I was buried in a huge writing project.
I put everything else in my life on hold. All my other goals went off the rails. I was sleeping too little, eating the wrong things, never exercising and spending very little time with my family. When I wasn’t working on my project, I was lost in thought still thinking about it. –Not a healthy way to live….
Now, there are too many important things I have to work at to let this happen again. Here’s what I am learning to do.
Get it into your schedule or it won’t get done
Matt is a singer, song writer and youth pastor. He wants to put out an EP, improve his guitar skills, and recruit five more leaders by May. At the same time he is a new dad and wants to devote more time to his wife and baby. All of these are excellent goals but something will be missed if it isn’t embedded in his schedule every week. It takes discipline but making time for personal and professional goals is the first step toward greater balance and effectiveness.
Develop a Rhythm
Making time in the schedule for each goal might seem routine; not very creative or spontaneous. Some activities like spending time with a new born will have to happen when they are awake. Spending time with leaders works best when they are around.
The flexible times need to be used correctly also. When is it best to go for a walk or to work on a message? Effective routines for bible reading, family time, work hours, and volunteering may not seem spontaneous or exciting but it does ensure that your goals are accomplished!
Overlap where possible.
Sherry wants to spend time with her husband, John but she also wants to get 10,000 steps in each day. Walking with John after dinner each evening for an hour gives them time together and helps move her to her fitness goal.
Analyze your time use.
I have fourth year students analyze every half hour for a week of their life. They are sometimes shocked by how much time is wasted. They become aware of their constant urge to go online. Some are shocked at how few hours they work and how easily they are distracted. Others get thrown off just by recording the hours and are so relieved when they can stop.
By analyzing your time you learn a lot:
- When are your most productive hours?
- How much sleep do your need?
- Where do interruptions come from?
- When is it best to run errands?
- When is the best time to be with the family?
- Where does long term planning fit in.
Don’t make your Top Goal Your Only Goal
We can’t put our whole life on hold for any single goal. That would be unhealthy and irresponsible. Having a few priority goals, getting them into our schedule every week, and making the most of our time for balance and effectiveness will move us to greater effectiveness!