The stench of stinky feet greeted me at the door upon my arrival home from the four day conference. The source of the aroma appears to be the week’s mountain of laundry. In fact, Brian commented that the whole house smelled like dirty socks. He is right.
So first thing this morning, I started in on the laundry, stinkiest pile first. Then, I dropped the kids off at school, came home and looked at the mountain of notes I had accumulated from the conference. I had digital handout notes, notes in my to-do list, notes on the margins of my program and notes on legal pads, in addition to lots of notes on my computer. I had notes for me and notes to share with fellow staff members. My mountain of notes was virtually as tall as my mountain of laundry.
As I waded through the pile, I remembered these words from Mark 11:
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
I tried ordering the smelly socks into the ocean (that is my kind of housekeeping!), but it did not happen. So, I loaded another stinky load into the washer and turned my attention back to work. I started to feel a little overwhelmed and anxious about all the information from the conference. I realized that it would be easy to fall into the trap of putting the notes on the shelf and forgetting them or grabbing the first notes I saw and implementing the ideas immediately without regard to if they really fit. I felt anxious that the knowledge I gained might go to waste.
I decided to address the anxiety by simply ORDERING the mountain of notes. As in, order of priority, filed, organized as opposed to into the sea. And in doing this I realized that I have faith and confidence that I will not lose the notes. Instead, I have a brief plan, entered into my to-do list to discern what information is useful to specific projects or ministries. I didn’t throw my notes into the sea, but did put the best things in places where I will be able to locate them. That way, I will have time to pray and study about these things and eliminate anxiety.
Now, if I could just order the other 9 loads of laundry, I would be all set!
Some resources I use to stay organized:
http://todoist.com: I love this web-based to-do list that allows me to take notes on tasks and attach emails and websites to tasks. It has a nice Chrome plug-in. Android aps available but not wonderful, yet.
http://springpad.com: Another web organizer that allows me to clip things from websites and organize them in folders. Although, I recently heard rave reviews about https://evernote.com/ and may give that a try, too. Having all of my ideas and clippings available 24/7 helps with brain overload.
Google Calendar: Since my husband and I both share calendars, it makes our lives much easier. I have done away with paper calendars completely. Hooray!