You've heard of it before: the brain dump. It's where you list everything you have in your mind that must get taken cared of. Whether that's paying a bill, writing a paper, or returning someone's phone call. That system used to work for me; I would feel relieved to list everything out, but I learned a new way that removes anxiety from that list.
I start with a prayer, a small declaration. I thank Jesus for giving me what I need in that moment to complete the following tasks. For instance, the other day I thanked Jesus for strength and focus, because that is what I needed for that day. My prayer then changed in the middle of the day of busy tasks as I started to feel anxious after hearing stressful news, I remembered Scripture and I was reminded and wrote on my list "You say, be anxious for nothing. The Lord is at hand."
Instead of listing everything I already knew I needed to get done, I focused on what I could do in that moment. It wasn't like setting goals, it was marking what I was already getting done. I marked the present time then listed the tasks that were in progress. A "to-do list as you go" plan. I kept track of what I was doing but also eliminated unnecessary distractions (like scrolling through social media and watching TV -- my two guilty pleasures).
It lessened the pressure and load. Now I have learned that tomorrow is promised to no one and I can't be sure of what my next hour will look like. I can, however, plan for the next 5 seconds, and that's a clear and easy start.
By following this grace-filled planning I have been able to complete things I have had on my to do lists for weeks! I finally had the focus and strength to complete the tasks without being distracted by all the other tasks I needed to complete.
Remove the overwhelming load and plan for a grace-filled day.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything
— Philippians 4:5-6
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
— Proverbs 27:1
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
— Luke 12:25