7: Elephants, Frogs and Getting The Job Done!
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others. Colossians 3:23
Do you ever have those days when you run out of day before you run out of tasks? A common response might involve adding yesterdays “not done” stuff to todays “need to do” stuff. It’s no wonder we feel tired, frustrated and overwhelmed. Here are some questions, tips and thoughts to help balance your time, tasks and talents.
*Who is the work for? As St. Paul suggested to the Colossians, everything should be done for the Lord. If he is the priority, the authority and the master planner of our tasks and time things fall into place. Make time for the Lord in prayer at the start of each work day. Walk with him, asking for guidance and wisdom as you prioritize throughout the day. Do you want others to notice how hard you work or do you want to please the Lord by offering your service to bring Him glory?
*Multi-tasking isn’t helpful; good work requires focus and positive energy. It wastes energy and time shifting from one task to another rather than offering your full attention to one thing at a time.
*Identify distractions. As a person of first contact, you are aware that people should always be more important than paper; you should always strive to see them as Christ present but what about other distractions? Make a list of the things you find distracting in your office and make a plan to modify the ones you can. When you really begin to dig into this task you may discover that many of the distractions you face when trying to focus are self-imposed. Be aware that things like office chatting, abundant coffee refills or your nearby cell phone can be big distractions.
* Find your balance. Somewhere within the spectrum of perfectionism and procrastination lies a beautiful productive balance. Each task doesn’t need a contingency plan and fussing over tiny details can be as time-wasting and unproductive as dragging your feet in complete hesitation over that task you just don’t want to do. Where do you find yourself on the spectrum? The biggest help to finding your balance is prayer and continually committing your to-do list to the Master. Each morning at breakfast my mom would pray with my brothers and I the words; “Each thought, each word, each deed of mine will be an act of love divine and everything that I will do, will be my Lord for love of You.”
*Be positive…you get to work for the Lord! Yes, you have a lot to do; Yes, your work is important but not everyone will notice or appreciate all you do…but God will, so honor HIM!
When the tasks outweigh the time allowed and that all too familiar overwhelmed feeling begins to creep in here are a few things to remember. Our goal is not to end each day “all done” serving God and his people is our task in this earthly life. When a task has you flustered get some perspective and stop and ask yourself; is this going to matter in 5 years, how about 5 days?
Thank you for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue on this journey to Entertain Angels.
Adam Janke & Sheri Wolhfert