Do One Thing
by Niki Turner
Just down the road from my house the calves have begun to appear. The mud is getting thick in the yard and driveway. Springtime cometh! Hallelujah! Of course, we'll continue to see snow throughout March, April, and probably into May, but the arrival of the calves is like nature's guarantee that warmer weather and the sight of something green is on the way.
|photo by Hillbraith||via PhotoRee|
The funny thing about calving is that to the rest of us—the spectators— it seems to occur almost magically. One day there's one calf in the field. The next day, there are three. A few days later there are more baby cows than you can count as you whiz by their pasture. But they're almost always born one at a time.
Ranchers are good at focusing on the task at hand. Right now, it's calving season. Pretty much everything they do during this season revolves around calving. And that is our lesson for this week's self help post: Do one thing at a time.
Whether you're facing the enormity of spring cleaning, a desk piled with paperwork, a degree to earn, or a new novel to write, no matter how big the project, you can accomplish it one task at a time.
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of multitasking. My 13-year-old son came into my room the other day while I was working out to an exercise DVD. Upon seeing my Kindle propped on the drawer of my highboy dresser at eye level, he rolled his eyes and walked away. Yes, I'm trying to figure out how to read and do cardio at the same time. Most women can cook dinner and talk on the phone and hold a fussy baby and fill out forms for school kids at the same time without harm, but sometimes multitasking causes us to lose sight of what we're doing.
Instead of participating in LIFE,
we end up interacting with our LISTS.
|photo by robstephaustralia||via PhotoRee|
The solution? Pick one thing and do it. Turn your mind to it and apply yourself to the task at hand. Stop fretting about the rest of the list mushrooming in your brain and focus on that one, solitary thing. Whether it's editing a chapter, writing for an hour, cleaning a closet, or plucking your eyebrows. Do one thing at a time. Be there. Be in the moment.
When you finish that one thing, move on to the next thing. Another single, solitary thing. Do it, without fretting over all the other items screaming for attention, and so on and so forth. If you get stuck, pray, ask the Lord for direction. "What should I do next, Lord?" You might be surprised how much you can accomplish one thing at a time. As an added bonus, you'll find yourself flexing and bending with the day... instead of freaking out when something yanks you off schedule.
To borrow the Apostle Paul's words, I have not yet arrived. But the more I do one thing at a time, on purpose, the more value (and joy, and pleasure, and meaning) I find in what I do.
What project or task is overwhelming you right now?
What one task can you set your hand to and "get the ball rolling"?
Niki Turner writes romantic fiction, Christian non-fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, lengthy grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. Her first complete manuscript won second place in the 2009 Touched By Love contest for contemporary category romance. Colorado natives, Niki and her husband of 20+ years have four children (three at home) and are soon-to-be grandparents. In 1998 they planted a church in rural northwestern Colorado. Currently, they share their home with three teenage boys, two black Lab mutts, and Niki’s absurdly spoiled Westie, Archie.
Niki can be found at In Truer Ink, her personal blog and website, here at Inkwell Inspirations, and at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks.