I’ve been a vicar for almost three years and it has taken me that long to find a way of organising my diary and tasks in a way which helps me sleep at night. I have found the organisational aspect of being a vicar really tiring, as I knew it would be. My brain does not do chronological processing. I have to spend lots of cerebral energy each week thinking “what do I have to do, what have I forgotten to do, what do I have to tell people, and when, it’s probably too late, I’ll just do it myself.”
I had been a Palm Tungsten user for 13 years, which worked well for my diary, using the desktop software, but the To-Do list was never ending. Using a plain list, with dates, I never felt like I completed anything, even when I ticked off lots of tasks, and this was very demoralising.
The Palm is now obsolete, the desktop software won’t work with Windows 7. So I’ve ditched it and gone for Google Calander and an app called Astrid Tasks on my tablet. It has completely changed the way I organise myself.
Astrid Tasks allows me to set up projects, which I check on a weekly basis. The tasks under each project are given a date and then I can forget about that task until it appears on my Google Calendar. There is also a repeating task function, which I had on the Palm, but this is better by far.
The great thing about the calendar view of my To-Do list is that I can limit myself to 10 admin tasks a day, as well as my diary slots for meetings, visits and services. This is something I learned from “On Being a Pastor” by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg, I think. Best of all, when I tick off all the tasks I had to do for a day I feel a great sense of completion as well as knowing that things are not piling up.
This might all be obvious to many people who read my blog, but it wasn’t to me and so it might not be to others. Happy organising!