As much as I wish it were endless, time is limited. And your time as a kidmin leader is limited too. So how can you make the most of it?
Plan your time
So much time is wasted from not having a plan for your time. Even if it’s just a short list on a sticky note, at the end of each day, make a list of what you want to get done tomorrow. That way, you don’t spend a lot of time up front just figuring out what you need to do. You can jump right in, and it helps your brain focus on what needs to get done instead of where to start. (Psst – I really like using Asana as my digital to-do list, and lots of my friends enjoy using Trello).
Track your time
If you want to use your time more wisely, you have to know where your time goes. Your church may ask you to track your time or hours anyway. Mine didn’t, but I like using Toggl to keep track of my time. I categorized the different tasks I spent time on (Sunday prep, special events, meetings, etc.) and kept a log of how many hours I worked. This not only helped me analyze where my time was going and work to balance it better (spent lots of time in meetings this week, it’s OK to cut down on meetings next week), but it also helped me give myself permission to STOP working at the end of the day. My to-do list may not have been done, but when that timer said I had been productive for 8-9 hours, it was OK to stop and push those tasks to tomorrow. (The trick is really making sure you’re actually productive during the time you track!)
Block your time
Blocking your time or your days of the week can help you be more productive and help your brain focus on the tasks ahead. Think of blocking like theming your days; each day of the week could have a different theme/focus for the day. For me, Sundays were church (obviously) and administrative tasks like setting up emails, social media posts, and evaluating the morning. I liked to use Mondays for brainstorming, vision-casting, and big-picture planning. Tuesdays and Thursdays were reserved for staff meetings, outings with kids and volunteers, and other errand-type activities. Wednesdays were my days to fully prepare for and focus on Sundays. Then I could take Fridays and Saturdays off. Blocking your time or at least your days gives each day a unique purpose and breaks up a sometimes monotonous week.
Protect your time
Protect the time off you have and time with your family. They are your first ministry before your role in kidmin and you have to protect your time with them, even if it means you have to say no to something. (And it’s OK to say no to something.) Don’t tell the families in my ministry this, but at one point, I had to schedule meetings with myself on the calendar so I would actually take the time I needed to rest and recover. If someone asked to talk or meet with me during that time, I could just say I had a meeting and wasn’t available. Doing this helped me remember to take time for myself so I could be refilled and refueled. Hear this, kidmin leader: you are not obligated to be on call for the families in your ministry 24/7, and times of rest are not unproductive. God took time to rest and so should you.
Just like we have to be good stewards of the materials and resources God has gifted us (yes – that includes our budget), we have to be good stewards of our time too. So plan, track, block, and protect your time so you can be the most effective kidmin leader you can be.