Volunteer shortages and demands on your time tempt many leaders to multi task. When several projects sit on your desk, the office isn’t the only thing that gets cluttered–so does your mind. (At least that’s true in my case.) I end up falling down spiritually too. Multitasking is a great ability when cooking a special meal or running an office, but not when you’re working in ministry. Too many irons in the fire stifle the flame! Is multitasking hurting your ministry? If you’re constantly frustrated, it might be.
An effective leader focuses on one goal, makes a plan to achieve that goal then performs the required actions. If completing a project takes longer than expected or isn’t delivering the results you’d hoped for, multi tasking could be to blame. Here’s how to break out of this bad habit.
- Make a list of all the projects you want to accomplish in the next month, six months and a year. Putting it on paper can help clear the clutter from your brain.
- Number the projects by order of importance. If the Christmas play is six months away, it’s not as important as the kids’ crusade you’re hosting next month. Arrange the projects in order of importance. I like transferring the dates to one calendar. I consult that calendar every week. It keeps me on track.
- Close the office door, turn off the electronics and work on one project. If you must achieve more than one project, work in one hour slots. For example, give one hour to lesson development, then one hour to find craft ideas. Make a punch list and assign each task an hour.
- Put each project in a file folder. Everything that it is relevant to that project goes in the folder. If you do your work online, create folders in your inbox. I love sending myself links and I’ve even taken to use Pinterest.
I confess, I have to keep vigilant about multi tasking. I love to help other ministries and ministry leaders but I can’t say “yes” to everything. Choosing projects and delegating also help you stay on top of the ministry workload. Slow down and enjoy the people around you too. Too many tasks can shift to your focus on the work and not the people.