- Christopher Wesley
Do you ever feel like the day flies by and you haven’t accomplished anything? Yeah, I’ve had that feeling too. In fact, it’s something I’ve often struggled with and that’s why a few weeks ago I attended a webinar on the 7 Deadly Sins of Productivity. During that webinar, I realized that while I am constantly learning different ways of being productive, I was also sabotaging my own productivity by:
Inviting Distractions Into My LifeWhat I thought was helping me (e.g., listening to music while I write) was actually slowing me down. In fact, there are several distractions that we invite or allow in our ministry without even knowing it. A few of those are:
1. Interpersonal DistractionsThese are distractions that deal with people. It’s the coworker who constantly knocks on your door. It’s the parent that calls obsessively. It’s a teen’s drama that demands your attention. We think we’re being open and friendly, but if we aren’t careful they can take over. To eliminate these distractions you need to:
- Communicate your boundaries. Let people know when you are and aren’t available. You should rarely cross those boundaries.
- Expand your capacity with people. The more you build up your core team and volunteer base, the more available you’ll be to others. Instead of taking everyone on you’ll be able to spread the responsibility.
2. Visionary DistractionsThese are distractions that interfere with your goals. These distractions might be caused by:
- An event that competes: Competing systems will be a huge distraction. You constantly try to balance both and find yourself failing. Focus on what’s most important: “Does this lead us towards or away from our mission?”
- Misaligned team members: If people in your ministry do not see eye to eye with your vision then they’ll slow down your progress. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, it just means they aren’t a right fit for your team.
3. Personal DistractionsIt’s great when you can involve your family in the ministry and your ministry with your family. Sadly, those boundaries can get crossed easily. To make sure there are boundaries, you need to:
- Communicate with those around you. Let them know when you have busy seasons and when you are free.
- Be sure to make your day off an actual day off. Take vacation when you can be completely focused on your personal relationship.
- Build a support network focused on just your personal life. Make sure there are people outside of the office who can help you with your relationships and personal goals.