PODCAST: Clutter (Get Things Done #126 with Daniel Whyte III)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #126 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory.

In this podcast, we are going through the book “Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management” by Edwin C. Bliss. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles on productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says: “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Our quote for today is from Barbara Hemphill. She said: “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at “Clutter.”

Many years ago W. C. Fields made a movie in which he was a busy executive, his desk piled high with disorganized papers. One day while he was away from the office, his secretary organized everything into neat stacks. When he returned he needed a particular paper but didn’t know which pile it was in, so he stirred everything as if he were tossing a salad, then reached in and triumphantly pulled out the paper he wanted!

That may work in skits, but it doesn’t work in the real world. There are some rare executives–Harold Geneen of ITT was one–who can operate efficiently despite an untidy desk, but for most of us clutter drastically diminishes efficiency. (Perhaps a definition is in order here: Clutter doesn’t mean a lot of papers on your desk; it means a lot of unrelated papers.)

I meet with a lot of resistance on this point. Some people argue that all the papers on their desk are “important,” that they don’t want to risk overlooking any of them by having them out of sight. Nonsense. You can concentrate on only one thing at a time. Select the highest priority item, and put everything else on a side table, with the second most urgent on the top of the pile. Accept the fact that no matter how important all these projects may be, you can concentrate on only one of them at a time. The more important the others are, the more distracting they are: Each time they catch your eye you must stop your train of thought, remind yourself that despite their importance you can’t do them yet, and then try to regain your momentum on the higher priority task at hand. Some people run this mental obstacle course dozens of times a day!

You should make it a habit to clear your desk completely each evening before leaving the office because it compels you to make some unpleasant decisions. (Remember that a pile of paperwork is usually a pile of postponed decisions.) And it gets the next day off to a better start: Arriving at a cluttered desk is like getting up in the morning to a sink full of dirty dishes. That’s no way to begin a day.

And when I recommend clearing your desk completely at the end of the day. I mean that literally. Don’t just tidy up, putting things in stacks. Something mysterious takes place when you leave two papers on a desk overnight: In the morning there will be four.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next podcast.

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Now, let’s pray our prayer together —

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have sinned, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no peace and joy in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou us, O God, who confess our sins, our faults, and our failures. Restore those of us who confess our sins and repent; According to Thy promises declared unto us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of Thy holy Name.
In Jesus Christ Name we pray and for His sake. Amen.

Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.