Connect, Lead, Equip: Planning & Time Management Secrets for Community Leaders
Pentathlon is an Olympic sport comprised of five events in which the winner has the best overall proficiency. The athlete must be proficient in pistol shooting, fencing, horseback riding, swimming, and running. It requires a thoughtful strategy for training. The athlete’s training time must be carefully divided among the events, although some events will take longer than others to train for. The goal is to do well in all five areas to win the prize. Of course, being able to perform well in five different Olympic events requires strong time management skills.
Business and ministry leaders face similar time management demands both in day to day operations and in implementing community projects. Whether it is identifying organization or community needs, establishing vision, delegating, managing operations, or other tasks, leadership always requires sharp time management and planning abilities.
Often, we mentally think about and maybe even write out a plan. But we don’t act on it. Below are some steps for planning and prioritizing.
Time Management Secrets for Community Leaders: Planning Steps
- Identify action steps –
For each work or project priority, begin to record specific actions to move forward. For example, spend 45 minutes a week managing the budget, updating records, allocating funds, etc. What will you do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually to make progress in all priorities? One helpful organization method is to make a chart of priorities with steps underneath. Enter the activities in your calendar as commitments. They must be quantifiable and measurable.
- Enlist others –
Ask co-workers or peers to hold you accountable to your plans. This step will help you reach your goals.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed,” (Proverbs 15:22).
To plan wisely and effectively, enlist the wisdom of others. Talk to experienced, wise people. Watch the way others do things to learn from their mistakes and successes. Share the written plan. You need to let someone else look at the actions you’re going to take and the calendar outlining the time commitments you’ve made. Periodically ask them to review this.
- Review daily –
This may seem extreme, but you don’t have to do it this way for the rest of your life. The goal is to review the plan daily long enough to get it cemented into your thinking.
- Consider utilizing block planning –
Take your priorities action list and estimate how much time you want or need to spend each week. This is helpful for personal and vocational priorities. Below is a work flow example of block planning showing only a few time slots in a week. It will be unique for each person.
Weekly Block Planning Example:
Wait a minute. You scheduled 29 hours of work but said you would work 48. What about the other 19? Good question. The schedule is for uninterrupted work hours. Who gets 48 uninterrupted work hours in a week? Probably no one. So, the other 19 hours are for the unexpected, the spontaneous, and the interrupted.
Whether you’re managing a work team, embarking on a community impact project, or leading a church, the time management planning steps above will be extremely helpful in achieving your goals. Are you ready to get started?