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.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Working Two Dayparts

One of the things my supervising pastor taught me when I was an intern was the two daypart rule. The rule: work two out of three dayparts every day. He didn't ask me to clock in or keep a strict schedule (although he did evaluate my work to see whether or not I was being lazy). All he asked was that I worked two dayparts every weekday.

Most days I worked morning and evening. Occasionally, I would work afternoons.

I still think this is a good system. There are a lot of things a pastor has to do in the evenings - church board, school board, prayer meeting, worship practice, visitation, etc.

I've seen some (workaholic) pastors who put in a full work-day (every day) and then try to fit in full evening schedules as well - to the detriment of their families (and their sanity).

And I've seen other (workaphobic) pastors who have no set office hours, come in only when they feel like it, and remain impossible to find - to the detriment of their churches.

I really do believe that I get more done in the mornings than the afternoons (which is why I prefer a morning/evening split schedule). Sometimes I have to switch, but not very often.

Whatever you decide for your work schedule, I suggest that you write it down, share it with your church, post it prominently on your office door, and try to stick with it. There's already a weird notion that pastors only work on weekends; there's no need to reinforce the stereotype.


Jayne said...

Hey... curious to know... how many of your dayparts are devoted to sermon prep?

Jay said...

I've got 1.5 dayparts dedicated to sermon prep. Two hours on Monday, Two (to four) hours on Thursday, and Two on Friday. I guess that's about 6 hours, total.

But the sermonic year planning process creates a lot of up-front awareness so my brain is always ruminating on upcoming topics.

I come across useful material for upcoming sermons in daily devotional time, reading, internet browsing, news reading, seinfeld, etc.