I’ve learned that there is one thing that I am short on every week in my ministry schedule: time to connect w/ the many leaders and church attenders that I need to chat w/ each week.
Recently I discovered how to tap into a new reserve of downtime to allow me to connect more w/ our folks: I started strategically using all the time I spend driving in a car. Usually, I like to keep ‘car time’ as ‘down-time’. I pray, I listen to worship music, I let my mind breathe – and all of those things are important. However, starting 6 weeks ago I began to purposefully schedule many of my ministry calls during the drive times that I had in between meetings. This accomplished several things for me:
1. It put the calls on a schedule, rather than “I’ll call you when I have time”, or “you call me when you have time”…which rarely (maybe never) happen at the same time.
2. It put a certain stop time to the calls – which allowed me to work w/ purpose on the call rather than just ‘shoot the breeze’ for an unspecified time. I let people know that I have to walk into a meeting in 15 minutes, but I wanted to be able to answer their call or question and do it in a timely manner.
3. I put all my ‘random’ calls I had to return in my phone’s ‘Notes’ section w/ the number (so I just have to tap the number to dial) and I use any spare moments during drive time to call people back.
These small changes to my schedule have allowed me to both feel and become much more accessible to our folks through the week on phone calls – and I feel like they’ve allowed me catch up on the never-ending need to connect w/ people and leaders as a pastor. The only drawbacks: I can’t really carpool anymore…and I don’t think and drive as much as I used to (or ‘sing and drive’…or ‘pray and drive’), but I’m getting more done each week.
Just a small strategic leadership tip: I’d love to know what you are trying to do to master time-management in small ways in your life. Leave a comment and help me get better.