for the comment-spam earlier!)  Just really got me thinking :-)
        Rachel

  • Gail

    I loved this list, especially with “play with Dad”…. it’s so often about stuff we have to do, but not necessarily the things that should have priority in life.  I’ve added an item to my list today – Play with Kayla (my 10 year old – she is off on Spring break – I am not).  After all life should be about those we love and that often gets forgotten in the things we have to do in life. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Gail,
      Fantastic! I’m so happy for you and Kayla! I hope you have a great day, even tough she is off and you can’t be. I hope that you take an HUGE amount of satisfaction when you cross, “Play with Kayla” off the list!

      Blessings to both you and Kayla!

    • Jim Martin

      Gail, as soon as I read “Play with Kayla” in your comment, I began thinking about what relationship action needs to be in my list today.  Thanks!

  • http://www.sarahelisabethwrites.com/ Sarah Elisabeth

    Wow, you’ve been reading my to-do lists. A resounding YES to the first question…and I thought I was the only one. How twisted.

    I love the idea of a to-be list. Only twenty-six, not married, I’ve kept this fairly balanced (from my slanted view) but I know I slip a little more into the to-do list each year. I keep getting subtle reminders, so I’d better listen to God’s leading in this.

    Thanks,
    Sarah Elisabeth

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Sarah,
      That’s so funny. For a long while I thought I was the ONLY one who did that, too. That’s so encouraging to hear at your young age that you are sensitive to the leadings that God is putting on your heart—while on this unexpected journey! So many people have lost (or losing) the ability to hear those subtle reminders anymore, so practicing that skill now will payoff big-time in the future!

      Sarah, Blessings on your day and thanks so much for leaving a comment!

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  • Dawn Wilson

    I was so glad to read this post. I have told people for years that life is not about “doing,” but rather about “being,” and you have captured the essence of that truth. I sometimes ask people to make a to-do list. After they complete that, I ask them to make a second list of the choices they can make that have nothing to do with their to-do list, but everything to do with their calling and priorities. (Sometimes those two lists don’t match up at all.)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Dawn,
      What a great exercise! In what capacity, if I might ask, do you ask people to do this exercise? It’s awesome!

    • Jim Martin

      Dawn, what a useful exercise!  Thanks for including in your comment.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Great post Barry. To do list lay things out more clearly, helps you see the big picture. They also help you be a little more organized.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kimanzi,
      Thank you! There is no doubt that they can give us clarity and direction, but they can also give us so much of those things that they can blind us too!

      Kimanzi, Thanks for the great comment and taking the time to join in the conversation—I really appreciate it!

  • Jim Martin

    Barry, this is an outstanding post!  I love what you said regarding the t0-be list.  Very good!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks, Jim!

  • Bellamarshall

    Hey, when I read that first, I read it as “Pray with Dad.” Now that was impressive!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Bella,
      I totally thought that too, when I first read it! We pray together every night and I really thought that’s what it was—But he insisted it was play. He’s more of a player than a prayer. But, I’m OK with either one!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Yes, I DO add completed items to my to-do list at the end of the day. It’s crazy, but I love it! It gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, and energizes me for the next day’s tasks. Your emphasis on to-be lists was inspiring, Barry. I can get so focused on immediate tasks that I forget the parts of daily life I really want to invest in. Thanks.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Michele,
      Thanks for your kind words! Like I have told others, I thought I was the only one who did that for so many years! Thanks again for your great comments!

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  • Ejg Rea

    Barry, this is the best blog post I have read recently.  The me I want to be…um?  I have been thinking about this alot lately because of getting married soon.  I am also one to write down everything that needs to get done for work and to advance myself; but this post has made me reavaluate what my list should look like entirely. maybe my 1’s should be 10’s and my 10’s should be 1’s?  I am going to switch things up on Monday.  I’ll spend my weekend organizing my to-do-list.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Ejg,

      First, congrats on your engagement and upcoming marriage. That is awesome! You are in-store for an amazing journey! I hope as you think through your to-do/to be that you live with intentionality, and continue seeking after the purpose you have been created with!
      Ejg—thanks for your great comments and kind words!

  • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

    Great post, Barry!  Asking ourselves who we want to be, before asking what we want to do, gives tremendous clarity and focus when it comes time to determine our to-do list.  You helped many people today.  The Ordained Barista is an awesome storyteller!  

    How’s your book coming?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      John—my friend!
      Thanks so much for the Kind words and the great feedback! The book is moving along nicely—thanks for asking! I need to get you on the books at VPC soon! I love how you used the word clarity in your comment! Clarity is/can be a tricky thing, isn’t it? sometimes when we think we have clarity we really don’t. I love that word! Clarity, i think, is something that doesn’t just come to you, but that you have to practice. Not work at—like forcing yourself to have clarity, but to practice clarity. Conditions change. Markets shift, nothing ever stays the same —aside from God, and clarity becomes something that you need to hone your ability—practice! I was going to write a post on clarity next week sometime! You just triggered a response—thanks, John. We need to get together soon!

      • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

        Hey Barry,
        Great thoughts on clarity! I’m looking forward to that post!

        Let’s do get together soon. We’ll be speaking at National Community Church’s Mother’s Day weekend services. We’re going to try to make it a long weekend in DC, so maybe we can work something out then. I’d love for you to meet the family!

  • Mary F. Allen

    Once when I worked full time and had  two babies at home I actually wrote down “brush my teeth” so that I could have one thing crossed off my list.   I love the to be list versus the to do list. That’s the way to live life purposefully.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Hahahaha! Mary, I love that! I laughed out loud at “brush my teeth.”

      You got what I was saying 100% Intentionality is the key, right! I just want to make sure I am not walking through life with blinders on, and look back 30 years from now and think of what could have been! We all make mistakes, I know, but that doesn’t mean that we have to make all of them. :)

      Mary, Thanks for your great feedback and great sense of humor! Blessings on your weekend!

  • Deepak jain

    Really nice.. i keep my to-be list.. under my Dream List :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Deepak,
      Thanks for your comment and encouragement—it really means a lot to me! I love that you have a dream list—so many of us have let our dream lists gather dust and become stale!

      Deepak—blessings to you, and I hope you have a great weekend.

  • http://www.gladstonepublishing.com/bookshelf.htm Deborah Wilson Smart

    Great article Barry!  Your insight into your son’s innocent way of living on purpose has been a blessing to me.  I will be asking that question today.  We do I have to-do to become the person God has purposed me to me.  How has He been molding and how has He been shaping me to be? I am definitely sharing this article with my family, friends and acquaintance.  And I took got a little choked up while reading your son’s list. 

    Thank you again, and God bless.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Deborah!

      Thanks for your truly kind words and “learning” spirit. What great questions that you have written here, and I love how you are really being open to the Spirit of God. Deborah, I hope you have a blessed Easter and enjoy your time with your family!

  • Jessica Zirbes

    Barry,
    Wow! You’ve got me thinking…

    I’m going to read the Bible to my husband more often when he’s on the road.

    I’m going to call my loved ones more even though I don’t like talking on the phone.

    Thank you!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Great thoughts, Jessica.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Jessica,

      These are FANTASTIC priorities! Can I ask what you mean by reading to your husband when he is on the road? Whatever it is—it sounds inspiring! Please elaborate if you are willing.

      Jessica, Thanks for your heart and great comments!

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  • http://pastorweenie.wordpress.com/ Jean

    First I am one of those who gets excited about adding the thing I just got completed to the list, so I can cross it off, and feel as though I got something done.  Check!!!  Ah that feels good.
    This post is a great reminder of what we find to be important and sometimes exhausting.  We need to have our family and God commitments listed right up there with get the report completed and make the calls and why not some play and quiet time, hey it worked in Kindergarten and that is where we learned about life (accord to Robert Folgrum anyway) .

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Jean,
      Well said! I love Folgrum, and I am glad I am not the only one who will admit to adding/crossing things off thing after they are done! I love what you said about things that are important can also be exhausting, too! Very true. 
      Jean, thanks again for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment!

  • http://www.volunteerfringe.com/ Marney Mcnall

    I absolutely love this post. And yes….I have to admit; I do write things down on my list after I’ve completed them. Glad there are others like me out there.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Marney,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and becoming a proud member of the club! I hope you have a great weekend!

  • http://melissaaoconnor.wordpress.com/ Melissa O’Connor

    First, that list is too cute! Secondly, I think this post is a good lesson. No matter how many things we have to do in our lives, it is important to remember ourselves and those around us. I often include such things in my to-do lists and it really is an effective way to make sure that you make time for the important things. 

  • Jonvh

    Great post.  I’ve been working on figuring out what is important in my life and this post is definitely along those lines.  I feel pretty convicted after reading this.  Thanks again.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Good thoughts, Barry. I appreciate the “to-be” reminder and the practical application of that wisdom. Right now, on the Saturday night before Resurrection Day, I think I’d like to be rested and ready for worship in the morning so I better start unplugging from the virtual world and prepare for an early bed time. Best to you and yours.

  • http://www.theisleofman.net/ Kevin Haggerty

    This is very convicting. I make to-do lists all the time. Not one of those lists has involved spending time with my wife. I got so wrapped up in my writing and my dreams that I’m guilty of putting my family on the backburner. Thanks for the reminder, Michael!

  • Thetradesman2003

    Great post, very inspirational! Too often my kids ask if I will play with them, and I seem to busy at the moment. Time goes by so fast, I need to slow down before I miss it all.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Tom

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com/ Anne Marie

    I love the idea of a ‘to be’ list instead of a ‘to do’ one. That’s one smart kid to be focused on what is important to him and you are one smart dad to soak up his wisdom. I am going to have to start this type of list myself. Thank you – both of you! :)

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • http://colebradburn.com/ Cole Bradburn

    I just two weeks ago began a to-be list due to advice from a mentor.  It has been quite helpful in not only getting those crucial things I truly care about done (time with God and time with family), it also reframes my focus for the day (as one of my “to-be’s” is always to show up grateful).  

    I have also been doing what my mentor calls Qualitative Statistics, essentially a post-mortem on how well I am living congruently.  I have been tracking Physical Energy, Emotional Vitality, and Future Outlook.  

    Thanks for your work here Barry.

  • Josh

    Having a to-do list is a great way to determine tasks and improve productivity. I’ve been also using a to-do list especially at work. Before I start I list my entire tasks at work, I use it a long with a tool that helps me track time. Using this tool it helps me limit wasted time and finish tasks on time. The key that I can keep myself productive especially at work is discipline. At the end of the day I feel great that I was able to finish tasks on time. Here is a review of the tool that I use at work. http://reorg.co/timedoctor-review-2012-04/ 

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  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    Had this is my “to read” folder and so glad I finally got to it.  This was one of the best written blog posts I have ever read.  I just shared it on Facebook and commented on that post that I, too, spent many years at a job where I was more intentional about the things I need to do for “it” than my personal relationships.  What an excellent concept about being more focused on what we are called “to be” as opposed to what we need “to do.”  Such a great reminder.

  • Professorjoe42

    I am even guilty of putting things on my to do list that I know I’m going to do anyway (i.e wake up, get dressed, eat) only to have the joy of checking them off the list.

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  • Retsel666

    Thanks for this great reminder, now I’d realized why i got off tracked from finishing all of the items on my list; I’d stopped reminding my self of my role for  those tasks.

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  • CoachSherrill

    I love this, in so many ways.  The wisdom of the 8 year old’s view of life, and what is important to accomplish (and probably before many “shoulds” get put on that list).  The reminder that I am the only one that can do those most important life-long “projects” like being the mom that my son most needs, yet where are the requisite tasks for each project on my list?  This is getting bookmarked as a favorite, for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/Nathan_Roten Nathan Roten

    What a great reminder to put God and family back at the top of the priority list.  Thanks for sharing!

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  • Ameena

    As I read your son’s list of stuff to do, I am reminded that the true value of a list is not just to cross of the items and base our worth on the activity. The lasting significance is to have our list based on the outcomes we want the the purpose of those wants. Looks like his list is based on a set of core principles rather than the “doing.” Reminds us to keep things a wee more simple, huh?

  • Chic Hottie

    I like the to-do-list cause it lets people know that it don’t hurt to keep track of things you want to accomplish.

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  • Igniteinspireimpact

    Love it!!!  I am a to-do list junkie lol and it helps me get so much accomplished and I have a life plan that shares the things i strive to be but MERGING them together was never a thought.  Thank you…  I am inspired!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Glad you liked it!

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  • http://www.catheepoulsen.com/ Cathee Poulsen

    As an inveterate list maker I’ve read just about every book out there and practiced every style of list making. Never in all the years have I come across a suggestion of naming a category a “to be” list. I love it. I have a to be list, I just never called it that. It’s so much more focused a title. Thank you so much for this post.