My youth office used to be in a building where only a few of us worked. Then, one day I was relocated to a place closer to other pastors and leaders.
I liked being secluded for some reasons.
And I like being included for even more reasons.
What I don’t like is looking at clock at the end of the day and wondering what I did with all of my time. Where did it go?
I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t have days like this.
They’re a lot fewer now than they were when I first started working in youth ministry.
But they still surface every now and then.
There are some things I’ve learned working in both types of environments that help me be most productive:
1) Communicate your day. Let people who have a tendency to distract you that you’re working on something. Post a sign. Tell them personally. Healthy boundaries are a great thing and most people will respect them.
2) Turn of email and social media notifications or turn your phone off. It’s a lot easier to work when other thought tangents aren’t interjecting themselves into your mind. Those things can wait.
3) Make a list of things you need to do (good, bad, ugly), things you get to do (stuff you get to enjoy), and things you’d like to do if you have more time. You’ll find yourself slaying the dragons of your day more quickly as you are motivated by the things you get to do and the things that you’d find really life-giving or fulfilling as you create more space in your day.
4) Give yourself a deadline. Dreams are great. But they’re better when you do them. Set a deadline and tell someone about it.
5) Ask someone who knows how to do what you’re trying to do —to do it for you or teach you how. Since when do we have to be a jack of all trades? It helps to be resourceful and I like trying to figure things out on my own. But it’s usually better and saves time when I partner together with other people in their gifts and skills.
(You can always partner with organizations who are doing stuff well by taking advantage of the stuff that they give away for free!)
What do you need to accomplish today to make time for floating around in a pool at camp with no worries in the world (except for that one worry about the 6th grade who needs 200 SPF sunscreen)?