If there’s one thing ministry staff is lacking everywhere, it’s time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, but this is an issue that all ministries have to deal with. In Ecclesiastes 3:1, it says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” You need to find the time to get things done. If you manage your time well, you will discover that you can get more done than you thought possible. Here are seven techniques that will help:
“The amount of work delegated to others should be evenly spread out amongst your staff and volunteers.”
1. Delegate tasks properly
Task delegation is a fine art when done right. You need to know who to give certain tasks to, and when to do it. Utilize people’s strengths and don’t ask too much of one person. The amount of work given to others should be evenly spread out amongst your staff and volunteers. While they will obviously not all be doing the same things, you need to make sure they all have relatively the same work load. That way no one person will become too stressed or burnt out.
According to Share Faith, ministry leaders need to stay aware and intentionally prioritize tasks to better utilize their time and personnel. This is a skill that comes with experience, so young leaders should focus on their prioritization skills and learn from any mistakes they make. Remember, what is pressing today might not be quite as important tomorrow. Things can change depending on the day or week, so you also need to learn to reprioritize as needed. This is a constant struggle and should be handled at or near the beginning of the day.
3. Utilize your calendar and other organizational tools
Too often a calendar is underutilized. Don’t let this happen to you. Digital calendars can be powerful organization tools which will help you get more things done. Create reminders and events in your calendar, block off time for specific projects and link your digital calendar to any computer or mobile device you use. If you find that a calendar isn’t enough, look for to-do list applications, such as Todoist. This will help you stay organized so you don’t waste time throughout the day.
4. Streamline your management processes with software
Managing online donations, volunteers and ministry-run events can be extremely difficult. There are just so many moving parts that without a central hub for it all, you can get lost and spend hours fiddling with all the components. This is not a productive use of time. Instead of trying to manually managing it all, it’s much more efficient to use a ministry software solution.
5. Rise early and start working sooner
ThomRainer.com suggested getting up an hour earlier every day. While getting up earlier can be smart, it’s important to be doing something productive with that time. Otherwise, you might as well sleep in. Everyone is different. The morning may be a good time for some to take on detail oriented work like data entry or managing finances. Others may want to take that time to do tasks that don’t take too much concentration.
6. Do difficult tasks first
If you have something difficult on your to do list, you should make sure to get it out of the way early in the day. Don’t spend all of your energy on simple tasks and then try to start a difficult project when your mind and body are worn down. When you knock out complex projects early in the day, you’ll be fresher and work in a more efficient manner later in the day, according to ThomRainer.com.
7. Take short breaks to keep fresh
Another good idea is to take frequent breaks. It may seem counterproductive by stopping to take a breather, but it will help you stay fresh and sharp. Schedule a few periods of time in your calendar that you can use to wind down and relax for 15 minutes or less. During that time make sure to do something that will help you settle yourself so when you get back to work you’re fresh. If you’re spending most of your time behind a desk, go for a walk. If you’ve been on your feet all day, find a place to sit down and relax.