Systems Summer

overloadpic.jpgOne thing I’ve noticed about us youth workers (and I admit there are exceptions) we are not the greatest administrators in the world, it is hard to be both, ”people’ and ‘paper’ focussed at the same time. Ironically though, a goodly amount of admin’ is required and I reckon most of us develop pragmatic ways of making stuff happen. All very well until you find yourself in a role like a Diocesan Youth Adviser (hypothetical example) and systems become really really important.
So, I’m declaring this ‘Systems Summer’ and thus getting to grips with the glaring holes in my knowledge as well as working out systems that allow planning, filing, tracking and retrieval, and all staying within my normal maxim of “work smarter not harder!”
This is also driven by the fact that we have SO little space at Church house and my little desk, one bookshelf and filing cabinet quickly become overwhelmed.
One thing I’m working on is the GTD system by David Allen. I’m also gleaning some knowledge from the excellent PastorHacks website and perusing this mahoosive list of 50 productivity sites usefully posted by Chris!
I also aim to become a JEDI master of Outlook as this is pivotal to reducing the amount of paper around the place. Watch this space ……….. and if I lose my people focus feel free to hit me over the head with a rolled up copy of Youthwork magazine (but not the July one as that had loads of junk mail in and was quite heavy).

7 Replies to “Systems Summer”

  1. you need to remember that it is one thing to be organised but we need a certain level of disorder too! How many games can you play with a sorted pack of cards? 😉

  2. If you’re seriously going paper-less – don’t forget to back everything up on a regular basis!!

  3. Roy,
    Yep, fully agree and obsessive order is not the goal, just effective and functional work.
    I doubt we’ll be able to achieve paper-less for a long time yet but I’m certainly aiming for a massive paper dependence reduction. The ‘back-up’ reminder is a good one and that is something that is done well here, phew!

  4. Order is over-rated! ;oP
    Ok, well I would say that! I am loving the fact that one of our administrators is volunteering to re-order our resources as she enjoys it so much. So I would say delegate if you can!

  5. My filing system is rather like the Matrix (film not conference) in that it exists in two realities (one of which may just be an illusion):
    There is the pristine virtual world, run mainly on Google (I gave up on Outlook) where my dates and contacts are all readily available and a young person’s medical details (appropriately password protected) can be pulled at a moments notice (useful on at least one occasion).
    Then there is the ‘real’ world – that ugly great pile of papers, spewing out of my filing cabinet and threatening to eat the desk.
    I know which world I prefer to live in. You can keep your red pill. Ignorance is bliss.

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