Recently Doug Fields had a post on his blog, “SUNDAY: Draining day of Ministry or Energizing?”, where he polled his readers asking them which day of the week was the most exhausting. I didn’t have to think twice, for me it’s Sunday. I’m not sure what your Sunday is like but mine is a 12 hour work day, where my biggest responsibilities (middle school programming) is at the end of the night. It’s a tiring day, but I’m not going to complain because even though I’m tired it’s been rewarding.
But I don’t want to talk about the busiest days of our week, I want to talk about the most important day…
The Day After. So for me that’s obviously Monday. Why? It’s because it’s the day that’s going to set the bar for the rest of the week. If I blow this day, then my week is going to be an uphill battle and even though I have Friday and Saturday off, I’ll walk into the busiest day of the week unprepared. So with that said how do I take advantage of such a day?
- Step 1: Clear My Mind – I do this by reorganizing my desk, cleaning my computer screen and get rid of any clutter. Now, my office isn’t clean, but I feel that a cluttered office will lead to a cluttered mind.
- Step 2: Prioritize – This is when I write out a check-list for the week. I know I’m not going to think about everything that I need to do, but at least I give myself direction. But after it’s done, I don’t tackle it right away. You want to just be ready to tackle it, it’s like laying out your gear the night before you go hiking.
- Step 3: Network – Monday morning after my office is somewhat tidy, after I’ve created my lists, I just spend a few moments reading blogs, news feeds and checking out youtube. The reason is because I want to know how others did over the weekend, not to compare myself, but to see what insights I can gather from them.
- Step 4: Reflect and Celebrate – I try to do some of this on my own, but our church staff always gets together every Monday to do something we call celebrating the weekend. We gather in the conference room, eat some great food and share the weekend. We share what it is we’ve learned, what we set out to do, how we saw God working and which volunteer ministers we would like to thank. This is a must do, if your staff doesn’t do it, encourage your pastor to implement it. But make it rewarding, not critical or else it can turn into another meeting.
- Step 5: Wrap Up and Leave On Time – During the last hours of my day I just spend time looking at email, checking voice mails and I’ll look at the check-list again, but I make sure that I leave on time. I don’t want to keep Mondays too long or else I might tired myself out. By having an end point in mind and sticking to it you’ll be able to walk into the next day with the energy to do the big stuff.
Many of us feel like we need to go, go, go. But in reality that’s not realistic. I’m not saying you need to do what I do, but you need to take time to Organize, Prepare, Replenish and Reflect. We need to be able to pace ourselves to a point where we can do this for the long run. If you’re a church worker you need to ask yourself, “How do I recover from the hardest day of the week?” Pray about it, ask God to reveal to you the answer. The day after your busiest day is your most important day because it will give you energy, put you in a better mood and give you margin.
So how do you usually respond to the busy days in your schedule?