Two Easy Ways to Boost Your Satisfaction

What if I told you I’ve found a way to boost my satisfaction? And what if I told you it was biblical and emulated our Creator? Would you be interested?

When I looked at my calendar for the New Year, my stomach tightened. The holiday break was winding down and a fire hose of “to do’s” threatened to drown me. That is how I feel whenever I try to swallow big chunks of responsibilities in one gulp. I doubt I’m alone in this. Let me share two small shifts that help me experience greater satisfaction in my work.

1. Create “To Do” Lists in Light of Your “Daily Bread”

Even though God does not become weary, the Creator divided up the complex job of creation into daily chunks. We follow His example when we do the same.

The reason to survey what lies ahead is so we can better plan and divide our work into reasonable portions. When we break big assignments into bite-sized projects, tasks become manageable. “To do” lists help us focus, track our progress, and achieve success.

I like to set deadlines and work backwards. I ask God for His help and commit the outcome and each step to Him. Jesus’ words, “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” reminds me it’s fruitless to worry about tomorrow. Today, I will seek His kingdom and His righteousness and trust Him to provide what I need (see Matthew 6:25-34).

Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NASB). Just as God fed the Israelites manna from heaven daily, He also provides for our needs one day at a time. He supplies the energy, ideas, wisdom, and resources we need when we need them.

When tomorrow’s cares threaten to darken today, I remind myself, today, I only need to do what my heavenly Father wants me to do. His manna is sufficient for today’s need.

2. Create “Did It” Lists with Thanksgiving

While “To do” lists help us focus and track our progress, “Did it” lists empower us. Consider how much better we feel when we give thanks for each day’s labor instead of bemoaning what is unfinished. This is especially true when we make our lists from God’s perspective. For example, instead of listing diaper changes, we could write, “I showed my baby love by making her comfortable and protecting her from diaper rash six times today.” Or instead of “showed houses,” write, “I helped a couple clarify the type of home they need.” Or, “I showed God’s compassion to a frustrated coworker.”

“Did it” lists keep us grateful. During the process of creating the world, God enjoyed the process (Genesis 1:3). At the end of each day, He looked over His day’s work and “saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9, 12, 18, 21, 25).

“Did it” lists remind us to be faithful stewards where God plants us and help us remember that He supplies the strength for His assignments. They teach us that our real work is to trust Him and seek His kingdom. Taking breaks when there is unfinished business becomes an act of faith.

When I break down my work, life becomes enjoyable. When I focus on today, I have peace. When I change how I evaluate my day’s work, I feel grateful.

Click here to comment.

Blessings for the New Year,

Debbie W. Wilson

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  1. Ann

    I am the queen of the “to-do”list – I honestly don’t think I would accomplish anything without one! I am so happy you mentioned the “did it” lists – I’ve been doing that for years. It began when I was a stay at home mom with small children and my husband would come home and wanting to make conversation would say, what did you do today? I began making a list for myself and it’s amazing how much satisfaction you get when you look over all you accomplished. Also it makes me so grateful for God’s grace because many days I look at what I did and am amazed – knowing I couldn’t possibly have done it on my own!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I love that you started this as the mother of small children. Doing the repetitive tasks of mothering young children and starting over the next day with the same tasks can be challenging for those of us who get a sense of satisfaction from what we see accomplished. Learning to appreciate what we did feels much better than focusing on what wasn’t checked off! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Sandi

    This is a timely reminder! I have been trying this since 1/1/16 and it is an encouragement. But, I will focus on seeing it from God’s perspective.

    Thanks for being faithful each week to bring encouragement to me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sandi!

  3. Kelly Basham

    I love the idea of the “Did it” list! What a great idea to help keep our focus on what we did do instead of what we didn’t do.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Kelly. It helps me to refocus. All the best.

  4. Susan

    What a great and timely word, Debbie! I couldn’t live without my endless to-do lists, but I also like the did-it lists idea! I’m in the midst of having to catch-up on all of my accounting records that I’ve let slide for months and I’ve broken it down into daily achievable bits over the next 2 weeks otherwise it would become so overwhelming. Thanks for the encouragement and I’ll be praying for you with your to-do lists! ~ Susan

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you for your prayers, Susan. What a good way to tackle your accounting records. I am not a detail person, and those are the items that can pile up for me. God bless!

  5. Marilyn Couch

    Debbie, I am one who is not a
    list person. Sounds like a great
    idea when it comes to helping
    us focus. When Jesus said, “Look at Me – I will guide you w/ My Eyes”. Somehow this seems
    to help me in not feeling bound by a list & a little more personal.
    It’s all about relationship – so grateful He made us all uniquely & we can also learn from one another. I’ve always learned so
    much from you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Marilyn, you are right. We are all different. Some people don’t even need a grocery list! But we all need Jesus! God bless you, my friend!


    I needed to read this post today. What an amazing way to help us focus and appreciate each day that God brings us through. I am learning to cherish each day and not beat myself up about what I did or didn’t do. I am thankful that God gives me the grace and strength to accomplish His will for my life each day. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you and yours as we embark into 2016!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Horace, I think some of us, me included, need help celebrating along the way. My husband enjoys the journey. I tend to focus on the destination. I want to enjoy the trip since that is most of life. God bless you, too, my friend.

  7. Susie Browne

    What a timely message! I’m starting a “did it” list.
    Matthew 6:33 is a great verse to commit to memory. When we keep our focus on God, He will help us to accomplish whatever we need to do daily.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Susie! Wonderful to hear from you.

  8. Larry Gilson

    This is great. Thanks.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Larry!

  9. Kerrian

    I like the idea of “did it ” list. It’s almost like that one leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus. As a result his healing was perfected. It does really help us to see what we have achieved. I find that at times if I dont consciously count the good things in my life I tend to forget and complain about those other things that I am looking for.
    So indeed “did it” list helps us to count and apprecate what the Lord has done for us.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kerrian, I can do the same thing. I love how you connected this with the one leper. I want to be the one who returns each day with gratitude for the grace to live another day. Thanks so much.

  10. Beth

    Yes, Debbie, I always think of that saying, “how to eat an elephant … one bite at a time.” Breaking down all the many things I need to accomplish into bite-sized tasks gets that enormous job done without overwhelming me. And I really like the “did it” list. That’s a great way to encourage myself when there is still so much before me! Thanks so much for your wise insight and encouragement here, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, when I discipline myself to make a “did it” list I go to bed with a smile and a “glory to God” in my heart. Too often I’ve focused on what is left to do instead of celebrating what God has allowed me to do. Blessings, my friend.

  11. Ann Johnson

    Whew… did I ever more need to hear this! With all the “un-decorating” for Christmas, plus “doing” the rest of life, I can feel very overwhelmed. I have a to-do list, but it keeps growing, and I keep forgetting that my Father has my steps all laid out for me. And there is peace in resting in that truth. I love the idea of being thankful for what He allowed me to accomplish. Even what I consider minor is major in His Kingdom, if I followed and obeyed Him. Thanks, Debbie. Love and appreciate you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, thank you! You and Sam are gifts to us!

  12. Stephanie sudano

    Boy did this come at the end of the perfect day for me (I mean just when I needed it)! “I helped a co-worker complete an assignment today!” Thank you Debbie for a great blog!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Stephanie! And good for you!!

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