There's Gotta Be a Way!

It’s true. Nature does not like a vacuum. Remember all that free time I was going to have in retirement? Yeah, well…

“The activities of any given day can be enough to exhaust most people. Activities can be addictive. We need to fill our days with activity, often crowding out everything else.” Fr. James Stephen Behrens, O.C.S.O, Living Faith, Silence and Solitude.

Father is right. My list of activities is a self-imposed insanity, but I have so much I want to do!

Several posts back, I mentioned the Twenty-Five Thousand Dollar Organizational Plan. Originally intended to improve productivity for businesses, it certainly works for personal things as well. The simple plan adds three priorities to the basic tasks of the day. After the first priority is completed, the second and third move up. Then another is added to the bottom. Even if only the first priority is completed every day, seven priority tasks will be finished by the end of the week.

But, I have far more than three things I want to get done besides my Have-To List, and I can’t run around trying to imitate the energizer bunny anymore. My old batteries don’t last as long as they used to. 


After some thought, I decided on several things. First, no all-day cleaning marathons. I do a little every day. That way I have both the time and the energy for things on my wish list. 

Second, there has to be an app for this! And, there is!

Two, actually. A few minutes on the Google App Store and I found exactly what I was looking for. 

The first is a shopping organizer. I know that sounds funny, but shopping with the Tortoise is both frustrating and fatiguing. He shops spontaneously - usually without a list, and the grocery store becomes a nightmare of walking back and forth from one end of the store to the other. Instead of finishing in a half hour like other folk, it can take us an hour, or two, for only a week’s worth of groceries.  ARRGGG! 

The Hare dances rings around the Tortoise thinking of all the things she could be doing at home.

This app has changed my shopping. It saves me tons of time in both compiling my list and at the store. It keeps a running inventory, which it sorts automatically to match the grocery aisles! I am sooo impressed! Check it out. It’s free! Smart Shopping List by Listonic
Next, I needed something for time management with reminder options that wasn’t really a calendar/scheduler. A fancy To Do List to keep track of all the things I want to do. I found To Do List by Splend Apps (SplenDO). 

I become so embroiled in a writing project or a painting session, I lose track of time and often forget what day I last did X, and when I need to do XX. This little app gives me all kinds of options with a voice reminder. If I schedule something for a set time, I hear, “You wanted to do XXX at this time.” I love it!

I don’t care if the Tortoise is laughing at me. His mind doesn’t wander off on a million trails like mine. Knowing something else is keeping track of my tasks, I can stay focused on the next scene in my book, or the next detail in the painting. I can read without watching the clock, or setting a timer. 

Besides that, I have a visual of everything I want to do, and can stop the insanity before it starts. I am far more productive and less stressed. Grin!

Father Behrens also reminded me it is necessary to keep a balance between activity and quiet solitude. I added a little reminder to stop and take a break every so often. It is so easy to forget how many hours I have sat at the computer or the easel. It is just as important to sit on the porch swing with my husband. Play with the puppy. Watch the sunrise and the sunset, pray, and meditate. A little organization has gone a long way in clearing the clutter in my mind. I am more focused and more productive. When I am relaxing, I am not running a list through my mind, stressing about what I might be forgetting, and reevaluating everything a dozen times. I can open my thoughts to higher things.

“Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12.


  1. Thanks, I needed some of these reminders. I can't get use to not having kids at home 24/7 and since trying to have a schedule each day is impossible, with drop in grands, and my job, I still need to get a hold of my time. Thanks! Blessings on your retirement and balance.

    1. I think we will always struggle for balance, Janette, but the effort is worth the rewards we gain. Although, life can't be scheduled as much as we like. That's why I was more interested in an interactive Reminder List rather than a Planner. :)


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