I remember in a previous position being required to track my time between writing, editing, and web work. I also had to specify the amount of work on each project being worked on either at home or in the office. The result was I spent a great deal of mental energy making sure I was accurately tracking my work in the appropriate category. The biggest challenge was, I didn’t really know what my priorities were. When you think about it, it was sort of like the tail wagging the dog. How much more helpful would it have been if I knew ahead of time what my time allotments should have looked like, and then adjusted my efforts to match?
Many times we are asked to account for our time, based on increments or percentages. However, deciding what those numbers look like in advance can really help you (and your volunteers) determine what is most important and what you (or the church) really expects of them.
This simple exercise can help you narrow your focus and be more aware of whether your activities truly line up with your mission as a leader.
Leaders: take a minute to answer the following questions:
- What roles/hats do you wear? Do you know how often or how much you should wear each one?
- Can you break down your responsibilities/activities into categories (group similar actions together) and determine how much time ideally you should be spending on each one? This should be based on desired outcomes—not trends or routines. (Remember, don’t let the tail wag the dog.)
- Did you find that you are spending more time on activities that are not your highest priority?
- Do your volunteers have an understanding of what their priorities are?
- If not, make time to map this out (or better yet, meet with them over a cup of coffee and work on this together!)