The key to effective organization is a good filing system.
A cottage industry was launched with the publication of David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. Allen's system is rich with ideas and tools for stress-free productivity. The system offers specific advice managing inboxes, to-do lists, projects, filing and calendar management.
The industry is commonly referred to as GTD. Google "GTD" and a list of how-to articles and a sea of apps will quickly appear on your monitor. Many people claim that GTD is cumbersome and difficult. The book was first published in 2002 and birthed as many loyalists as detractors.
According to Allen, "GTD is about creating mental space. You can't manage time. Time just is."
While I'm not a fan of the GTD system as a whole, I profited from learning about his filing system. Paper tends to clutter around me. I don't like to throw things away. I'm nervous I will need everything, every day.
The key to a good filing system is not getting stuff off the desk. It's all about quick retrieval. I once felt if I filed a document, I would never see it again. That feeling created piles of paper throughout my office. (I still fight my tendency to NOT file.)
But I have learned the value of fast retrieval.
When I need a document, I want it now. If I could regain the years I've wasted in "looking for stuff," I would live a full century.
Quick retrieval is a life skill. I believe it is a spiritual gift as well.
Every day we must retrieve priorities, intentions, prayer time, book pages and notes about what I need to retrieve.
I've been amazed and thankful of how the Holy Spirit reminds me of the Word which is hidden in my heart. When teaching, coaching or leading, I'm thankful for the Word that comes to me. I tend to speak from my own "Compiled Version" of the Bible as I have learned verses from many different translations. I'm not always sure which version the Holy Spirit is reminding me to use. But, it is useful in helping me to remember the approximate decade I learned the verses.
Slow me down.
Help me to set aside tech distractions.
Teach me to free my mind to "think on these things."
Guide me to quickly retrieve that which is of You.
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you" (John 14:26).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.
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