Kurt and Josh

I (Kurt) am writing this article a bit early because on the day that you read my “office tips” I will be three hours away from my office camping and riding dirt bikes in the desert with my family and friends. So before reading any further, stop and admit that you are a little jealous that you are reading emails while I’m out doing manly stuff.

Confession time: I’m not an incredibly disciplined office-time kind of guy. However, I have developed a few tricks over the years that help me make the most of my time behind the youth pastor desk.

The first 30-minutes are the most important minutes.
I’ve learned the best way to maximize my time is to take time on the front end to strategically organize my day. What important tasks can I simply not afford to postpone one more day?

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What meetings do I need to prep for? What people need a few minutes of my time? What long-term projects do I need to work on? Planning my day almost always makes my day more productive.

Arrive early and/or stay late.
I’ve learned that the most productive hour(s) in the office are the hour(s) that nobody else is around! When the church phone isn’t ringing, the janitor isn’t vacuuming, and the copier isn’t humming I find myself way more focused and can usually get twice as much work done in half the time it normally takes.

Know your rhythm.
Everybody has a unique “rhythm” to which they most effectively march. Some folks are morning people; some are night people. Some folks like to tackle the tough projects right out of the gate, while others like to “warm up” with stuff that is more routine or mindless. Some of you need to get out of the office for lunch, and others do better if you bring a sack lunch and eat at your desk. Figure out your unique rhythm and try to work within it as much as possible.

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Work within the culture of you church.
Every church has its own office culture, and regardless of your personal preferences, rhythm, or office-work style you would be wise to function within it. I’m surprised at how many youth workers have perception issues about their work habits simply because there isn’t a clear understanding/agreement between youth worker and senior pastor about what is expected concerning office hours.

Any other tips?

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