The fall schedule is in full swing and already I need to practice what I preach about reclaiming your schedule and living out your priorities. How about you? Are you on the busy treadmill going faster to nowhere? Today I wanted to share some simple ways to stop the busyness that interferes with the your priorities.
1. Pray about every request. I don’t mean you have to pray for a month about helping out in kid’s church one or two weeks, singing a solo at church or attending a baby shower. I just don’t think life is that complicated. What I am talking about here are the long term requests to do something or something that will take a lot of time. When I speak at a conference it may only be a one hour keynote address or a seminar but I have to think about prep time (I may spend 20-30 hours or more on one message) and travel time. Also, what will I have to say no to if I say yes to that request?
2. Use a calendar and set boundaries on your time. To keep your priorities you must guard the time you set aside for them. We have weekly family time and I write it on my calender. The same with QT, time with Todd and other things that I have determined are priorities. If I don’t write stuff in when I get a request I may look more available than I really am.
3. Watch out for those little things. Lot’s of little things add up to many things. It’s hard to say no to “little” requests but 10-20 of them in month add up to a lot.
4. Give yourself permission to complete tasks imperfectly. I am a perfectionist by nature and the negative to this is taking too long on too many tasks. I don’t have time every night to cook a gourmet dinner. What I have learned is that having the time as a family (dinner together is a high priority) is important. The first week of September was an unusual week for us and we did take out two nights…pizza one night and Chinese another. It was a decision we made to take some pressure off and this enabled me to have more family time.
5. Delegate. To live priorities one must learn to delegate. I find in ministry that most people want to be involved and serve. If a leader has a problem with delegation they often have problem with being a control freak. Delegate it and the blessing of that is that a team will develop.
Too often people live by the tyranny of the urgent of someone else. Without clearly defined priorities it will be difficult to beat busyness. What have you learned that has helped you to take control of your schedule?