I’m in the process of reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done. i have some vices when it comes to organization. But first, let me say that I have some virtues when it comes to organization, as well.

  1. I do a good job of setting aside time for things that matter.
  2. I have a fairly disciplined routine of sermon preparation.
  3. I (almost) never miss/forget an appointment. I missed one last year, but that is the only one I can remember. Translation: My calendar is in order.
  4. I have the ability to see things coming down the road and take steps now to make sure that when the time comes, I’m ready for them and can complete them more readily than I would otherwise.

But then, there are the vices.

1. My office is one stack of paper and books after another.
2. I have too many books (if it’s possible)
3. I spend too much time and energy thinking about things I have left to do.
4. I loathe making phone calls. Give me email, or a face-to-face…but no phone calls. A lot of people I know hate a particular mode of communication. Some psychiatrist will probably figure out why some day. I’d rather either e-mail you, or fly to meet you in another state face-to-face than call you on the phone.

Enter David Allen. The best insight so far: "The power of a karate punch comes from speed, not muscle; it comes from a focused "pop" at the end of the whip. That’s why petite people can learn to break boards and bricks with their hands: it doesn’t take calluses or brute strength, just the ability to generate a focused thrust with speed. But a tense muscle is a slow one. So the high levels of training in the martial arts teach and demand balance and relaxation as much as anything else. Clearing the mind and being flexible are key."

His point is…if your mind is full of "to-dos," anxiety, or the like, it will slow down your productivity. So one of Allen’s biggest contributions is to the psychology of work flow.

Care to share any of your vices? Probably not. So, you can share the virtues too.