Managing Time for Maximum Impact
Time management is an invaluable skill no matter what line of work you find yourself in. Unfortunately, controlling one’s calendar is not something those of us in ministry are typically known for. Too often it can feel like our calendar controls us rather than the other way around.
Maybe you have tried to hone your time management skills in the past but it became a frustrating endeavor for you. Well, let’s be real, after last year we’ve all had to start over when it comes organizing our calendar. Consider these five principles of time management that will help you maximize your ministry impact, prioritize your family, avoid procrastination and even reduce the amount of stress in your life!
Pause Your Inbox
One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is keeping the email inbox open. As mail comes in, a response goes out.
The problem with this is that it allows other people to dictate your workday. To regain control of your workweek, you must be proactive, not reactive. Manage your time and choose two times a day that you will check your email and for the rest of the day, close the window or if you have Gmail, pause the inbox. So many of the emails that get a response right away pull your attention from more impactful items and they could have waited till later anyways.
Wake Up Early
Simply put, wake up early and beat everyone to the office. The more people in the office, the more distractions that arise.
If you can get to the office early and spend a couple hours by yourself before people get their coffee and become chatty, it is amazing how much you can accomplish and helping with managing time to get things done. This is especially helpful if you have little ones at home and you want to make sure you are not at the office late.
If you are a night owl, flip this principle. When everyone else goes home, stay late or put in a couple hours work after your family goes to sleep. The idea is to create time in your workweek where you won’t be interrupted by other people. That way you can maximize your focus on the most important projects on your plate.
Do Not Disturb Mode
The average person looks at their phone every 4.3 minutes. When we check our phones, it often takes around 40 seconds to fully reengage in what you were doing. That means the average person is distracted by their phone over 3 million seconds a year. That’s 37 days! Think about the impact that could be made for Christ if we reclaimed and maximize that time.
An easy step that every leader can make is to put their phone on Do Not Disturb mode. Commitment to only checking your phone once an hour. After a few days, you will find freedom in not being able to be reached. If there are a couple people that need to be able to reach you at all times, then program their calls to go through, but keep that list short to help with your time management.
Share Your Calendar
Gmail allows you to share your calendar with other people. In doing so, it allows others to know when you are available and when you are not.
What’s important is that you don’t just fill the calendar with meetings, but also you schedule your project planning, brainstorming, personal development, etc. This forces you to schedule your week (you’re controlling your calendar!) and helps your team members to know when is a good time to talk. When you do this, you are helping your whole team maximize their time with time management.
Set A Curfew
Set a time in which you will end your day and hold to it. Tell your family the time you choose so they can hold you accountable! This will cause you to prioritize your day better, say no to overloading your schedule, avoid procrastination and give you a sense of urgency. In addition, it will help create a healthy work/life balance. Your team will appreciate your productivity this principle produces and your family will enjoy always having you home for dinner.
Determine which of these time management skills will help you the most and give it an honest try for the next month. If we want to have the maximum impact on the people God has given you to shepherd and your family, it is imperative that you develop the skill of time management.
Consider time management and other leadership principles with leaders from around the country as you look to fulfill your God-given potential through the Replicate Collective!