I was once asked, “As your ministry grew, and you had greater and greater responsibilities, how did you manage your workload?”
Reflecting on the question several things came to mind.
I learned early on that leaders don’t panic. It accomplishes nothing and makes people nervous. Panicking about your workload does absolutely zero for everyone including yourself.
I am grateful that early on some mentors taught me how to delegate. They kept saying, “Take off your plate what others can do to let you be free to do what only you can do.” Traveling helped here a lot. I saw leaders who because they could not delegate got less done and stifled their ministry’s growth.
I learned the importance of making realistic demands on myself. It can be difficult to manage workload if the workload is unrealistic. Quite honestly, I had to learn this by experience—trial and error. When I was not realistic, I found my workload managing me instead of vice versa.
Here, though, is one of the things that helped me the most. If something couldn’t get done on a given day, I simply moved the task to another day. That way I wasn’t trying to put three days’ work into one. By moving it to another day, I knew it would get done. It wasn’t something “up in the air.” It just wasn’t going to get done that day.
Finally, to the best of my ability, I plan six months ahead. That is of course even more important as a traveling speaker because I work on messages best in the office not on the road. By looking six months ahead, I can plan my work and nothing sneaks up on me.
If you get the idea that managing my work load has been a learning experience, you are right. I have found it essential, though, to being an effective leader—even impacting my spiritual and physical well-being.