“But all things should be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40
When we rid our work space of clutter and disorganization, we free up time to work on and develop other interests and passions. If you are like me, with lots of things you’d like to do, it does not take long before you have piles of uncompleted work waiting to be perfected, stacks of “will read that sometime” articles, and/or mounds of miscellaneous things like research and websites to check out, bills to file….
When we continually pile things we “plan on completing,” then we find ourselves in a state of always going back to these piles rather than moving forward with a unique idea, project or passion. We find ourselves needing to wisely, and in a timely fashion, make decisions as to what is worth keeping and what is not. We need an orderly and disciplined management system to deal with all papers and emails. Just like we can pile physical papers, we can often keep emails as if they are a “to do” list. (And just like going through piles of papers to find something is a waste of precious time, so is trying to find an email in a long list of them!)
Does this describe you or your workplace? If not, you are doing an amazing job of managing your responsibilities, to do list and filing system. If you do have any piles of papers in your office or a long list of emails, then I hope you will read further on. You don’t want to waste another moment trying to:
It is difficult to develop our gifts when we are in a constant state of trying to get caught up on too many things. And yet, don’t be hard on yourself. These piles around your office or on your computer have likely accumulated over time. It will take time to get in control of them. However, it needs to start somewhere, and sometime, so now is a good time!
Although your goal may be to get rid of all of your piles, the first step may just be not adding any more to your existing piles. This week, ask yourself these 3 questions every time you touch a piece of paper or open an email. If you answer “No” to them all, get rid of the paper or the email.
Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for all the opportunities You give to me. Forgive me when I waste time going back to things which I have not dealt with in a timely fashion. Please give me the discipline, energy and wisdom to deal with the information as it comes to me so that it does not continue to clutter my life and take time from developing the gifts and passion You have given me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Monday: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being lowest), how cluttered is your workspace?
Tuesday: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being lowest) how cluttered is your in-box?
Wednesday: Today, determine that for every paper which comes across your desk, you will not add it to a pile or make a new pile. Ask yourself:
If you answer “No” to each of these questions: then throw it out. If you answer “Yes,” you need to make it actionable. Put it in the appropriate folder, or pass it to the person it is best suited for.
Thursday: Today, decide that for every email that comes to your inbox you will not let it just rest there. Ask yourself:
If you answer “No” to each of these questions: then delete it. If you answer “Yes,” figure out when to put it into action. If it is for someone else, forward it to them, and then delete it.
Friday: The first step in organizing your work space is to not keep things you have no need for. The next step is to have a system to deal with the items/emails you feel are important. What system do you presently use to deal with papers or emails which you cannot immediately attend to, but need to deal with at a later date?
Have a great week!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work