Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Amazing Expanding Project

Here's a time management principle: Projects will naturally expand to fill all of the time we dare to give them.

If you set aside 20 hours of your work-week to spend on your sermon, your sermon will be more than happy to use up all of that time. Because you have allotted so much time, 1) there's no sense of urgency, so you're more likely to procrastinate; 2) you'll spend a lot of time on a turn of phrase, an illustration, or finding graphics (all nice things, but really worth the time?). And you'll wonder why you have no time left for your ministry, your spiritual life, your friendships, your reading, or your family.

If you are a preaching pastor in a multi-staff church, 20 hours worth of prep may be the exact right thing for you to be doing with your week. But if you are a lone pastor in a smaller church, there's ministry to be done.

So I suggest that you short-schedule yourself on major projects so you won't waste time. If you set aside 6 hours for your sermon, it may take 7 or 8. You may go over, but you won't have wasted all of that time doing unnecessary things.

You work better under pressure, anyway. Don't you?

So, there's my Time Management Tip for the Day: Short-schedule your projects so they don't gobble up your life.

(Don't worry, I'll do a post later about building margin into your schedule. Just for balance.)

No comments: