Time Management

In 2008, I wrote a couple posts on task management (see Task Management and Task Management 2.0). My previous posts focused on specific systems, but even after checking out different systems, I keep coming back to my own. I’ll keep looking, for ideas, if nothing else, but here I want to focus on “time management.”

Interestingly, I have now been a student of leadership for (exactly) 20 years now, going back to when John Maxwell did a seminar for my denomination called, “Six Keys to Church Growth.” Point number two was “Leadership.” But even before I was a student of leadership, I was interested in time management, or at least, managing my time more effectively (when I started using a Franklin Day Planner in college).

Twenty-one years later, time management is still a tremendous challenge, and an area that I want to grow in!

In recent days, I’ve been thinking about some areas in which I need to further develop and/or improve. Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning …

  1. Pray. If I’m going to use time well, especially doing the things God calls me to do in ministry and leadership, then I must have God’s guidance and blessing!
  2. Master List. I think my current practice of updating my master list weekly works pretty well. I might try to update the list at the end of the week instead of first thing Monday, which might help me to hit the ground running at the beginning of the week. I’ll give it a shot.
  3. Schedule Tasks. I sometimes plan what days I will work on specific tasks/agenda items, but I’d like to do this better.
  4. Estimate Time for Tasks. I do this occasionally, but I’m not very good at it. I always underestimate the amount of time tasks will take. Need to work on this!
  5. Focusing on the Most Important Tasks. Rick Warren often says that we have enough time to do what God calls us to do. Either we’re trying to do more than we should be doing or we’re not doing them right. It’s a constant challenge doing those things that are important, not just urgent (especially if they’re not even that important)! Knowing my call and having a clear sense of vision, as well as understanding the real leadership/ministry needs in the church, are critical here, as well.
  6. Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry. Long time challenge. Still haven’t figured it out. But I’m convinced it’s an important discipline!

Question: How do you manage time? What do you do well? Where do you need to grow?

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