I grew up in South Texas right on the beach. Now, the water is not as pretty as Key West and the waves aren’t as high as Honolulu but it is the beach. We loved going down to the beach to hang out, try to surf the small waves and in general just goof off. I find that sometimes when I’m in the office and things are piling up I tend to “surf.” Well, I live in Phoenix and the nearest beach and waves are about 6 hours away. So heading out to the sand and water is not an option.
What I mean by surfing is jumping from one project to the next, working a little bit on each one as I go. By doing that it reduces some of the piles that seem to mysteriously collect on my desk, it addresses some of the “squeaky wheels” in the ministry, and placates a few. The reality is that when I surf little gets completed and the piles continue to grow. What I have to do is stop surfing and focus.
How to Stop Surfing and Get Things Done
- Get Organized – use a “To Do List” and calendar times to work on particular projects.
- Stop Multitasking – OK sometimes it’s unavoidable. Don’t sacrifice the Big Projects for the less important ones. Take the time to decide what the “Big Rocks” are and do them first.
- Focus on one Project – I know we all often have several things going at once. However the part of the project that can only be done by us should be addressed and followed through to completion. Then schedule your follow up for another time. See “Get Organized.”
- Handle Paper Once - Only touch each piece of paper one time. Address the need immediately and get rid of the paper. Don’t create a “later” pile. The same process applies to our email – Read It – Handle It – Delete It.
Taking these steps and applying them continuously is guaranteed to improve productivity and open up some “Free Time” in the schedule. So what do you think? What are some things you do to increase productivity?