Time management and productivity have always been and will always be issues that children’s ministry leaders face because of the broad spectrum of our ministries. We are continuously managing volunteers, putting lesson plans together, coordinating events, and much more. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to make the most of my time and to become more productive. Here are some ideas that have helped me:
1. Use your time wisely.
We all have activities in our lives that we tend to waste time doing. While enjoyable, these activities can stifle our production. For some of us it may be talking excessively with friends or coworkers. For others it may be browsing Facebook or sending a Twitter update every five minutes. These are all areas we could be more conscious of our time to help us become more productive.
Sometimes a poor use of time could be simply arriving too early for planned meetings and events. For example, if you have three meetings in one day and arrive fifteen minutes too early for each one, you have used forty-five minutes of your day just showing up early.
If nothing seems to jump out at you as a poor use of time, spend a couple of days writing down the activities you do and the times you do them. You can review that list to see what your largest time wasters are; then make an action plan on how you will prevent it in the future.
2. Plan ahead.
Planning your calendar, to-do lists, and schedules early can help boost productivity. When you have a set course of action and are looking at it right in front of you, you are more likely to stay on task and complete it.
For me, I like to use a calendar app, called BusyCal, and the productivity software, OmniFocus. BusyCal allows me to easily see what is coming up weeks ahead of time and OmniFocus helps me to stay on task daily by making a check-list of to-do’s with due dates (based on my environment such as home, office, etc.). There are other software options that are similar and do some of the same things; these are just the ones I prefer.
Sometimes, no matter what I do, there never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Delegation is a critical component of productivity and time management. When you assemble a team and delegate responsibilities within that team, you can not only perform multiple tasks with less effort, but you also are providing others with the opportunity to serve and use their spiritual gifts to benefit the kingdom.
For some of us, our pride may cause us to struggle with this. Not because we don’t want others to serve, but because we want our events and planning to be carried out our way and to our standards. When we delegate, we feel like we lose control of the reigns.
We must come to terms with the fact that we are not the only ones who can do our jobs. People within our churches are spiritually gifted as well, and they receive a blessing when they serve the Lord. We should never rob someone of an opportunity of ministering for the Lord, to coddle our pride.
So what are ways that you keep on task and stay productive? Have you utilized any of the methods mentioned above? I would love to read your thoughts and comments. Post them below!