Just Trying to Keep Up

As you know, the last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. Thus, the blog has suffered. Even though I thought I’d get some fresh content up this week, it had to wait till my real work was finished first.

Life is busy. There are seasons of great business; deadline, big projects, pressing assignments and mile-long To Do Lists. Then there are seasons filled with a gentler pace. The former has been my life for the last 3 week. Work plus a family schedule makes things a little crazy.

Crazy, but not impossible. I have learned some things over these last couple of weeks. Things I think will help in the long run.

1. Sometimes we take on too much. We all know that saying “no” in ministry is difficult. We feel like we aren’t serving well, so we take on more than we can handle. In doing so, we struggle to get it all done. But being too busy leads to frustration, stress, and fatigue. It’s make you irritable, short tempered, and miserable. Know your limits and what is reasonable for you to accomplish at any given time.

2. Don’t create your own busyness. More dangerous than saying “yes” to everyone and everything, is creating your own busyness. Watch that you don’t create extra work for yourself out of the motive to look busy. In the past, I have dreamed up all sorts of little projects to work on instead of just focusing on the important things. Stick to what NEEDS to be done. When that is finished, then take the time to dream and have fun.

3. Just get it done. I’ve talked about this one before. Everyone has a list of things that need to get done, but because they are things we don’t like to do they sit in wait. These are usually the same items that end up on your To Do List every week. Stop the cycle. Get them done! Make those calls. Answer those emails. Straighten the office. Clean out the church van. Deal with that unhappy parent. Putting things off only complicates your life, adding to the growing business. Instead, set aside the time in your week and get them done.

4. Set a reasonable set of goals. This last week has been a good week. it’s been a good week because on Monday, I set reasonable goals. Each day I had a goal. I knew what needed to be accomplished and when, and I got them done. Setting goals allows you to stay in control and not at the mercies of others who want your time and attention.

5. Don’t take it home with you. Most of us could work on our youth ministries long into the night. And at times, I have. But bringing home work is a habit that hurts more than just the ministry. It attacks the family. Whether you are married or single, taking work home at the end of the day is a dangerous habit. It takes away the time that you should be spending on family, being with friends, working out, staying healthy, spending personal time with God, and relaxing. Start setting the standard; work stays at the office.

Yeah, the past couple of weeks have been busy. But I am developing better time management skills, learning how to avoid procrastinating, and enjoying my time with the family. I still keep full days in the office, but my time is my time. And that makes for a better life.

– jay

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