Feeling overwhelmed with your schedule? Implement these 3 Simple Steps to free up (at least) 8 hours per week.
1. Eliminate most 1 on 1 meetings.
Many one on one meetings work just as well as one on two or one on three meetings. For example, as a pastor overseeing a dozen small groups, you would be wise to meet regularly with the small group leaders that you oversee to train them, interact with them, give them feedback etc. (Perhaps monthly). But for the most part, these meetings don’t have to be one on one. Instead, consider doing a quarterly group training with all of your small group leaders and then doing a meeting each week with three group leaders together. By implementing this plan, you will connect with each group leader monthly but only have four meetings. This also works well with leadership development. It is Interesting that in the Scripture we don’t see Jesus doing much one on one training. Jesus had a group of 12 and a group of 3 that he was interacting with constantly. Group meetings not only free up time but are often even more effective than one on one meetings. In a group, people will sharpen each other and answer each other’s questions. Where to go from here? Look over your schedule of meetings and brainstorm how many of them you can group together.
2. Be proactive rather than reactive with your schedule.
Many well-meaning people would love to schedule your life around their availability. If you are not careful, you may end up with a schedule completely planned by other people. Planning and scheduling meetings proactively rather than waiting for your schedule to come to you will keep you from unnecessary meetings. I am not suggesting that you be militant about this, but by simply being proactive with your planning, you will free up time. Think through who you need to spend time with. Think through your priorities. Make it happen. I wrote about this extensively in How to take control of your crazy schedule.
3. Set your schedule on Friday for next week.
One of my best practices for priority management is to plan next week’s schedule on Friday of this week. I spend an hour each Friday morning planning my schedule for the following week. This allows me to review the things in my life plan and make sure that they are calendared, review my top 8 priorities, and plan according to my ideal week. Planning in advance will protect you from being at the whim of everyone else’s schedule.