Real Life Leading #44: Leading in the Midst of Busy
This week has been crazy: following a long holiday weekend there's been school, soccer practice, podcast interviews, prepping for upcoming events...oh yeah, and also wanting to still spend time with my wife and daughters! I'm sure for some of you it's been the same way. So the question is: how do we make sure that we're doing what we're supposed to, even in the midst of busy? Here are a couple quick tips to consider.
1) Prioritize what needs prioritizing, and stick with it. For me, each day begins with a routine that involves reading my Bible. I get up, let the dogs out, feed them, and then read by Bible while they're eating. I know that if I don't read my Bible early, then it's not likely to happen. I also know that I need that time to spend in reading and prayer in order to get myself prepared for the day. So, look at what HAS to get done, and make that your priority so that when things get busy, it still gets done.
2) Make a list. I tell people all the time, "If I don't write it down, it doesn't exist in my world." If I don't put it on a list, it probably won't get done. I have, right now, about six different post-its on my desk of various lists that need to be addressed in the next week or two. Write down what needs to get done so that things don't fall through the cracks.
3) Enlist help. Whenever possible, get help to accomplish everything, especially when you feel overwhelmed. Better yet, don't wait until you feel overwhelmed! I often ask my wife if I can help her; and she's great about doing the same for me. At school, sometimes I ask my student-assistant to make copies, etc, so I have more time to do other tasks (typically things like grading essays and other fun things like that). Ask for help! It's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you trust the people you're asking.
4) Be ok if something is left undone. Rarely do I accomplish every task on my list within the original timeframe I've given myself. I purposely try to overload my list and then prioritize it, so that what HAS to get done does; and then everything else that gets done is bonus. Also, just take a moment to realize that much of what we think HAS to get done really doesn't. The world won't end, the sky won't fall, and we'll be ok if some things get pushed back. Give yourself the freedom to let things wait.
5) Schedule time to relax! I had a pretty big list for this weekend, and I am thankful to have gotten most of it done. But the best part of the weekend so far? Catching up on sleep! My wife and I took a 2+ hour nap yesterday, and it was possible because we had planned to have time to relax after finishing up other tasks. You need time to unwind, or you'll burn out. So, make "relaxing" part of your "to do" list!
I hope everyone else has had a great week, and I'd love to hear about it! As always, please feel free to share this and pass it on to anyone you think needs it. In the meantime, please be in prayer for me as I get ready to present at a conference in Florida this week and also do more podcast interviews. If I can do anything for you, email me and let me know. Thanks!