Effective time management is crucial in ministry because the major boundary in our lives is time.
It starts when we are born and it extends to 650,000 hours later when we die.
Poor time management is a major cause of job burnout in ministry.
Burnout is a chronic lack of enthusiasm and low motivation for things that we must get done in our lives.
And burnout is a precursor to depression and a major time waster because it takes so long to recover from it.
But burnout can be prevented.
Here are three ways to prevent burnout in ministry.
1. Get rid of the belief that you are all things to all men and women.
If that were the case, you’d be obligated to take out their garbage, clean their houses, wash their cars and pick up their kids from school.
Such a belief can create serious, time-consuming boundary problems.
Jesus took plenty of time to relax and eat out with friends. He did what he had to do in ministry…preaching…healing…miracles…and then he left the crowds behind and went about private matters.
2. Trying to accomplish things in your life not only wastes time but creates a demoralizing sense of failure when you do not accomplish those things.
Just as burnout is a precursor to depression, becoming demoralized is a precursor to burnout.
You can easily become discouraged because there are no behaviors for “trying”.
Check it out. Drop a piece of paper on the floor and then try and pick it up.
“There,” you say, “I picked it up.”
Well, Put it back down because the instruction was to “try” and pick it up…not actually to pick it up.
Now try to pick it up. Then try harder.
There are no behaviors for trying. And this leads to the third way to keep you on schedule and prevent burnout…
3. Watch your language when planning your day.
There is a world of difference between saying “I’ll try and get back to you” and “I’ll call you this afternoon between 2 and 2:30”.
Achieving what you need to accomplish in ministry each day, will prevent burnout and keep you enthusiastic for your important work of bringing yourself and the people closer to God.