Years ago I was struggling under the weight of diocesan responsibilities as the time management methods I had learned back in college were just not working anymore. I was advised to read the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. I'm not much for following "gurus", but I saw it on sale in bookstore for less than the cost of a movie ticket. Given that I had wasted money on truly terrible films in the past, I thought what the hell, might as well take the chance. It turned out to be a life changing moment as I discovered and applied that was found in the book.
The original book has a sequel called Making it all Work, a deeper reflection on what our work means, not just how to keep track of it. I found it to be very profound. I even brought it with me on retreat as I thought about how my dreams about the priesthood met the practical realities of ministry life.
When I became an auxiliary bishop I would often turn to these books to help me stay in focus when the tide of work started to rise to my neck.
Now that I am the diocesan bishop of Sault Ste. Marie, I am looking at how to apply the GTD principles, not just to my life, but to the life and leadership of the diocese.
Here is the purpose statement I worked on today:
The mission God has given us is to bring people the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Or in French:
La mission que Dieu nous a donné est d'apporter aux gens la plénitude de la vie dans l'Esprit Saint par une relation avec Jésus Christ.
More to come as I reflect on our core principles. At least I don't need to depend on my pure imagination alone.