The Art of Leadership and Time Management – Part Three

Do you find yourself constantly running from one issue to the next without any margin in your life?

Do you feel like you are over-committed to such a degree that the truly important things have been slipping a little?

Do you wish for a reset button and dream of starting over someplace new, just like you did last time? (How did that work out for you?)

Many times we neglect the lasting work of ministry for the instant gratification of solving a problem or being the hero. The thing is, nobody wins when church activity replaces people development. Pastors, more than anyone, must learn to be disciplined to focus, and do only what only they can do.

A QUICK SUMMARY – David Allen, Getting Things Done

Since it was first published over 15 years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

It is possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control. Getting on top of everything instead of being buried underneath it, however, will most likely require a significant paradigm shift in your day-to-day work.

The skills needed to “get things done” are based on two key objectives:

  1. Capturing all the things that need to be done
  2. Disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all the inputs you have captured

The burst of energy implied in these two objectives is considerable, and most people will resist the effort needed to accomplish it. Most of our daily activity is already defined for us by the undone tasks and unmoved things staring at us.

What if, instead, we “thought” about our work before we actually did it? Thinking in terms of desired outcomes is one of the most effective ways available for making our wishes reality.

There are five discrete stages that we go through as we deal with our work. We (1) collect things that command our attention; (2) process what they mean and what to do about them; and (3) organize the results, which we (4) review as options for what we chose to (5) do.

Collect

It is important to know what needs to be collected and how to collect it most effectively so you can process it appropriately. In order for your mind to let go of the lower-level task of trying to hang on to everything, you have to know that you have truly captured everything that might represent something you have to do, and that at some point in the near future you will process and review all of it.

Process

What do you need to ask yourself (and answer) about each e-mail, voice-mail, memo, or self-generated idea that comes your way? This is the component of action management that forms the basis for your personal organization. You organize the actions you’ll need to take based on the decisions you’ve made about what needs to be done.

Organize

There are eight discrete categories of reminders and materials, which together make up a total system for organizing just about anything that may be on your plate, or could be added to it, on a daily and weekday basis.

  • For nonactionable items, the possible categories are trash, incubation tools, and reference storage.
  • To manage actionable things, you will need a list of projects, storage or files for project plans and materials, a calendar, a list of reminders of next actions, and a list of reminders of things you are waiting for.

Review

You need to be able to review the whole picture of your life and work at appropriate intervals and appropriate levels. For most people, the magic of workflow management is realized in the consistent use of the review phase. This is where you take a look at all your outstanding projects and open loops on a weekly basis. It’s your chance to scan all the defined actions and options before you, thus radically increasing the efficacy of the choices you make about what you’re doing at any point in time.

Do

The basic purpose of this workflow-management process is to facilitate good choices about what you’re doing at any point in time. With the proper preplanning you can feel much more confident about your choices. You can move from hope to trust in your actions, immediately increasing your speed and effectiveness.

David Allen, Getting Things Done

A NEXT STEP

We’ve all been up against the wall of too many things to do, and we’ve gotten temporary relief by “making a list.” But these Band-Aids don’t work as an ongoing strategy.

When most people sit down to write a list, they’re actually combining all five of the phases listed above. The list is an effort to simultaneously grab things out of their mind, decide what they mean, arrange them in some logical or meaningful fashion, jump immediately to an evaluation of each against the other, and then chose the “most important” thing to do.

People who do this are usually rewarded with a short-term pay-off of confusion relieved, but they’re left with a gnawing vulnerability to what’s uncaptured, unprocessed, unorganized, unseen, and underestimated.

The five stages listed above, unlike the other solutions in this Remix, cannot be selectively chosen and experimented with. This solution is all in, or not in at all!

If you are serious – really serious – about managing your time and becoming more productive, there are no short cuts. Just dive into the process listed above, and you will find tremendous benefit both along the way and on a regular basis.

Check these recommended resources for additional help from David Allen. To really implement these five stages, though, will require the book the excerpt above was taken from, Getting Things Done.

You will increase your productivity and creativity exponentially when you think about the right things at the right time and have the tools to capture your value-added thinking.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 68-3, issued June 2017.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

>> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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The Art of Leadership and Time Management – Part 2

Do you find yourself constantly running from one issue to the next without any margin in your life?

Do you feel like you are over-committed to such a degree that the truly important things have been slipping a little?

Do you wish for a reset button and dream of starting over someplace new, just like you did last time? (How did that work out for you?)

Many times we neglect the lasting work of ministry for the instant gratification of solving a problem or being the hero. The thing is, nobody wins when church activity replaces people development. Pastors, more than anyone, must learn to be disciplined to focus, and do only what only they can do.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

What if a few new habits could dramatically increase your productivity, and even 5x or 10x in key areas? What if you could get an hour a day to read, exercise, or to spend with your family?

New York Times bestselling author, Kevin Kruse, presents the remarkable findings of his study of ultra-productive people. Based on survey research and interviews with billionaires, Olympic athletes, straight-A students, and over 200 entrepreneurs—-including Mark Cuban, Kevin Harrington, James Altucher, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Grant Cardone, and Lewis Howes – Kruse answers the question: “What are the secrets to extreme productivity?”

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Faced with a mountain of tasks to do and things to accomplish, most of us feel immediately better when we’ve put all of these things on a “to-do list.” And, there is some value in putting things to be done on paper (or digitally stored).

But that value is practically nothing unless you find a way to act upon that thing.

Highly successful people dont have a to-do list, but they do have a very well-kept calendar.

One of the most consistent actions you can take to get things done is to schedule time for them.

The simple act of scheduling tasks on your calendar – instead of writing them on a to-do list – will free your mind, reduce stress, and increase cognitive performance. There are several key concepts to managing your life using your calendar instead of a to-do list.

First, schedule a chunk of time for everything that is important to you; this is called “time blocking” or “time boxing.” Focus on those things that bring you closer to your goals each and every day.

Second, important items should be scheduled as early in the day as possible. As the day progresses, all kinds of things will come up, and you will find it hard to keep focused on the important things.

Third, dont cancel goals; reschedule them if necessary. When circumstances prevent keeping an important time-block, reschedule it, keeping it as a priority.

Fourth, treat your time-blocked calendar entries as if they were appointments with your doctor; they are that important. Don’t cave in on your self-scheduled appointments; they really are important!

When you master the practice of time-blocking – using your calendar instead of your to-do list – you can literally see your life’s priorities by looking at your weekly calendar.

Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

A NEXT STEP

Utilizing a calendar is probably second nature to you, whether a digital calendar or a print calendar, or a combination of both. Even so, review the four concepts listed above and choose to implement them as a part of a two-week experiment.

Putting these concepts into use can transform your calendar into a powerful life-guiding tool.

Using the concepts above, make an effort over the next two weeks to put them into practice in your daily calendaring. By utilizing these concepts, you are in effect designing your ideal week with your priorities.

At the end of the two-week experiment, what changes have you noticed? What changes have those closest to you noticed?

Now challenge your team toward this same effort. Begin to celebrate calendaring success and measure the increased output and impact of your efforts.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 68-2, issued June 2017.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

>> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

Download PDF

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Art of Leadership and Time Management – Part 1

Do you spend more time fighting fires than making disciples?

Do you find yourself constantly running from one issue to the next without any margin in your life?

Do you feel like you are over-committed to such a degree that the truly important things have been slipping a little?

Do you wish for a reset button and dream of starting over someplace new, just like you did last time? (How did that work out for you?)

Many times we neglect the lasting work of ministry for the instant gratification of solving a problem or being the hero. The thing is, nobody wins when church activity replaces people development. Pastors, more than anyone, must learn to be disciplined to focus, and do only what only they can do.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Time Management Magic, by Lee Cockerell

During Lee Cockerell’s career at Disney as the Senior Operating Executive of Walt Disney World Resort, he led a team of 40,000 Cast Members (employees) and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, four theme parks, two water parks and the ESPN Sports Complex.

As you can imagine, Lee had to become a time management expert, first as a means of survival and then as a way to help others make the best use of their time. The time management secrets he developed have become one of his most requested corporate training lectures and are now available to you in this tell–all book.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Almost everyone you encounter feels that he or she has too much to handle and not enough time to get it all done. We may have a “better” life than earlier generations, but at what price? Increased stress levels? Growing frustration?

Our lives no longer have clear boundaries. Not only does it seem that our work and personal lives are always open-ended, the two are usually intertwined.

If our lives have changed, then it stands to reason that the old models and habits used to deal with life are insufficient, and need to change as well.

Most people are not overworkedthey are under-organized.

We need to figure out how to be more organized, so we can get all the urgent, vital, and important things done before it’s too late. I believe the average person can do 50 percent more than they are doing now, including all the right things, if they have an effective system for keeping their lives under control.

The number one excuse people use for not getting done what should be done is, “I did not have enough time.” It’s really nothing more than an excuse, since we all have exactly the same amount of time.

Time management is the act of controlling the events in your life.

A lot of people would reject that definition because they believe we can’t control the events in our lives, because so much of what we deal with every day springs up unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere.

Here are some practical tips that will give you a high level of control:

Surround yourself with great people – hire skilled people with passion for their work and a can-do attitude.

Train and educate – train your team thoroughly and educate them about every aspect of your operation, including values, philosophy, priorities, and mission.

Be crystal clear about your expectations – communicate your expectations with unambiguous clarity.

Anticipate and practice – think through all the things that can happen and practice how you will handle them.

Leave spaces in your calendar – pencil in free, uncommitted periods in your day, every day.

Do it now! – when something comes up that must be done, do it; don’t procrastinate.

Lee Cockerell, Time Management Magic

A NEXT STEP

Review Lee’s list of six practical tips listed above, and rank them from what you do best to what you do worst.

Starting at the bottom (the action that you are the worst at), make a specific effort for the next week to put that tip into practice. For example, if you don’t leave spaces in your calendar, take the time to create space each day in your calendar for the next week.

At the end of the week, take time to review the past week, and note how taking that action changed your daily routine. Was it for the better? How? Was it about the same? Did it make it worse? Ask yourself, “Is this something I need to make a regular part of my routine?”

After completing the “worst” of the six tips, go to the next one, and repeat the actions above for the next week. Repeat each one until you have completed all six.

At the end of six weeks, and having experimented with all six of the tips above, take time to review the process.

  • How has your daily routine improved?
  • Have others on your team noticed?
  • Which of the six tips are you planning to keep and make a part of your regular routine?
  • Which of the six didn’t work for you? Why?

Now repeat this exercise every six months as a reminder on the importance of organization.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 68-1, issued June 2017


 

This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Execution >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Ten Time Management Ideas for Leaders

Several months ago we ran a blog survey seeking to understand those who read the blog on a regular basis and what would be helpful to them in future posts. Many people asked about managing schedules and getting the most out of time. It is wise to ask the question because desiring to steward time well is an act of wisdom. For example, Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (Psalm 90:12). Likewise, the apostle Paul challenged us to walk wisely and make the most of the time (Ephesians 5:15-16). While we are incapable of creating more time, we can get more out of the limited time we have. Here are ten ways I work to get the most out of my time:

1. View time as a precious resource.

Some abhor the thought of wasting money yet squander immense amounts of time. Wise people recognize the brevity of this life and steward their time well.

2. Wake up early.

If you want to have more time in your day, you really only have two options: stay up later or wake up earlier. The wisdom writer scolded: “How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Proverbs 6:9).

3. Exercise

When you are busy, exercise can feel counterintuitive. After all, you are not doing something else that needs to be done so you can exercise. But exercise makes you more productive by helping you sleep better, fight stress, and fuel mental energy.

4. Find a repeatable rhythm in your schedule.

As quickly as you can, discover when the best time is to execute important tasks. And repeat over and over. Some have asked how I prepare sermons while serving as a vice president of LifeWay. The bulk of my sermon prep is every Monday night from 7pm-1am. Which brings me to the next point…

5. Choose a work night.

Kaye and I choose a “work night” each week (sometimes twice a week) where each of us knocks out work. Because we are both working during the evening, neither feels neglected. I use that night for message preparation, reading, or writing.

6. Keep a “stop doing” list.

Peter Drucker said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” At key pause times in a year, reflect on your leadership and life and create a “stop doing” list. Steal energy and thinking from the things that are not as important and give energy and thinking to what is most important.

7. Develop and trust others.

One way to squander your time is to micromanage. When you have capable men and women of character around you, trust them. While developing others requires time, when people are developed, your time is multiplied.

8. Schedule meetings back to back.

If you have a meeting that ends at 9am and another one starts at 9:30, typically those 30 minutes in between are not very productive. Much better is to stack meetings back to back and create larger blocks of time not in meetings.

9. Block off large sections of time.

To engage in deep preparation, planning, creative work, or strategic thinking, large blocks of time really work best. Schedule and guard those well.

10. Don’t let email own you.

Don’t let email own you, especially when in those large blocks of creative or planning time. If emails in your inbox drive you mad, you can move non-urgent emails to a follow-up folder and deal with them in a time you regularly set aside for emails.

> Read more from Eric.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, Eric served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Josh — 05/02/17 4:27 am

Still working on this one :)

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.