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A37 Sorting out your study

Part 2: The stuff in the room

First published on this website in February 2016 and last updated in February 2024

Words: 6700
Size: 249 kB
Categories: Administration , Leadership


This is the second part of a two-article set (with A36) designed primarily for Ministers who work from home but applicable too to all church and mission staff including those who work out of a central office.

This part investigates the stuff in the room. The focus is on paper but IT files and emails are covered too. There are three sections.

  1. Sort yourself out
    The secret to handling paperwork is the SORT stage. This section suggests seven sorting principles that will give a new slant on this whole subject. The list starts: See 'sorting' as a genuine and vital activity, Action only stuff taking no more than two minutes, Be disciplined - refuse to be distracted...
  2. File to find
    There are four issues to change the way you think about filing: Think 'find' not 'file', File everywhere, File everything, Choose stationery. These are followed by three types of filing distinguished by the time you allow yourself to find something in them: Holding - two seconds, Filing - 20 seconds, Storage - two minutes.
  3. Categorise carefully
    Principles for how to separate out different types of subject matter. The basic principle is to avoid the long list approach and instead go for depth with a small number of categories, each then with sub-categories.

I cover these basic principles in my deskwork training sessions but have now put them into print.


Here is the link to this item: PDF A37 - Sorting out your study 2.pdf

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Author's notes

This article was updated in February 2024 with minor amendments to the layout.

Note that Article A1 on this website covers some of this material too in a slightly different way, and that it is helpful to have read Training Notes TN23, How to do 'To Do' lists or, better, Article A51, The 'To Do Diary' guide, if you want to develop the work-diary idea mentioned in the article.