Here’s a sign of an UNPRODUCTIVE person – they forget some things. Not everything. Just some things. They forgot to send an email. Forgot to show up for a meeting. Forgot to send the proposal. Forgot to prepare for the devotional. They remembered a lot of things too. Everyone was glad they remembered those things. But mostly, people were frustrated about the things they forgot.
** paradox **
Here’s a sign of a PRODUCTIVE person – they forget everything. Really. Everything. If you were to ask them what they are doing next week, they would smile and say, “I don’t remember.” If you asked them what tasks they will be working on tomorrow, they would reply, “I don’t know.” If you saw them in the mall and suggested that perhaps they are forgetting something, they could suggest back with confidence, “Yes, I have forgotten everything.”
You have to admit. You’re a little curious how this works.
The difference between these two people isn’t really about what they forget. It’s about how they remember. A productive person chooses to empty his mind of the details of his day, week, month, even year. He doesn’t try to remember what’s going on next week. He doesn’t have to remember to go to a meeting or prepare for a devotional. He just does.
He does because he has created systems to remember all of those things for him.
- He maintains a responsibility summary (one page) which informs him of all of his major responsibilities, current projects, and future projects.
- He uses his calendar to keep track of his appointments, meetings AND to schedule time to work on his most important projects/tasks on any given week (and he schedules an hour each week to prepare/plan out the upcoming weeks).
- He utilizes an information management system which keeps all the important information about his life and ministry organized and accessible.
- He has two or three in-baskets which funnel information, tasks, activities, and ideas to the most appropriate place and in a timely fashion.
- He regularly checks his to-do lists to ensure he’s working on the right things at the right times.
With those five systems developed and in place, a productive person can go home from work every day and forget everything. He can empty his mind of all the clutter of the day and the worries of tomorrow and enjoy his family & free time (which was on his calendar anyway).
How much do you forget?