I seem to be in a constant battle with productivity and I just spend far too much time in-front of my computer mostly doing admin stuff (this is my day so its OK).  So I decided over the last week or so to really try to get on top of my time and productivity.   I therefore thought I’d share what I’m up to as it may help some other poor youth worker who spends too much time on the wrong stuff.

Where are we heading?

I first had to work out what I here to do.   So I have spent some time working on vision/strategy and direction for the overall youth ministry. This means that I can then start to work out where I should invest my time and energy.   More about vision here

What’s Good vs Right?

There are lots of lots of good ideas and no end of people will tell you their great idea that you should do!  But once you have a vision and strategy, you then have a measuring rod for all these good ideas.  You can then say ‘this is a great idea, but may not be the right idea for our ministry at this time’.  This can save you a lot of time and help you be more productive on the right stuff.

What’s really worth my time?

I got this idea from a post by Tim Schmoyer that asked ‘What is REALLY worth my time in student ministry?‘   This is a challenging list to make, everything that you do in your ministry, write it down  and ask is it really worth doing.  Tim asked ‘Is it life changing‘, I kept that question but also related by to the ministries vision so also asked is it ‘missional‘? ‘Does it help people to go DEEP (into God) and/or WIDE (into the world)? This has helped me to start to see what things I do that I can maybe drop or give to others. For example do I really need to do flyers? Do they help people to change there lives, go DEEP and/or WIDE or is it a missional activity….eeeeerrrrr…no! Some stuff is no but you still have to do it like money stuff…O well.  It also highlights stuff I need to do more of like meeting with young people one to one.

Time Map

OK so now we have looked at what we should do and what we do that we shouldn’t!  I now think I/we need to think through our overall time.  This was for me where a post off Lifehacker, one of  one of my fav blogs, come along.  It talks about mapping your week to examine what you spend your time on.  This is sort of timesheet high-bred.  I also read this post by REYouthPastor called ‘Youth Pastor Productivity’.  In the post he states that for him his time should map out:

  • 15 hours a week youth programs (including before and after time)
  • 8 hours a week preparing for talks / sessions/ programs
  • 2 hours a week think about small church youth ministry strategies and future planning
  • 4 hours a week meeting staff
  • 4 hours a week doing 1-to-1 stuff
  • hopefully 4-5 hours a week doing admin stuff, in reality probably a bit more.

Thats a good start to looking at how my week could pan out, so I’m not doing too much admin( worth my time?) and more face to face (worth my time).  So I put into my little time map that above list.

More Creativity with To Dos

Iv also started to use FreeMind to mind map my To Dos.  I use DEEP and WIDE are guides and try to keep my To Dos liked, so it always comes back to Where I am heading and is this a good To Do or a Right To Do?

I am also using FreeMind to be more creative with other parts of my ministry and to clear my head!