Have you ever spent Saturday evening preparing for a sermon? I’m not talking about a Saturday evening review or some final edits. I’m speaking about actual preparation for the following day.
Obviously, some circumstances arise that require last-minute changes. Sometimes, God leads your sermon/lesson preparation in another direction. What I am speaking about is last-minute preparation because of calendar interruptions.
Someone drops by your office, a response to an email that takes much longer than expected, or a staff meeting lasts an extra thirty minutes. Personally, there have been some Saturday evenings preparing for an upcoming sermon because my week was spent running around performing unplanned tasks.
One method to help better equip busy ministers is called Time Blocking. Instead of tasks, or a to-do list, you should schedule blocks of time on your calendar to work on your most important tasks. Successful business leaders use the time-blocking method, and the book The One Thing details how to implement this method of task management.
The first step in time blocking is to consider what is most important within your ministry. Once you prayerfully consider what’s most important, you need to block off a section in your calendar to accomplish your one thing.
I’ve chosen these five topics as the most important within the ministry. I am sure you may disagree with some of these, considering what role in the church you are serving. However, I always think these are critical within my ministry.
So, I block off at least one hour each day for three of the above areas. Typically, I spent the first few hours in the office focused on three items. Once those items are finished, I answer emails, meet with staff members, and/or make phone calls.
As a result of time blocking, I have found more flexibility for ministry. And I always understand that emergencies can arise and may cause my calendar to become disrupted. However, most interruptions can wait because I have made an appointment with myself to ensure I am productive in what matters most within my ministry rather than staying busy attending to every single decision.
While this is simply an introduction to Time Blocking, I would like to ask you what your top priorities for ministry are? What do you block out chunks of time for on your daily schedule? Leave your comments below to create a discussion with other ministers.
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