I was taught how to be responsible in the third grade. Along with our sparkly planners, we were given boot camp instruction regarding their proper use in the field. Now, I cannot live without one. My planner is my second brain.
I pencil in every assignment due date, and every daily to-do item. Daily, I pencil in what I must do in order to accomplish each assignment by the corresponding due date. My writing is reduced to a handwritten helvetica font that is crammed into a space in which the lead itself can hardly breathe. Were it not for spotlights, magnifying glasses, and 0.000005 lead sizes, my second brain would be no better off than if it had had a lobotomy. Thankfully, my second brain often becomes full of itself instead.
When the process is finished, I open my planner and find a rattlesnake. Yes, a living, breathing, full-grown, striking, angry, and hissing rattlesnake. I look at it, and my pulse races. Sweat trickles down my brow, and I want to start backing away slowly despite being frozen with fear. I reach down slowly, and with my hand dancing on the line of danger, I catch the corner of the book, slam it shut, and trap that good for nothing.
Then, when least expected, I whip open that book and proceed to beat that snake to a pulp…one assignment at a time.
Did you see that? I just became the victorious snake slayer. How? By making a simple switch. When it comes to worry, the first step is a timeless principle, wrapped up in the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). That is, take a step back, and live in the boundaries of today. Look no further beyond the boundaries of today, and live it.