Productivity and Thankfulness

I have a break from preaching for a few weeks, so I’m hoping to get lots of other work done and clear my huge (to me) backlog of tasks.

It is not that when I am preaching I do nothing else. But when I am preaching every Sunday the weeks are always packed, frenetic and somewhat stressful.

I remain ever grateful to God for the opportunity to teach, preach and expound the Word of God. I do not deserve this job or role, it is purely a gift of God.

Helen and I can honestly say we are loving being part of God’s people at Holy Trinity and partnering with them in gospel ministry. There is no more exciting place in the world than the local church where the gospel is preached, God’s Word expounded, God praised and worshiped, and God’s people encourage each other to love Christ more.

Most of all, I still remember daily, if not hourly, that God sent his Son to die in my place, to win my forgiveness and to atone for my sins, winning me eternal life. That is the greatest gift of all.

Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List? – O’Reilly Radar

My lists are feeling like this… Sorry big Dave, but I’m getting exhausted.

Do you have a never-ending list? Do you manage your time? Do you manage minutes, tasks, and lists? Do you start each day with a list that has more on it at the end of the day than it did at the beginning of the day, in spite of how many items are completed and crossed off?

Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List? – O’Reilly Radar

Filing Cabinet Productivity: Straight down the line

For some people they know stuff like this, but I’m a truck drivers son! I have to learn this from scratch.

This was a revelation to me: Straight-line filing. Implemented it this week. My files look much nicer on the eye and are more usable:

Keep it straight, keep it organized. A good example of the Straight-Line concept can be seen in the way that names are organized in the phone book. Finding a name is easy because they arranged in columns so your eyes scan them in a straight line. If you had to look back and forth, finding the name would be more difficult and time consuming.

File Management Makeover

Dexion Osborne Park recommends that you use folders with all of the tabs in the same position on the folder. This allows subject titles to line up in a straight line in the drawer or on the shelf. Since the eye sees in straight lines, the most efficient way to organise folders is to use the “straight line” filing method.

Office Ideals

Straight-line filing, with the tabs one behind the other, is not only easier on the eye but simpler to maintain than alternating tab positions.

Steps to Conquer Your Fear of Filing

Setting up files? Consider straight-line filing (all file labels in the same tab position) rather than staggered files (labels left, center, right). Your filing system won’t be disrupted by adding a new file, saving you lots of needless effort in re-arranging files. And it’s easier on your eyes – looking in a straight line is easier than looking back and forth. When I first read this suggestion from Julie Morgenstern, I implemented it on my own files – what a difference! Smead has some nice illustrations of straight-line filing; you don’t need to use their products or use color-coding (as they suggest) to use straight-line filing.

Organizing Tips – Jeri Dansky

Organize Your Work Day… in No Time – Google Book Search

The Power of Cranking Widgets | GTD Times

I am a big fan of productivity and personal organisation books. And I think the whole David Allen GTD is very impressive, insightful and exciting. In a few years I imagine the processes will be common place and stock standard. I’ve been implementing the process for a while now, still refining it, still a long way to go. One of my favourite concepts in GTD is that of “cranking widgets”:

One of these hidden gems is the concept of what David Allen calls: “Cranking Widgets”.
The concept is simple – according to David – one of the healthiest jobs psychologically is the one where you show up at work and you see three things:
• A bunch of un-cranked widgets
• A widget-cranking machine
• A bucket to put the cranked widget
Isn’t your job now tad simpler? All you have to do is just take the un-cranked widget, put it into a widget-cranking machine and later put the cranked widget into its bucket.

The Power of Cranking Widgets | GTD Times

I have listened to the old, out of print, pulled from the market, GTD seminar audio CD’s many many times. This is not the audio of the book, but an actual seminar which contains LOTS of material that is not in the book or not unpacked fully in the book – like the “cranking widgets” concept in full.

Sometimes Helen and I have listened to them in the car on a long drive and she has commented “thats level of organisation is not possible” – but with GTD many things are made possible. 🙂

Anyway I was encouraged to see that they have released a new edition of the GTD seminar audio CD’s. Only they are $US395. I would certainly pay that much to see David Allen live… But for a CD set? Anybody want to go halves/quarters/eighths with me? You do get 10 audio CD’s of material. If it is anything like the old set, there is alot of “natural planning model” cruft that I found irrelevant, but the exposition of GTD expands on the book incredibly well. (I’ve also read “Ready For Anything” by Allen – it’s ok but not great)

The next best thing to seeing David Allen live is – listening to GTDLive! If you’ve ever wanted to attend a David Allen seminar but couldn’t, here’s the next best thing. GTDLive! is our brand new audio of a full 2-day seminar – packed with insights, tips, and practical applications on GTD in a way that only David can tell you. This is a great value at over 50% off the cost of just a one-day seminar! With GTD Live, you receive this recording of a full 2-day seminar that you can listen to over and over again – anywhere, anytime.

GTD Live

I don’t think GTD is for everyone. Some people seem to naturally organise themselves according to GTD principles. Others will need to spend a few years trying the old school Covey “big rocks”/”first things first”/”top down”/”time prioritisation” model in order to realise that it doesn’t quite work. For those of us who are naturally disorganised and hate ourselves for it, including Christian leaders, GTD is some great Egyptian/hippy methodological wisdom to plunder.

Hivelogic: Offices and The Creativity Zone

What is the best working office environment for pastors? Worth exploring…

Most people’s work environments, most typical offices, are actually harmful to the ability of developers, designers, writers, and other creative people to get into The Zone (see below).

Hivelogic: Offices and The Creativity Zone

See also this post (I wish more pastors would post explanations of their workspaces, it’s fascinating!):

Pastor’s Study, Part 1: The Home Study