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I like to think that I’m a patient person; however, I do have my limits. A few years ago I went to an eye appointment, basic check-up so it shouldn’t have taken long. When I got there I was moved from one room to the next, test after test and then finally after what seemed like an eternity in the examine room, the eye doctor finally walked in. He looked at me for 15 minutes and then left. I felt as if my time had been wasted.
Granted there will be situations when our time is wasted for us and then there are going to be times when we do it to ourselves. In ministry there are so many distractions and obstacles that stand in our way of being productive and progressive. So how do you take on the distractions? It starts with:
- Tracking Time Wasters: What’s a time waster? It depends on the individual because we’re all tempted by different things; however, one example that hits most of us is Mindless Surfing. You say you are networking and doing research; however, you know in your heart your just checking your Facebook status, seeing if anyone’s checked your blog or you have to see what the score is in the second quarter.
Once you know what’s wasting your time you need to start:
- Prioritize Your Tasks: To do lists and not to do lists are a frequent habit all professionals should adopt. Even if you have your schedule memorized, writing it down and examining it will help you see what needs delegation, elimination and your utmost attention. And then make them clear, put these lists in front of you so that you are constantly reminded what’s next.
When constructing your to-do list make sure you put:
- Organize Your Environment: Your work environment greatly affects your productivity. I’m not saying your desktop needs to be immaculately clean; however, it should be organized. Scattered piles, old projects mixed with new and a drawer with grab bag miscellaneous items will lead to time wasted when you look for that…thing. Get on top of your mess and clean regularly.
Once you approach your duties and space, it’s time to:
- Identify Problem People: These are the people who use up your energy and turn your focus solely on them. It’s almost like they need your attention to survive, so they create drama, they alienate others and bombard you conflict. When these people pop up in your day it’s important to be clear and to the point. Don’t be rude; however, limit their ability to consume your time by setting boundaries. In these cases you’ll need the insight of a trusted accountability partner.
Again, we will run into obstacles, problems and distractions in our day; however, we should not let them consume us. The best thing is to lean in, embrace the situation, take action and move through it. If the distractions do take over the best thing to do is Take A Time Out and Spend It With God. If all else fails you just need to pray.
How do you handle distractions? What’s a big distraction in your day?