Five Habits Of “On-Time” Leaders!

Time is precious.  We only have so many years on this Earth, only 7 days a week, and only 24 hours in a day.  Sadly, too many leaders waste MUCH of the time they are given.  When you waste time it can have a negative impact on your leadership and your relationships.

I challenge you to adopt the five habits of the “On-Time” Leader!

1.  Arrive ON TIME!    If you are supposed to meet someone for lunch, be at a staff meeting, or attend an event – arrive ON TIME!  When you arrive late it sends a message to the person you are meeting that “I didn’t value your time enough to plan ahead so I would be on time.”

2.  Start ON TIME!
If you are leading a meeting or event – start on time.  If you say the meeting starts at 6, then start at 6 – not 6:04.  When you consistently start late, even if you are trying to be courteous to the late arrivals, you are training your people to arrive late.  You are also sending a value message to those who did make sure to arrive early that their time is not as important as those who arrived late.

3.  End ON TIME!
Nothing is worse than when an event or meeting is advertised to end at a certain time and the leader of the meeting becomes so engrossed in the sound of their own voice that they allow the meeting to creep past the end time that was announced.  The more your tendency to go over time in your meetings, the less likely you are to get people to return to your meetings.

4.  Redefine what ON TIME means!
All of my team (including those 5th graders on my Junior Leadership Team) can quote you my philosophy when it comes to on time.  I always tell them, “If you’re early – you’re ON TIME.  If you’re ON TIME – you’re late.  If you’re late – there’s NO EXCUSE!”  If you are a leader, you can’t be walking into a meeting or event right at the advertised start time.  You must be early to set the tone for the meeting and mingle with those who are attending.

5.  Expect the unexpected!
Allow extra time for unexpected details that might derail your plans.  This goes for when you are planning a meeting, planning how much time it will take to travel somewhere, etc.  If you build in time for the “unexpected”, then you will no doubt be ON TIME.

The “5 by Five” Approach To Setting Priorities

As a Kidmin Leader, there are a ton of responsibilities you have to juggle on a daily basis.  Those who are tasked with overseeing Nursery, Early Childhood, Elementary, Family Ministry, Outreach & Evangelism, and all of the other departments that often fall under the leadership of the Children’s Ministry often have a difficult time keeping everything straight.

Time management is difficult.  Keeping “the main thing” in perspective is equally as difficult.  How does one organize and prioritize the week without losing sight of the details and ultimately failing to get some things done that MUST be done?

There’s not a sure-fire way to handle this.  But, I would like to share with you one method (albeit an OLD-fashioned and possibly outdated method) that I have found to be extremely effective in my ministry:  The “5 By Five” list.

At the beginning of the week, generally on Sunday afternoon in my office, I look at the tasks and priorities that need to be done in the next week.  I look at the work week in terms of 5 days since the average full-time Kidmin Leader has one day off and Sunday is…well…Sunday (hello!).

I compile an exhaustive list of all the tasks and items that need to be completed that week.  Some weeks there are upwards of 20+ items.  Then, I go over the list and pick the FIVE most important things in the list.  These five things are THE most important.  If I don’t get these five things done in the next five days, I’m toast.

I place those five items on my “5 by Five” list.  I place that list in a prominent place in my office (generally right below my monitor facing me, just above my keyboard).  When I start my week on Monday, I work off of that list FIRST.  I don’t do any of the other items until THAT list is complete.

Our tendency is to choose “easy” items first – things that are accomplished quickly or things that we enjoy doing.  This is not good.  We can end up accomplishing many of the easy, less significant tasks and running out of time to accomplish the harder, more important tasks.

If we follow the “5 by Five” method, we will accomplish the MOST important things first, then start rocking on the less significant items.  It’s amazing how much less stress we feel as we go through the week once we know that the MOST important things are DONE.

Thoughts?  What method do you use for prioritizing?  Share your ideas with us.  Let’s become more productive as we carry out our mission to reach kids for Christ!