So I’m driving, relaxed, listening to something cool, when out of the blue I remember: “I need to call Mrs. Jones! Holy cow! Mrs. Jones!!” On the way out of church on Sunday Mrs. Jones mentioned she was going to the hospital important tests, and that was scheduled for yesterday! I need to call today and ask how they went.
In years past, this tidbit of information — as important as it is — might have slipped right back into the subconscious forever. Pastors have a zillion things to keep tabs on; impossibly many responsibilities in too many directions. For an especially organizationally challenged pastor like me (my sister Merredythe got the organization gene), this sometimes means I let important things slip through the cracks. And people’s feelings are hurt. Not good.
But now I have a solution: At the next stoplight, I just open my personal organizer and enter the information: “Call Mrs. Jones.”
My new personal organizer is a wonder gadget. It does not connect to the internet, it has no computer brain — and in fact, it uses no batteries whatsoever. Moreover, it’s easy-to-replace and inexpensive: just about a dollar.
What is it? It’s a simple 3-by-5-inch pocket notepad, available at just about every pharmacy, department store, office supply store and more.
I keep a daily to-do list and cross off the things I get done. As with every pastor, there are always more things on the list than can be accomplished, but writing them down enables me to prioritize. First things first. Then every morning I make up a fresh list, carrying over things unaccomplished from the previous day, dropping things that were really not important after all, and adding new priorities.
When it comes to stewardship of life, there is little more important than time management. We have only so many days under the sun, and only 24 hours within each of those days. Squander time, and you’ve wasted much, indeed. But get your work done efficiently, and then have time for leisure and relationships — that’s the key!
Keeping a to-do list. It’s a simple idea, and I know millions of people have been using it for years. For me, it’s an old idea recently rediscovered that has helped me stay focused and do my work better. How do YOU manage your time?
Now … time to call Mrs. Jones!