Did you ever feel guilty for ignoring an email or phone call? Are you afraid to take time off from work because you don’t want people to think you are a slacker?
If you are working well over your hours on a regular basis then it’s time to make some adjustments. And maybe you know that, but you don’t now how.
I’ve been there and suffered the consequences of not having my work week together. It lead to issues in my personal and professional life.
I had to make adjustments and refocus my energy. It was hard shrinking my week from 60 hours to 40 but I was able to by embracing these 5 principles:
TAKE 48 HOURS OFF
You need a day you rest and one where you enjoy family and friends. The days don’t have to be consecutive but they should be consistent.
Consistency brings predictability. People will know when you can and cannot be disturbed. You’ll also get back the energy you lose, especially during those tough weeks.
ADD AUTOMATION AND OUTSOURCING TO YOUR VOCABULARY
You can not and should not do everything on your own. If you feel the pressure to do more and reach more people think about outsourcing tasks and investing in automation. A few ways I do that is through:
- Social Media. I use Hootsuite for ministry and Sprout Social for Marathon Youth Ministry. Both allow me to schedule posts ahead of time and measure engagement.
- Email. I use MailChimp for email automation. It allows me to create emails ahead of time. It tracks opens, clicks and sharing. It’s great for newsletters and sharing videos.
- Scheduling. I use Acuity Scheduling, which helps me block out times I’m available for meetings, appointments, etc. It protects my calendar and is far easier for scheduling meetings.
- Content. While I’ve created my own I’m not afraid to pay a little extra for materials that are proven. A couple of resources I use are Grow Curriculum, Orange, and Download Youth Ministry.
While you might shell out a little extra cash it saves you time and enables you to do more.
EMBRACE THE POWER OF FOCUS
I’m constantly looking to eliminate noise from my life. I recently made the decision to remove work email from my phone. In fact I only check it twice a week.
On top of email I rearrange certain meetings and projects to only happen at certain times on certain days. It helps me focus on getting the job done.
Avoid keeping your email and social media accounts open. Schedule in times when the WiFi goes off and you only work on a specific task. The more focused the more efficient and effective you’ll become.
LEARN HOW TO USE THE WORD “NO” CORRECTLY
We are usually great at telling our family and friends, “No” but not our coworkers or pastor. It’s intimidating because you don’t want people to think you are a selfish or unreliable.
But, when you say “No” correctly you set boundaries that allow you to be effective with your ministry. You are able to sort through what’s important and what isn’t.
In order to say “No” correctly find some people to hold you accountable. Make sure you know your priorities and constantly make adjustments. In the end people will respect your guidelines and work harder to stay within them.
FIND PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT
I have a professional coach who helps me stay focused on my goals and initiatives. Everyone needs a coach or mentor who is going to hold us accountable so that we prioritize our schedule and stay on task.
If you are looking for a coach feel free to reach out to me for a brief consultation by clicking the button below.
You don’t have to work over 40 hours to be a hard worker. In fact your pastor and church want someone who is effective. Focus on what is important and take care of yourself. In the end you and your ministry will grow stronger.
Question: What is holding you back from maintaining healthy hours? You can leave a comment by clicking here.