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Clergy and GTD?

I am trying to get my dad, a pastor, to get hooked on GTD. Are there any clergy out there with any tips? Or just tips in general for getting someone started?

I am getting him the GTD book and the various supplies (labeler, file folders, etc.).

Thanks in advance.


4ster's picture

I am 35 and a...

I am 35 and a pastor in the United Methodist Church. I have been ordained for 10 years, and I have been using GTD for about a year or so.

I don't think that there is a need to do change GTD much for pastors. My big change really came from some conversations here and some offline conversations with Emory that were worth their weight in gold.

I have been a Palm user since I graduated from seminary, but Emory helped me to realize that the Palm task application and the small screen is just not enough for next actions, so I am now using a Treo and a Hipster PDA in a Levenger shirt pocket briefcase (I told you I was talking to Emory). :)

Anyway, only hard landscape items go on the calendar. If your dad is using ACS for his membership database, it can export into Outlook and then easily sync with a pda for contacts. I only have two categories on my Outlook/Treo calendar: Appointments and Unfiled. Appointments are things I need to do that day. Unfiled means I need to know it is happening that day but don't need to be there. Appointments are automatically colored green and unfiled stuff is left un-color-coded.

Beyond that, my set up in my hPDA looks like this:

I have a pocket for blank index cards. For some reason, I like the grid pattern 3x5s the best.

In the main pocket of the shirt pocket briefcase (SPB), I have 3 tabs: inbox, contexts, and projects, which divide up my cards. I will probably eventually not carry my projects cards with me, and may just keep them online with Backpack. Right now, I want to keep them with me, but when the SPB gets too full, and it is already close, I will not keep them with me all the time.

My contexts are:
@Home [Repeating] (stuff I do weekly)
@Prayers (lists of people I need to check on who are sick, grieving, etc.)

I also use the Staples business card holders for index card bleachers and it works great.

I have tried to convince other clergy to adopt GTD, because pastoral work is almost entirely mind work, and you can think about work_all_the_time if you are not careful. GTD helps me to only think about work when I should be and only think about my wonderful four-year-old or my wonderful wife in the little time I have with them instead of thinking about work or the next deadline I have to meet, and that is a big step towards abundant life for me.

If nothing else, he should consider the GTD Outlook plug-in, which makes filing a lot of e-mail easier. At a bare minimum, he should write everything down in a notebook that he always has with him, so he does not need to constantly be thinking about the next thing he could/should be doing or trying to keep it all in his head. That alone made a huge difference for me.

In the morning, spreading out those index cards and seeing everything I could do and then making a list of the only things I must do that day gives me much more peace of mind than I had before GTD.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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