It seems like there is never enough time to do everything you want/need to do. We spend our days wishing for more hours so we can just accomplish all of it. Our work at church is never over. It seems just when you finish one project or task, two more magically appear. Some are projects you want to do while others are because something isn?t working the way it?s supposed to.
Well I?m here to tell you: You?ll never have enough time to finish it all.?That?s right. I?m telling you it?s impossible. No way, no how.[quote]You?ll never have enough time to finish it all.[/quote]
The problem is, we don?t control what breaks or gets requested. If piece of equipment breaks on the weekend, you?ll probably need to fix it. Or if a ministry leader catches you in the hallway and asks if you can check out their dim, you?ll need to replace a bulb. You didn?t have either of these things on your list to do for next week but they are there now. And it always seems like more than one problem arises at the same time. Why can?t everything break on a more convenient schedule?
Understanding that you?ll never have enough time is the big picture. It doesn?t mean there isn?t anything you can do to try and accomplish as much as possible. Here are some tips I use to help me find the time to do it all.
1. Stay laser focused.
If you?ve ever used a laser pointer, you know it?s pretty much impossible to bend the light coming out. No matter what angle you point it at, the light comes straight out of it?so straight you can use it to level or measure something. If you?re like me and you love solving problems and helping people (most of us tech types are like this), you have the same problem I have: focus.
Let?s say your plan for today is to do regular maintenance on your power amps for the auditorium system. You grab your tools and start heading over there. On your way, the children?s director says, ?Hey! I forgot to tell you our wireless mic was cutting in and out this past weekend. Would you mind looking at it for us??
You think, ?Sure! I?ll do that right now before I forget.? Two hours later, you troubleshot the problem and found a bad cable. Problem fixed. Then you try and remember what you were planning on doing today. Oh yes! Maintenance on the auditorium system. So you grab your tools and start heading over there again. Then the junior high pastor sees you and says, ?Hey! I forgot to tell you our projector in our room?the temp light came on during service then the projector shut off. We turned it back on but it shut off again.? So you take a look. Two hours later you change the filter and lamp and it looks like it?s working again. You grab your tools start heading the auditorium and the music director stops you?
You got a lot accomplished that day but did not do what you intended to do. So that got pushed off to the next day.?This cycle happens to all of us at some point or another because we don?t control what breaks or needs attention.
What we can control, though, is our focus for the day, time, or hour. We have to push aside our urge to jump in and help immediately (if it?s not an emergency) and stay with our priority. It actually is essential to getting everything done and not just what is in front of you. We all go through seasons when everything seems to happen at the same time, but we need to stay laser focused on the important tasks and projects that come up.
2. Build in margin.
If you want to accomplish everything, you need to build in margin so you have room when the project you?re working on takes a left turn. How many times have you started a project thinking it should only take about 2 hours to diagnose and fix, and it ends up eating 2-3 days of waiting on tech support with a manufacturer or trying to order the right part? What I?ve found is that we need to build in margin and not try to schedule every hour back to back of our time. That way if something gets pushed back, you have the margin built in to extend the time or recover. Some of you are already asking, ?How in the world can I get everything done if I don?t schedule every minute of my time?? It will help you get the projects that are the most important done which are the ones that matter the most.[quote]You need to build in margin so you have room when the project you?re working on takes a left turn.[/quote]
3. Practice ?good enough?.
This one gets misinterpreted every time I say it. When I say ?good enough?, it?s not about doing shabby work as fast as you can and saying, ?Oh, it looks good enough. Lets move on.? Excellence is an attitude and not something you can perfect.?But the perfectionist in us wants it to the be very best and usually won?t stop until it is.?If you want to accomplish everything, you must practice ?good enough?. Know where your good enough line is as an organization and move on. Nothing is every finished; it?s just released.?Do the absolute best with your time and resources available.[quote]Excellence is an attitude and not something you can perfect.[/quote]
There will always be work to do and projects to finish. But managing what you work on, when you work on it, and how long you should work on it will help you accomplish everything that is important instead of just finishing projects and never getting ahead on the projects that really matter.