Emma DeShiell Children's Minsitry, Cherry Street Baptist Church, Springfield MO
Have you ever worked hard all day but didn’t have anything to show for it at the end of the day? Those days are defeating and deflating. I try very hard for those days to be few and far between. But, this hasn’t always been the case in my life. I was hired to be an administrative assistant to a senior pastor the semester before I graduated college. I was green. Practically still on the vine. I was confident that I was not going to survive that first year because I struggled to keep myself organized, let alone the senior pastor of our church. I double booked his appointments, forgot to reschedule ones he was unable to keep, and failed to return phone calls. Frequently. Somehow I made it to a second year, then a third, a fourth, and now going on twelve years. I used the early tears of embarrassment and frustration and turned them into gumption to do better. I have found that in order to be consistently productive and organized, you need three basic ingredients.
1. The Want To. You have to want to be organized. Think about the most productive day you’ve had in the last week. Did you have one? Perhaps in the last month? Did you determine a plan ahead of time? Determining to be organized looks a lot like creating lists, preparing resources, and scheduling time.
2. The How To. You have to have a process. Every person is uniquely equipped and outfitted by the Lord to be organized. But, it isn’t necessarily going to look the same for everyone. I have developed my base for organization and productivity by utilizing these ten steps in Tim Challies’ book, “Do More Better”
1. Know Your Purpose
2. Answer the Call
3. Define Your Responsibilities
4. State Your Mission
5. Select Your Tools
6. Collect Your Tasks
7. Plan Your Calendar
8. Gather Your Information
9. Live the System
10. Maintain it Consistently
3. Follow Through. Organization is a discipline, not a personality type. Just like you need to be determined to get started, you have to finish what you started. And finish strong.