You have to produce the results you want...on time!
What's important here is the hierarchy. And that's vertical...top to bottom. There will be no effectiveness without a written hierarchy. Otherwise there is no way to distinguish most important from least important.
And trying to keep things in hierarchical order in your mind is like trying to herd a bunch of cats.
So...it follows that ministers, not circumstances, cause their own burnout, and only they can manage their time well to prevent burnout.
Here are some symptoms that suggest burnout is
lurking not too far in the future...
Those are internal responses to stress from time getting away from you.
And internal stress is dealt with differently than external stress. How
about these examples of external stress...
Effective time management is definitely up to the minister.
Very few people in a parish are going to say "let's not bother father with that?
To the contrary...everyone who puts a demand on a minister's time feels that his or her issue is the most important.
The trouble is most ministers want to be perceived as nice guys.
Ministry must always be religious in nature...religious actions with the specific purpose of bringing people...and the minister...closer to God. The rest is not ministry!
And ministers who neglect what they ought to be doing for themselves and their ministry...motivated simply to gain someone's approval...are not doing ministry. They are promoting themselves.The minister who loves to be needed falls happily exhausted into bed at night after a day of being constantly needed.
Such ministers don't feel pressured as much as they feel central to the lives of the lay folks.
The minister who loves to be needed is probably happy enough and the people who drain the minister's time are probably happy too.
What most people think of as an emergency is simply their internal feeling of urgency...nothing more than the need and desire to have their way quickly. An em-urgency is not the same as an em-ergency.
The message an em-urgency conveys is..."Help!! I'm on fire...drop everything and put me out!" An em-urgency is really a demand that seeks to usurp the minister's time.
So you can see how having good definitions can help. If you understand the difference between urgency and emergency...you are likely to respond appropriately to someone without getting off schedule for the rest of the day.
Unless life or property are threatened, a minister can respond something like this...
"I realize this feels very urgent to you and I'm in full sympathy with you. Sit tight. I've scheduled you in for the first appointment after lunch tomorrow. I'll see you then."
Em-urgencies have a curious characterstic...they tend to resolve themselves when they are given a little time to do so.
And you can generate it on the fly... by writing things down
on a pad beside you as you watch television and things pop into your
head...rank ordered for importance from top to bottom.
And this rank ordering is necessary to decide what must happen before other things.
When you think horizontally, everything is equally important and can lead to indecision...which is another time waster. You can only set priorities by thinking of things in a vertical order.
And when we construct a list on paper...we are
forced to think vertically.
And that is why a written vertical list is one of the habits of highly successful people.
A diplomat reported that he learned his audience was over when the queen gave him three embedded commands in the most charming voice.
They are in bold type in
There are many ways to tell people their time is up...commands embedded in your farewell actually get the point across without giving any offense at all.
Master the embedded command and you'll have an extra half hour for lunch.
If you use these strategies for effective time management ...you will make time to accomplish everything in your hierarchy for the day...and you will find that 'emergencies' rarely occur. (I've done you a favor by putting three embedded commands in bold type. I am sure you will be happy to obey them.)
We all manage time one way or another. But effective time management requires a few simple to learn techniques to keep you happily at your job of bringing yourself and the people closer to God.
Why not download you FREE copy of our time management ebook.
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