Father of 4 and husband of 1. He has been in youth ministry for over 20 years. Loves to surf, snowboard, run and hang with his family. Often speaks at camps and schools around the world, leads worship and has enjoyed doing improv over the years. Most recently he authored his first solo book project "Y is for Youth Worker," which can be found at simplyyouthministry.com. Erik w/a "k" calls Oregon home (cuz that's where his heart is...awww).

When I read what Josh and Kurt had to say about productivity, I thought, This is not my natural gifting. In my early years of ministry I used that excuse all the time. I even talked about it in an interview for a job. I wanted it to be known that I was great with people, but not with focus and details. It actually got me off the hook in many situations. The problem? People are a great distraction for getting things done. Strange thing to say when you are in a ministry that is about people. The truth is, if you want to best serve your people, you need to get some things done. A few things I have learned over the years that have helped me be more productive.

Fight the stereotype.
I really don’t like hearing, “Well, it’s fine. He is a youth pastor after all. You know how they are.” It may get you out of some things, but being a youth pastor should not equate lack of quality or productivity. Take the things you have read this week and put them to use. Be good about time management. Find what works for you and do it. Work hard at it.

Simple Truth Bible- The Best Minute of Your Day

Get rid of the ugly. 
Eat That Frog is a book by Brian Tracy that essentially says, “If the worst thing you have to do today is eat a frog, do it first. If there are 2 frogs you have to eat, eat the ugliest one first.” Too often we like to tackle a bunch of smaller projects so that we feel more productive, but that big project looms even more as we let time slip by.

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Have an open-door policy.
Josh mentioned this one and I totally agree. When my office door is open I am inviting anyone to pop in and interrupt whatever it is I am trying to get done. As much as I love the distraction, I tend to allow rabbit trails to take over. I need to close my door from time to time, and even put a note on it letting people know I am unavailable.

Finish the day.
At the end of almost every day I write down the things I need to get done for the next day. I try to make the list tangible. If I put too many things on the list, I just get frustrated when I don’t finish them. I will even list things I can delegate to someone else. This may be the best thing I do for productivity.

Simple Truth Bible- The Best Minute of Your Day

Use apps. 
Do you have a smartphone of some sort, or a tablet? Or even a computer? There are tons of apps out there that can help you get things done better and more efficiently. Here are a few that I have used over the years: Rememberthemilk. Things (my favorite). 30/30. Wunderlist. Orchestra To-Do (useful if you have an assistant or spouse that needs to know your to-do list or give things for you to do). Toodledo. Evernote.  

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