Have you ever been so busy that you just start to panic with the mere thought of all you need to do? I’ve been there and done that. The panic that I’ve felt usually lasted for way too long and actually impeded my ability to do anything at all, as I sat thinking about all that I had to do. This of course had no positive results as I was then forced to consider all the time that I’ve now wasted doing nothing but worrying about the time I needed to do everything.
A few months ago, I came across Elisabeth Elliot’s advice ‘Do the next thing’. So simple, yet so profound.
Thinking in small increments breaks down the largest load into manageable pieces. I don’t have to have a whole month of activities planned for the boys, I don’t have all my family’s dinners planned out and ingredients purchased, I don’t have to know what to say to a friend who’s spilling her guts to me. I mean…if I do…good for me, but the pressure is much, much lower knowing that I can be gracious with myself if I don’t.
All I need to do is the next thing and then the next thing and then the next thing. And before you know it, the whole thing is done.
Now each time a friend calls or texts me and shares how overwhelmed they’re feeling, I share the same advice and tell them ‘Do the next thing’.
So…if you’re like me and you sometimes get overwhelmed by your responsibilities and your to do list…just ‘Do the next thing’.
Here’s an excerpt of the poem that Elisabeth Elliot got her advice from:
Do it immediately; Do it with prayer; Do it reliantly casting all care; Do it with reverence, Tracing His Hand,Who placed it before thee with Earnest command. Stayed on Omnipotence, Safe ‘neath His wing, Leave all resultings, DO THE NEXT THING