Starting today, I’m going to give a short tip every Tuesday to help you become more productive and less stressed in the fast pace of life, pastoring, and ministry. Today’s tip is to “Clear Your Workspace.”
Clear Everything – Put Back As Needed
All professions, especially a life of church and ministry leadership, will collect clutter and needless distractions. Whether your workspace is a physical desk, a computer, a notebook, a whiteboard, etc – it needs to be purged every once in a while. I don’t mean that your computer needs to have everything erased and put back on (at least not if it’s a Mac – Windows computers sometimes need you to). I mean that everything you can easily get to, physical and digital, needs to be reevaluated.
Your table top, computer desktop, etc will eventually gather too much cruft. More pens then you possibly could need, more files then you will look at reasonably soon, sticky notes, paper, nick nacks, and more build up around you, which hurts your productivity.
NOTE: I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a picture or such on your desk, although 10 or 15 might be excessive.
I don’t have a physical office anymore, but when I did, I would do this about once a month. I would put all the files on my computer desktop in a single folder. I would remove everything from my desk and then I would only return items as they were needed. After the first day, I would have pretty much just my computer, notepad, pen, and paperclips back on my desk. This “nuke and pave” would clear my mind, and help me focus on what needed to be done rather than having to work around all the things that cluttered my physical and mental space.
I am purposely writing these tips to be short so that you can actually apply these tips to you workflow. So take 2 min and remove EVERYTHING from your desk, then build back up as needed. You won’t regret it.