Great article from Rick Warren! Not earth-shattering, but definitely things I needed to read this morning to be more organized and motivated for ministry!
- Put your plans on paper.
- Break big tasks into small steps.
- Decide where you want to start.
- Establish check points to track your progress.
- Start on the task whether you feel like it or not.
- Remind yourself of the benefits of completing the task.
- Do a small part right now.
- Be optimistic.
- Establish an action environment.
I really gleaned a lot from number 7 and especially number 9 (if you’ve every seen my desk and office before!).
He talks about a “game” he plays to get started and do things he doesn’t want to do called the “Five Minute Game.”
Get started! Don’t stall. I play a game with myself all the time called The Five-Minute Game. When I have a big topic or task I need to do, I just say, “I don’t want to do this, but I’ll give it five minutes.” Once I get started, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.
I absolutely needed to hear number 9 and I am working diligently on that step as I get settled in (finally) to my new office here in Belle Glade! I hope to have a lot more progress in getting the “file cabinet” off of my desk soon! Here is what he says…BOLD is my emphasis…
Create a place in your office where you can get all of your tools together for your task. If you’re preparing a sermon, find a place to get your Bible and your study aids all within reach. You need an environment where you can focus on the task at hand. I clear everything off the desk when I’m going to study because I don’t want to focus on anything else.
I’ve noticed some people use their desks as file cabinets. They say it is because they don’t want to forget what is there. But that’s the problem! You sit down to prepare a sermon and you see your phone list or a book you’ve wanted to read and, suddenly, you’ve drifted off task.
Success comes from focusing on one thing at a time. Clear off your desk. Make a to-do list so you won’t forget what you’ve taken off of your desk. Put a tickler file on your desk of stuff you need to look at every day, but then, when you pull it out and look through it, always put it back – so it won’t distract.
I have to figure out a better workflow as well with my “virtual desk”–my laptop and my phone. I am working on a system of responding to email so I don’t get pulled away from important things by a “ding” advertising for the next best thing…or even worse…an invitation to a Facebook game! I have moved away also from Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite for the same reason–FOCUS. I can be totally rolling along on my message or an email message and that little sounds lures me away on a 5,10,15 minutes excursion of ADHD bliss!! Squirrel! See what I mean? I will open up Hoot Suite on my phone when I have a down time every now and then, but I simply can’t make that work with my personality right now. It’s not that it doesn’t fit with my distracted personality, it is just that it fits TOO WELL with my distraction prone personality for me to get any good level of productivity.
The main problem I have is that it is much like diet and exercise–there is DISCIPLINE involved in setting up these workflows for productivity. I can set up the workflow, but if I don’t have the discipline to use the workflow; I’ve just wasted a lot of time setting up a system that doesn’t help me, but hurts me in the end.
So tell me, how do you stay motivated and on task in your work? What things have worked for you? Not worked?
9 Ways to Stay Motivated for Ministry.