Getting organized comes natural for some people but is a real challenge for many others—like me! I am a people person by nature. I have been known to get things done “in a pinch” and known as a “fly by the seat of your pants” kinda guy. But personality and “winging” it can only take you so far. In order to go up I’ve learned you have got to grow up. What I mean is that in order to be more effective in life we have to work hard and learn skills and disciplines that do not come to us naturally!
MAN TO MAN TALK
I had been out of the Air Force for a couple years. I was now a sophomore in college (way back in 2000). God was using me in His service. I had been leading a singles Sunday school class while going to college, singing in a quartet, working over 30 hours a week and so on. But one day I was talking to my father-in-law about life and he told me directly, “You are doing great, but you are not going to excel, grow, or go to the next level as a leader unless you get organized!” You cannot go up unless you grow up. I had been cruising through life winging it just fine until now. He was absolutely right. here was no way I was going to be able to grow as a leader—know the way, go the way, and show the way for
others if I did not step it up and decide to grow. Since that day I have graduated from college and have a Bachelor’s and master’s degree, been a church planter, and am currently a pastor of an existing church in Macclenny Florida. And guess what? I am still working hard at getting organized.
Being the pastor of a church is exciting and also challenging in many ways. I am currently the only pastoral staff member of a church of about 100. The great challenge for me is determining what the MOST important tasks are to accomplish. There is always sermon and lesson preparation to do, visits, etc that must be done. But what about all of the other stuff? There are many “little things” that get
placed on my desk, told to me in passing, sent to me via e-mail, or snailmail. Plus there is of course ministry structure building that needs to be done: mission, vision, and strategy communication and implementation. And then there is leader and worker training and development that must be done too. So what’s the answer? Get organized! My personal motto is “Simplify…Everything!” Getting organized has helped me do that! Doing things like developing a simple master “To Do” list and a weekly “To Do” list for all of those “extra” tasks has helped greatly.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I have read some good books like “Organizing Your Day” by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims. Great
book! From this book, other resources, and just life experience I have found some simple yet effective and efficient ideas:
1. Write down all tasks on a master to do list.
Don’t put non-negotiables on there—things you have to do each week, but all other tasks that have been piling up or neglected.
2. Transfer tasks from the “Master” list to a “Weekly Do to” list.
I found one onlinethat I modified. My list has 4 sections: to do, to go, to call, and to write. Could also add a to read section.
3. Prioritize your tasks and then transfer them on your weekly to do list.
As you get them done simply check them off for completion. At the end of the week review your master and weekly to do list and make a new fresh weekly to do list for the following week my nephew is only 10, yes just 10 years old and is pretty organized. I shared my new way to get organized and he thought it was awesome and had me e-mail him the list. Since then he has modified it and is using it now! He wants to be as organized as his Papa who I believe coined the phrase,“Organize or Agonize!” Although getting organized is a lifelong pursuit it can be done with some smart work, and good old blood, sweat, and tears! Getting someone more organized than you are to help is also a great idea too. My lovely and able wife Emily is that person. I may bounce off some ideas to her and she will make some very helpful suggestions. She is awesome and truly a gift from God. But don’t wait until you pull your hair out or it turns gray to start getting organized. Start now. A few simple steps and you will be on your way.
Are you an organized person? Do you have some systems in place or good ideas to get things done effectively and efficiently? Be the first to start the conversation by leaving your comment!