Friday, November 13, 2009

That Stones and Pebbles in a Jar Thing

So the time management webinar was pretty helpful; the time in conversation with the other pastors on staff afterwards: priceless (as the saying goes).

There were 30 minutes of the presenter and a lot of what he said was helpful and stuff I maybe even knew but hadn't been applying. I mean how many times have I seen or heard the example of how when you fill the jar with little stones then there is no longer room for the big rocks. Start with the big rocks.

It was a good reminder though because for instance, worship planning is a big rock and if you keep answering emails and fielding phone calls and doing this little thing and that little things suddenly you no longer have time for worship planning. So it gets pushed to the next day, rinse, repeat.

Another thing I realized is that I am on target in that I schedule my days BUT I schedule them on Sunday night. Every night I need to take a look at the next day and tweak it to reflect what was left undone or another big rock that may have come my way. Also, I need to leave more flex time in the schedule and be a little more gentle with myself. If everything is timed down to the minute and there is no buffer built in between tasks, of course I'm going to get behind. Life in ministry is not a well-oiled machine.

And if I have a 2 hour meeting, then don't schedule sit-down work after it. I can't concentrate and I will just sit there losing my mind and getting frustrated at myself. Put something else (a visit?) in that time slot.

I realize this is not riveting, revolutionary stuff but a few of you asked me to share and so I did.

Also, I have some pretty amazing colleagues in ministry.
That is all. :)


MumPastor said...

thanks KZJ. I was wondering if it had been of any use. I got a lot of good from the RevGal Matriarch discussion a couple of weeks ago, and this adds to it. For instance, I work 12 hour days with a two hour commute on Wednesdays. So I can't plan to work on my sermon on Thursdays. Just can't.

Thanks and best to you.

Anonymous said...

the hardest part for me - who loves a schedule that is detailed down to the minute - is remembering that God is ALWAYS in the interruptions - without fail in my experience. maybe it's just me, but it is consistent.

Jennifer said...

that's good stuff.

Songbird said...

I love the advice about reconsidering the calendar.
One of the things I've had to learn is not to schedule too many things on the same day, although sometimes that is beyond our control. And I'm trying to build in a cushion by not making appointments on Fridays except for the things that "come up" during the week.

Mark Smith said...

As you get better at this stuff, you'll notice that it's not just nightly planning - it's continuous planning.

In flying airplanes they teach us to stay "ahead of the plane" - to always ask "what's next?". We're only really able to relax and enjoy the flight once we're 3 or 4 steps ahead and can't do anything else yet (because another task must be done at a certain time).

Anonymous said...

Nah... don't schedule a visit after a two hour meeting... schedule a nap. Much more productive use of your time. Promise.