Because Outlook Told Me So
This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney
I have always worked in small HR departments where I am one of 2-3 staff members, wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities all day, every day. I am generally orderly and mindful in my work and in my record-keeping. That is an essential skill in this profession where historical data can be called upon at any time for analytics or legal scrutiny. When my staff asks me how I keep it all together and remember to start, track and finish all these tasks, I jokingly say “I don’t remember anything. I just do what the Outlook reminders tell me to do.”
Still, there are times when I sit at my desk and look at the piles, issues and emails that all need to be addressed and I have no idea where to start or how to get it all done! When that happens, I take a deep breath, pull out a piece of paper and make a list.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time”
- Written plans set priorities and give focus. Once you have dumped your brain and written down everything, you can organize the list according to what is most urgent and important. You may be able to get help or delegate tasks. You may find that there are items that can be postponed or removed altogether. You may find tasks that can be merged together. However, when thoughts are just rolling around in your mind and piles of work are all around, you have no idea of any of these things! Deadlines get missed and important items get forgotten. This is not what God would have for us. God wants us to be productive and meet needs through our work (Titus 3:14). Being deliberate and logical in our work can help us achieve this.
- Written plans make it easier to measure effectiveness. When you maintain a list of to-do items or another type of action plan, it is easy to see not only what needs doing but also what has been done. There is a great feeling that comes from conquering tasks on your list (Proverbs 13:9). It gives us a sense of accomplishment that can help keep us motivated to continue working hard in pursuit of our goals (Galatians 6:9).
There are two clear pitfalls to avoid in when preparing the lists and plans for our work.
- Complicated, confusing objectives. The Scripture calls for us to make things “plain” so our plan is easy to follow. Keep things clear and concise.
- Lengthy, lofty outline. The Scripture calls for us to create plans for “an appointed time.” This is why long lists without clear time limits are ineffective. Keep things specific and finite.
- Whether it is a strategic plan for the organization, a meeting agenda or to-do reminders for the day – the ability to create and follow a written plan is critical to consistent performance and long-term achievement. God wants us to be effective in our work. He also wants us to be organized and methodical. And when we look to Him for strength and guidance through prayer and meditation, we can rest assured that He will direct and keep us on a path to success (Proverbs 3:1-8).
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management.
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