– by Chris Wesley
Time is precious, yet we mismanage it all the time. With more time, we could reach more teenagers. With more time, we could build a better program. With more time, we could reach more of our goals.
But you only have 24 hours. Instead of wishing for more time, you need to learn how to maximize what you already have. That means having a system and then engaging it. Many times, people do not know where to start, so I have five time savers (and a free giveaway below) I use to maximize my capacity:
Start tracking your time
The main reason you waste time is because you do not know how much of it you use on certain tasks. Track your time by keeping a calendar of your week. Look at how much time is spent:
- Checking Social Media
- Eating Lunch
- Working on Curriculum
- Meeting With Volunteers or Staff
- Reading This Post
- Time With Family
You might be surprised by what you find. This will help you see where you are wasting time and what needs more of it. This is where knowledge of time spent is powerful to your productivity.
Prioritize your to-do’s
To maximize your productivity, you need to know what comes first. Many of us like to go with the flow, even though we know we need structure. Make a list of what it is you do and then start putting them in order of importance.
What goes at the top of the list are tasks that only you can perform. Toward the bottom are initiatives that can be delegated or left to a later date. Knowing what comes first brings focus to your week.
You might be distracted and not even know it. While you cannot control your entire environment, there are a few steps you can take.
- Put your mobile phone away and schedule times to check it.
- Schedule in social media breaks if it isn’t a major part of your job.
- Wear headphones and listen to music or background sounds that motivate you.
- Communicate to coworkers periods during your day when you do not want to be disturbed.
- Take walks and sit away from your desk for lunch to clear your mind.
- Office environments can get crazy. Maximize your capacity by eliminating the distractions.
Delegate what you can
There are a lot of tasks that we need to stop doing. It’s not that they are below us, it’s that they distract us from what we are designed to do. Whatever you do not need to do, give away to a volunteer (or staff you manage). The worst is that they say, “No.”
The more you delegate, the more you maximize your capacity to lead. When you delegate, be clear and then let them own it. While it might not be to your standards at first, you can provide feedback to help them improve.
Time is wasted when you are tired. Rest allows for your mind and body to reboot. Make sure you are:
- Getting seven to eight hours of sleep.
- Spending quiet time with God.
- Enjoying a Sabbath.
- Taking vacations and time off.
It might feel like you are falling behind; however, you’ll maximize your production.
Time management is something I can struggle with. It takes work, and discipline. I have had to develop practices and tools to help me get there.