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There are never enough hours in the day or days in a week. And while there is nothing we can do to change that fact, there are things we can do to manage our office time more efficiently.
- Rewrite (with paper… gasp!) Your To-Do List Each Morning. This forces you to get a full view of everything coming up that needs to be accomplished. Pick three things on that list to be your non-negotiable items for the day. Commit to not leaving your office without having those three items completed. Following this one step will help your task list disappear a little more everyday.
- Close Your Social Media Tabs. When there’s a road block in your sermon prep or you are looking for a way to procrastinate a project you hate, the internet is a great rabbit hole to fall down. That little notification alert is just begging for you to click on it. We rationalize: it could be a student, right?! If there is an emergency, your students know how to find you. Keep the tabs closed. Flip your device over. Do whatever it takes to minimize internet distractions.
- Take the Time to Organize Your Digital Files. We recreate or repurchase things all of the time that we still have on our computer somewhere. Set up a block of time to get your hard drive spick and span so that it saves you time and effort in the long run. No more searching for that one release form… we used for summer camp… five years ago. We’ve all been there. If this isn’t your gift, enlist your administrative assistant, a volunteer or an intern to help. This same organization is needed for any paper files that you may still have. The hard work that goes into establishing a system saves you so much time in the big picture.
- Establish a Closed-Door Block of Time. We all need time to create, dream, and write. Make an appointment with yourself several times a week for this activity. Give the office gate-keeper of your calls and visitors strict parameters for who and what are allowed to interrupt you during this time. If you can, schedule this during your brightest and most productive part of the day. Setting (and keeping!) appointments for projects helps get them accomplished.
Most of these guideline are not rocket science, but they do take discipline and planning to carry out. Which one can you incorporate into your office time today?