Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

List Jumping on GTD

Boom. All at once. 15 "Someday/Maybe" projects jumped lists and became active "Projects" within the last few weeks:
  • Maybe someday I would make the flower bed look nice. Now it has to be done so we can sell the house.
  • Maybe someday I would put new siding on the house/paint the new siding. Now it has to be done so we can sell the house.
  • Maybe someday paint the ceiling... Now!
  • Maybe someday fill dirt... Now!
  • Maybe someday write sermon posting process... Now!
Having to move has suddenly changed all of those someday/maybe projects about my house and delegating ministry tasks into active projects. I'm using GTD, but I'm feeling overwhelmed again.

Sorry I'm not posting more, but right now it's not fitting so well into my contexts, time available, energy available, or priorities.

Maybe someday I'll write more...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Fully Present and GTD

You can tell a dating couple from a married couple when you go into a restaurant. The dating couple is talking and laughing and gazing into each others' eyes. They are in their own little world. The married couple will occasionally talk or look at each other, but they're pretty focused on getting the food eaten. The difference: the people dating are fully present with each other. (this is also a reason people have affairs with someone new, but that's a different topic).

Before learning how to manage my time (with Getting Things Done), there was virtually no chance of my ever being "fully present" - not for church members, or my wife, or God.

I always had a bunch of things (appointments, commitments, ideas, projects) filling my brain. I was afraid something would fall out. And full presence went out the window.

Devotional time: I'm reading scripture - my eyes are still scanning the lines, but my brain is obsessing over unfinished business. I'm praying, but I'm thinking about having to mow my lawn and pick up the dry cleaning and getting some items on the board meeting agenda. (It's not ADD or ADHD, it's a lack of time management skills.)

A trick I learned was to write down the open loop or obsession or task, thus getting it out of my brain and into a trusted place so I could come back to it later. This would help me get focused again on my devotional for a few moments, but then there were more things to obsess about (and write down).

There were always more things to write down - more open commitments that I hadn't captured. Until GTD. When I did the mindsweep and captured all of my open loops and commitments into a trusted system, I suddenly had the ability to become fully present. I'll still get an idea, or realize something I haven't captured, but it's not this unstoppable flood... As soon as I get an idea, or realize a commitment, I write it down.

Now, I have the ability to be fully present (thanks to GTD), but I have not exercised it well. It turns out it's still going to take some practice to make it my automatic, habitual response to people (or God).

How are you fully present with others at work or home? How are you fully present with God?