More than once I’ve heard people say to me, “I can’t believe how organized you are.” I hope that’s meant as a compliment rather than a sign of neurosis. The truth of the matter is that over the years I’ve gathered simple tools and concepts which keep my busy life, business, and ministry flow relatively smoothly.
This article is the first of three on the subject of getting and staying organized. It’s not uncommon for me to run across pastors who are, basically, disorganized. They miss appointments, let important things slip between the cracks, and are often overwhelmed by what seems to be a life out of control.
The first step in getting your life in control, rather than out of control, organized versus disorganized, is to gather some simple organizational tools. Here’s my list:
1. You need a calendar, preferably an electronic one which you can sync with your home computer, work computer, and smart phone… if you have one. If you have a dumb phone this won’t work. I know this sounds so elementary but it’s not unusual for me to run across a pastor who basically tries to keep everything clear in their mind rather than in a calendar.
2. Set phone alarms. Most phones allow you to set alarms to go off reminding you of events and appointments. I have alarms that go off on my phone 5 min. before every coaching call I’m scheduled to make that day. This is just another way to ensure that I don’t get caught up in some project (like writing blog posts) and forget an appointment.
3. You need to have a “notes” notebook. Instead of scribbling thoughts and notes on scraps of paper piling up all over your desk you put all of those bits of random information in one notebook. I’m going to elaborate on this more in part 2.
4.Post-it Notes. One of the greatest inventions of man from a standpoint of developing organizational skills is the Post-it Note. But the Post-it Note must be posted someplace where you’re guaranteed to see it. Like on your computer monitor, bathroom mirror, door to your office, etc.
5. Each day you must look ahead to see what’s coming the next day. It doesn’t do you any good to have a calendar if you don’t look at it. And in regards to preparing for tomorrow you need to look at tomorrow today. One of the final things I do at the end of my workday is make sure I’m aware of and prepared for tomorrow.
6. “To do list.” Once again, I know this sounds elementary, but the old tried-and-true “to do list” has been a staple of the organized.
In part two I’m going to talk more about the “notes notebook” I mentioned in point number three. And then in part three I will describe 5 simple steps to getting and staying organized. So now I want you to put in your calendar a reoccurring reminder to check in on Facebook for Dave’s: Ldeas that work: Getting and Staying Organized, part two.
Do it, do it now.
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