Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Right Tools

When I was in school, the teacher told us how to organize our desks to be most efficient.  Make sure you had everything you needed - well-lit area, clean desk, pencils, pens, ruler, etc. - before you started on your homework.  They said having the Right Tools would make you more efficient and help you do your homework better.

Today, we were trimming our lemon tree.  After cutting the dead branches, and the overgrown ones, I dragged them to a shady area of the lawn.  I got my trash can, lined it with a lawn size trash bag, grabbed a cushion to sit on and my pruning shears.  As I trimmed the branches into smaller portions that would fit into the trash can, I reflected back to the school days and the organization of my desk.  Because I organized my task ahead of time, I was able to enjoy the shade and the outdoors, and calmly, methodically complete my task.  It was a very pleasurable experience.

I was thinking how this could apply to many areas of life.  A little advance planning, organizing the workflow, makes the task at hand proceed more efficiently, and you feel good when it's done.

Ways that I apply this are:
  • Grocery store shopping - plan menus, make a list, look at the sales.  These steps alone will get you in and out of the store faster, and will save you money.  For menu ideas that come with a shopping list, try
  • Bible study - get your bible, your notebook, pens, beverage, and study guide.  Having everything laid out helps me put my mind in the mood to hear from God.  A time of prayer asking for His wisdom as I seek to learn from Him is the very best tool.  Other tools I like - free apps like Bible and MySword (includes Strong's Hebrew and Greek Lexicon plus other tools).   Online websites like are additional helpful tools.
  • Work - clean desk, pens, pencils, rulers, computer, tape, stapler, notepad.  Write-out your to-do list the night before, or first thing in the morning.  Don't check email all day long - check it at certain intervals. Turn off the email notifier on your computer and smartphone. Keep social media to a limited amount of your day.  Focus on one task at a time until it's done.  Distractions kill your productivity.  If you can't proceed with the task at hand, make a list of things needed and don't start on it again until you have everything you need.
The Right Tools will help you in every area of your life. Organization helps define your task so that you have a sense of accomplishment when it is done.

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