Yesterday in part 1, I wrote a post on looking out for the “time wasters” that pull us away from what matters most as youth workers. Today I want to talk about the importance of scheduling your week. If you are a lead youth worker than scheduling your week is super important! You are constantly going to be asked by your church (and parents) to do more, go to more meetings, take on more tasks, etc…and if you don’t schedule your time than you are going to lose ALL of your time!
Scheduling your week is going to look different for every youth worker (everyone is in different stages of life/commitments/family/full time/part time/etc.) but here are some helpful tips on scheduling your week:
1) Look 7 days out: What do you need to accomplish over the next seven days? What meetings are coming up this week? What programs are happening this weekend? At the beginning of your week take some time to just make a list of the things you need to get done during the next seven days.
2) Look 30 days out: What is happening in the upcoming month? Is there a trip/event to be thinking about? What teaching series is coming up in a few weeks? It is super helpful to know what’s coming up a few weeks ahead. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the day to day, that we as youth workers can forget to plan ahead for whats coming up.
3) Break your time into categories: A couple of years ago I started breaking my time into different categories having to do with my youth ministry. For example I have time spent with volunteers, time spent with students, time spent developing new programs, time spent prepping for messages and time spent on administrative tasks (paper work, meetings). If you can categorize these different segments of your time you will begin to see where you need to balance your time in your ministry. After putting it on paper you may begin to realize that you spend more administrative time then time spent with volunteers. Or you may realize that you are spending too much time with students and not enough time with your volunteers.
4) Write it down! This might sound like a “no brainer” but if you want to be a great youth worker and a great time manager, then you need to keep a good calendar! I know WAY too many youth workers who are feeling burned out and over worked because they haven’t taken the time to schedule their time wisely. Because when we don’t know where we are going we will be moved any/everywhere. It’s much easier to say “no” to something if we know where we are going/moving towards. And keeping a calendar doesn’t mean you have to grab a huge/obnoxious day planner and carry that around with you, your calendar can be on your mobile phone. It could be on your laptop. It doesn’t really matter how you write it down, just do something that works for you.
Remember that you have exactly the right amount of time to get everything done that God wants you to do today. Here are just of few of the truths that the Bible gives about managing our time:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT)
"So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today" (Matthew 6:34 NLT)
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15,16)
Here are some questions to consider this week regarding God’s plan for your time:
1) Read Ecclesiastes3:1-8. What do these verses tell us about priorities and time management?
2) List as many time management principles as you can from Exodus 18:1-27.
…tomorrow’s post: “The Importance Of Saying NO!”