Much has been said over the years about “living on the cutting edge”. I have always taken this to mean that we should be sharp in our approach to whatever it is we are doing. For example: using the latest technology and business practices; reading and studying to stay current in your chosen field of endeavor; being willing to try new and different things in your life; being ready to grow in your personal life and relationships. Sometimes a concept like that can become nothing more than a cliché. I think that living on the cutting edge is something that should be far more than just a tired, old cliché.
However, when we are “living on the edge”, I take that to mean that we are not far from falling apart or facing a breakdown. I have seen this happen over and over to individuals who sometimes push themselves too long, too hard, and too far. The next thing you know, they are unraveling at the seams. There is an old saying that goes, “If you don’t come apart and rest for a while, you will come apart for good!” People who live on the edge sometimes do not allow enough margin in their life. When things are put off until the last minute their options are few and they are forced to operate in a crisis mode. I know from personal experience that is not a fun place to be!
One of the most important things I believe we can do to live on the “cutting edge” rather than just on “the edge” is to do a little bit of daily planning. I have discovered that there is nothing more valuable than keeping a written list of what needs to be done on a daily or weekly basis. Each week I start a new 8 ½ x 11 inch sheet of paper in my notebook. Across the top of it, from left to right, I make a column for each of the first three days of the week: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In the middle of the page I write Thursday, Friday, Saturday/Sunday. My page is divided into six areas – three on the top half of the page and three on the bottom half. I then list items that need to be dealt with throughout the week. This method helps to keep me from feeling so overwhelmed, especially when I have a lot going on that needs my attention. Having those things spread out and easily visible on my sheet of paper for the entire week gives me a greater sense of peace and margin that I will be able to accomplish all that needs to be done.
This simple system also helps me to group my activities so that I do not waste time. For instance, if I have something to do on one side of town and I put that down to take care of it on Thursday, it is often not long before something else crops up on the same side of town and I can add that to Thursday’s list as well. Rather than running all over town each day trying to accomplish my goals, I have learned to group my errands together on my weekly sheet. It makes life so much easier and is a more efficient use of my time.
I am amazed at how much I am able to accomplish on a weekly basis! I am not saying that to boast in any way. I am not naturally a highly organized, efficient person. Yet, because of this simple plan, I have learned to be more organized and efficient. And, having a plan in place keeps me from having too little margin in my life and living in constant frustration because of it. I do not want to live on the “ragged edge”; I want to live on “the cutting edge”! I have established a system that helps me not just talk about it, but actually do it.
Regardless of what system you use, the only way you are ever going to live on the cutting edge is to do some planning and forward thinking. I have said it before and I will say it again, “A short pencil beats a long memory every time!” No one can possibly remember everything they have to do; life is just too busy and our schedules are too full. However, if you take the time to write down the different things you must do each week, it will allow you to be much sharper and I believe it will help you to live on the cutting edge.
This week, look into your own heart and life and see what is taking place. Are you frustrated because things are not going the way you want them to in your life? Is so, I would encourage you to remember that on this earth this is the only life that you get. Learn to work with yourself in a way that is more productive and helpful. You will be the winner for it and you will be glad that you have made the adjustments. I guarantee that this simple Tip of organizing your week will work for you. I know that it does for me and I have been using it for years! The proof is always in the pudding!
Tip: Live on the “cutting edge” – not just on the edge!
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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