Guest Post By Ronald Long

“What do you do all day?”

It’s a question tons of youth pastors have heard. Sometimes it’s joking because the perception is that we play video games, watch YouTube, and make up games with toilet paper for a few hours a week.
Really the YouTube part only takes about an hour.

You and I know there’s a lot more that goes into it, but if you’re like me, sometimes the time gets away from you. I’ve been intentionally scheduling out my week recently to help me be more efficient and not feel as stressed. If you struggle with time management, here are some tips you can put into practice.

·      Make a checklist – What important for you to do this week? What NEEDS to get done? Make a list of everything you know needs to get done in your week. Then assign each task a number. What is most important and what is least? Then rearrange the list and you know what you need to make your top priority.

·      Schedule it out – If it’s going to help you get stuff done, mark it out on a calendar. Use 30-minute time blocks and make it happen! Once you get things put where you need them, get to work! If you need more time than you’ve given yourself on the calendar, don’t worry. You’ll have the next tip in your back pocket.

·      Give yourself “blank space” – Leave some open space on your calendar. People are going to drop in to the office. Some tasks may take longer than you planned. Your senior pastor will need “to talk to you for a second.” Whatever the reason, leave some space open so you don’t have to stress if something takes too long or a student pops in unexpectedly.

·      Plan to develop yourself – I’m bad at this, so I’m really trying to make it happen. Plan time to read student ministry books, listen to podcasts, or watch a DYMU video. You need to grow as a leader, so make a plan to do it! Find some good books, podcasts, YouTube channels or something along those lines to help you improve!

·      Schedules times to meet with people – Parents are going to ask when you’re available for a chat. Students will want to hang out. Student pastors in the area will want to get together. Other pastors on staff will want to grab lunch. Plan time in your day to meet with people. If you don’t have someone down for that time, see if there’s an appointment you need to make. If not, congratulations! You just earned some blank space for a task you need to accomplish.

·      Get ready for tomorrow – Use the last thirty minutes of your day to get ready for the next day. Are there tasks unfinished that you need to schedule? Do you work better if you’ve got an empty desk? Should you finally clean out that junk drawer? Use the last bit of your day to prepare for the next.
What else would you add to the conversation?

Ronald Long