As I have made the move from business to ministry in the last 10 months, I’ve found I battle three things. As Local Outreach Pastor (community outreach) at a growing church with 8000 visitors on any given Sunday, two campuses, thirty local ministries partners, hundreds of volunteers, large budgets, various events and personal ministry, things can get a little crazy. In fact, they can feel a bit chaotic and overwhelming. How do I (personally) get things done and stay on top of hundreds of moving parts? How do I identify the most important priorities?
Well, I have a bunch of God‘s grace and an awesome team. I also have a tool that I’ve adapted from what I’ve learned from others and years of experience.
Are you looking for a better way of staying on top of things?
Know your enemy – Look in the mirror!
There are three things I battle. The first is procrastination. I am gifted at putting important tasks off by replacing them with non-important tasks or tasks I should not be doing. The second is being a slave to the urgent. Emergencies and urgent tasks happen in daily life. When they do, we have to stop what we are doing and engage in the urgent. Many times when I have procrastinated to do an important task, the task migrates into the urgent. The third is deception. This happens when I make an activity of low importance into high importance when that is not the case.
A few years ago, Dave Ramsey provided a helpful tool for establishing priorities. It contains quadrants of activity or tasks.
1. Important and Urgent: This is a crisis or emergency like your child is in the hospital. This is also task where your immediate action is required or something will break.
2. Not Urgent but Important: This something that is important but not currently urgent like taking care of your body. If you don’t take care of yourself, you could potentially have a health crisis. This is where planning and cultivating relationships reside. This will also include personal growth and health-related activities. Spend your time in this area!
3. Urgent and Not Important: This is someone else’s crisis or activities that we mistake for having high importance and urgency. Responding to email as they hit your inbox lands here. This is something that seems really important but it can wait or be delegated. If there is a crisis, I will get a phone call (sometimes a text but I recommend a call). This is a danger zone as it interrupts important work.
4. Not Urgent and Not Important: There are activities like surfing Facebook or watching senseless videos on Youtube. Dave Ramsey includes gossip here as well.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. – Ps 90:12
Enjoy the journey!