Featured Leadership

Check that Box

There is nothing more satisfying to a control-freak like me than being able to put a check mark in a little box. It’s weird. It’s obsessive. But it is also effective.

In my previous post I talked about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for the new year. In this post I’d like to share the greatest tool of the organized, goal-oriented leader, the to-do list.

1. Find your Format
When I was in college everyone wanted a Palm Pilot. Alas, I was poor! I remember taking a black Bic pen and writing my to-do list on my palm. I thought I was so clever when I showed my friends my inked up hand. I would suggest you go with something a little more mature. Some of the most organized people I have ever met keep a few 3×5 cards in their pocket with a pen in order to jot down their ideas and responsibilities. My father and mentor keeps a daily planner in a 3-ringed binder for as long as I can remember. I have an APP on my phone call TO-DO that allows me to keep track of my list. It doesn’t matter how you keep a list – but you should keep a list.

2. Make the List
You need to sit down and make the list. Some like to do this before falling a sleep in the evening. This allows them to turn off their thoughts by placing them on paper, giving them a peaceful mind ready for sleep. When they wake up they are ready to go with their list. I prefer to make my list every morning. After my prayer and bible time I like to think through the day. My mind is usually rushed and scattered. This practice allows me to focus on what is most important. However, nothing you write is unimportant. If it is on your mind, then put it on paper. After your head is cleared up you will then be able to organize your list into order of importance.

3. Check the Box
My list has very few things: write sunday’s sermon, call mom, pray through church prayer list. I have many meetings, services, and visits at which I need to be. Once I have accomplished the smallest of tasks I will check the box by the goal indicating that I have actually accomplished something today. Oh glorious feeling of accomplishment! I have found this process allows me to get big projects done in short, manageable segments. If I want to lose 5 pounds in January, I simply need to check the exercise box 5 days a week. If I want to read through the Bible in 2014, I simply need to check the 15-minutes devotions box everyday. Come-on, join the checked-box revolution. WARNING… this can be an addicting habit to break! It feels great!

4. Great Start Sunday
OK – I tricked you. You wanted to read about being organized and now you find yourself reading an advertisement for pastor josh’s special super-service that is coming up this sunday. GRRRRR – this is frustrating! And yet you can’t stop reading. Perhaps he’ll get back to the point of the blog but then you suddenly realize… He’s still talking about Sunday, January 5th! You don’t want to know that Great Start Sunday is the most important sunday, especially for members of SHBC. It bothers you that you now know Pastor Josh will be revealing a new sermon series and giving out a special gift to every person who attends this sunday. YIKES – now you know that there are 3 opportunities to come in the morning at 8:00, 9:45, 11:30! Sure it’s important to know about the 10 SHBC goals for 2014 and the major events that will shape the future of our church but all you really wanted to know when clicking on this link was how you could become more organized by utilizing a check list in 2014… until you realize… the first thing that must go on EVERY check list is… Attend Great Start Sunday at Southern Hills this coming sunday. Ahhhh, now it all makes sense. Your faith in Pastor Josh has been restored and now you know for certain that you will be there with your entire family in tow this sunday morning! And then, you’ll be able to check that box!

Do you make a check-list? What format do you use? How do you keep your priorities in order?

Which of the 3 services times will you be at – Great Start Sunday?

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I use an app called Astrid Tasks. It allows you to create recurring tasks for things i do over and over, and will alert me when something is coming due.
    I do not make a daily task list, however, this is an interesting idea. I may ahve to make this the year of the list…. I’ll be at the 8am service.

  • Reply
    James Pfeiffer
    January 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I use excel for my lists. I use it to manage a chart that tracks projects, goals and accomplishments throughout the year at work. It’s a little cumbersome but it comes in handy during performance evalutations with the boss…a summary of all my work in a nice neat package!

    I’ll have to check out that TO-DO app though b/c I wouldn’t mind something I could run off of my phone for personal non-work items.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I use my short term memory, but my prayers are for a new Church building, my family, our health, and Gods will in our lives.
    It took 3 years for one of my goals to get done, The Lord help me and my wife take care of that last month. Being debt free is a good feeling. sold our home in Ind. so this year I have all new things to focus on. We never wright down a list but my wife and I often set down and talk on how we will handle them. All decisions are not made by me alone. The Holy Spirit, my wife and I. It is when one leaves out Gods laws and guidelines do we find our selves into treble. so setting goals should be inside Gods inspirational guidelines. Some times I have forgotten that in the past when buying a new sporty car but in time ones learns not to be so hasty and wait upon ones needs. When you are young some times that is hard to do. So let ones goals always be SMART ones. And when I am old Lord help me keep my thoughts off that new Ford truck until it is time.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      January 3, 2014 at 8:55 am

      Alan, It’s difficult to be patient upon the Lord isn’t it? This is true with me as we wait upon the Lord for His provision of a new building. We do everything we can and wait upon Him to provide. For me, this is an extremely difficult life lesson.

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