Melt Off Stress: 3 Steps To A Diligent Day


There is nothing more stressful than a list of “to-do’s.”  Years ago I was in the teacher’s lounge when another teacher walked in.  She looked a little (a lot!) stressed out.  She was a kindergarten teacher so that might have had something to do with it.


This teacher said something that has stuck with me ever since.  She said “It’s not doing all the things that are stressful.  It’s the fact that I HAVE to do them that stresses me out.”  Wow.  What a true statement.  The things that have to get done (pay bills, change oil, attend meeting, plan event, drop off kids, etc.) are not hard.  It’s the fact that they are ALL on the list that stresses one out (because they take time).


Lazy or Diligent?

Stress is not good for you, your mind, your body, or those around you.  Carrying around stress is not the way the Lord wants you to live.  In Proverbs, it talks a lot about two different types of people: 1) the sluggard (lazy) and 2) the diligent.


The diligent

  • became rich
  • had abundant food
  • gained many rewards
  • were fully satisfied
  • brought profit

But the lazy

  • were soon poor
  • were an annoyance
  • chased fantasies
  • became slaves
  • wanted much but got little
  • had trouble through life (Proverbs 10:4, 10:5, 10:26, 12:11, 12:14, 12:24, 12:27, 13:4, 14:23, 15:19).

I don’t know about you but I would rather live the life described for the diligent.  So I guess that means I need to master the steps of the diligent.


3 Steps To A Diligent Day

Don’t focus on the rest of your life being diligent, just focus on being diligent today. Follow these three steps and you’ll have a diligent and productive day.  Then when tomorrow comes, take the three steps to being diligent, and you’ll have another stress-free and productive day. It’s simple.


1) Write it down.  If you are going to accomplish what you have to do, you need to be aware of what you have to do.  The best way to do this is to write it down. This way you don’t have to keep your mental bank filled with the “to-do”s but delegate that task to a piece of paper.  This will bring clarity to your day and begin to melt off that stress.  Once you’ve finished one task, cross it off your list and move on.


2) Be a “perserverer”, not a perfectionist.  Task completion is not accuracy defined but completion defined.  When you complete a task, no one asks “How many tries did it take you?”  Therefore, just finish.  Simply keep trying until you get it done.


3) Be your own boss. For the most part, no one is standing behind you cheering you on in life.  You have to tell yourself what to and when to do it.  In the real world, there are no more “mommy” wake up calls or awards given just for participating.  No one is going to lose weight for you, pay your bills, start your business, or follow-up with your friends.  You are in charge of your life.


Proverbs 6:6-8 says “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”  No one is going to hold your hand through life and keep you going when you want to fall down.  Decide to be better than an ant.  Motivate yourself to keep going.  Be your own boss.


What do you need to do today to be diligent?  Start by writing down your “to-do’s.”  In fact, I’ll start your list for you:

#1-Seek first the kingdom (that means seek God in heaven, and strive to live heaven on earth–peace!)



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  1. Jamye,
    Great post. You are absolutely right. Diligence in getting things done reduces stress. Looking at a “list of things to do” causes stress, while looking at the list “one thing at a time” and getting it done reduces stress. The greatest thrill for me is checking an item off the list. I like to start with some little things on the list, then I get to check them off. With each check I get momentum and am fired up to get to the bigger tasks. I love your choosing “persevere” or “perfection.” Yes. Do your best, but “get it done.” That’s the mark of a diligent and blessed person who lives life with a lot less stress than the overwhelmed life of the perfectionist.


    • You are absolutely correct! The momentum from marking things off our “to-do’s” is so powerful. Kind of like Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball effect. Thanks for your wisdom!


  2. Thanks for sharing your insight into this! As moms, we have so much stuff on our to-do list, it can seem overwhelming!! I am so excited that you have a blog! I will be reading them whenever you post 🙂

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