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Time Management for Busy Leaders

Time Management for Busy Leaders

As a busy Christian leader, time management is crucial to your peace, joy and ministry success. Here are some tips that can help you effectively manage your time starting today:

  • Evaluate and prioritize everything: Is it necessary? And, if so, at what priority level? Use a spreadsheet to sort and manage all your key time-takers. Organize this list to tackle the most important tasks first.
  • Create a master calendar: One place where every major meeting, event and deadline is posted for easy access. Link to your contacts list and you're ready to roll.
  • Do or delegate every necessary task: Delegate every task that you either don't want to do yourself or that can be done by someone else. There are tasks only you should do, but many responsibilities can be delegated to people with the skills and experience to complete them effectively.
  • Set boundaries: Setting boundaries reduces distractions, interruptions and loss of concentration. I even put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my office door, and turn off all notifications, while working on a project of importance.
  • Pace yourself. Taking regular breaks can help you stay focused. Moving during your breaks can keep you energized. Drinking water will keep you hydrated. Recharge often to avoid burnout.
  • Tap into technology. Whenever possible, use a system, strategy or shortcut to move faster and get more done. Consider time tracking apps, project management software, and calendar apps for a start. 

Effective time management is built on systems that serve you, run on the fuel of prayerfully organized priorities, and are powerful to the extent you value your work. Start with prayer, implement a few new strategies each week, and a month from now you'll be an old pro.

The above was written by Marnie Swedberg, Founder/Director of www.WomenSpeakers.com. Below, enjoy four strategies from some of our featured speakers. 



We all struggle with time management, but it doesn't have to be this way. There are only 24 hours in each day, no matter how we try to schedule or arrange them, we don't get any more. There are two keys to managing time. Say “Yes” to the best and “No” to everything else. Decide what you value most and then make time for it first. If you don't know what matters most, then the first thing to do is say NO to any additional requests or invitations until you find out what matters most. Do this first and the rest will fall into place.



Are you a list person who loves crossing those tasks off, yet you find yourself easily distracted and detoured? This can feel like your wheels are spinning and never moving forward. Instead of feeling frustrated, try setting a timer for fifteen to thirty minutes. To prepare for this time, define your task and collect everything you need to accomplish it. Put your phone away and begin. Keep a paper and pencil close by to record any essential distractions interrupting your concentration. Setting the timer gives you a beginning and an end. It improves both attention and productivity.



We can learn some great strategies from women who've battled health issues. They've learned to plan around their bodies instead of following usual time management techniques, and there are some nuggets in here for all of us. Here are some tips: 1) Recognize your peak energy times and plan intensive projects during those hours. Do hands-on, mentally challenging tasks in the mornings when you are refreshed and leave less taxing projects for the afternoon. 2) Take advantage of extra energy. If you feel peppy, grab your to-do list even if it’s 7:30 on a Sunday night. 3) Break projects into small chunks. On low-energy days, big projects seem insurmountable, but a little chore appears doable.



It all has to get done, but it's so easy to start a project and end up on another and another. The best way I have found to manage my time is to assign each project a day on my calendar. Monday is an open day, planning, phone calls, and emails. Tuesday is Kay Hall Ministry Day. I do other things on this day, and this on other days, but this is the day I "focus" on ministry projects. Wednesday is open to study and plan. Thursday is another ministry day. Friday is a home chore day: I fit these around the other meetings and projects I have that day. I find by doing this I have given myself a lot more time. The intentionality of limiting my availability to just one main project-type per day allows me to focus on each day's assignments rather than thinking of everything every day.

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