Last year, with the overwhelming amount of tasks and projects that almost blew me away, I could not believe I was able to make it out completely sane to continue another year. Haha! I had to work with people in facilitating camps, conferences and other programs. I had to make reports and attend to a lot of meetings within and outside of my usual work. If not for the grace and sustenance of the Lord, I am not sure how things will work out for me. But God is good! He strengthens me and continues to do so!
Come 2018, and TADAA! Tasks seem to double and expectations turned gargantuan. If you are like me who finds it more difficult to say NO to people than the actual task itself, this is nothing but normal. Also, if you are like me who never backs out of challenges, this just fuels creativity, passion, and foresight within. But honestly, some challenges really take the best of me.
Speaking of foresight, one thing that concerns me for the rest of the year is how will I manage my limited time when commitments REALLY overlap. Before, whichever is written first on my calendar has the priority over my schedule. If a ministry meeting is announced on a certain day but I already have a prior commitment with my college friends for a catch-up session, I will choose the latter and excuse myself for the ministry meeting. This is because I value commitments. However, I think this should not always be the case. A task may demand for your time but a discerning person knows that not every task has to be accommodated. With this in mind, I drafted a simple scheme to help me decide which task or project takes priority.
DISCLAIMER: After seeing my decision-making guide, you may think that I am too fickle-minded and incompetent to decide for myself. Please don’t judge me. I just want to put my life in order. Haha!
FIRST: Identify your commitments and group them accordingly.
Since my day usually revolves around spreadsheets, I jot down my commitments and tasks using color coded-schematic.
I wrote these tasks and commitments in random. Other things are sure to be added as I remember them. But take note that I grouped my major activities into four areas: Ministry, Work, Relationships and Outlets. Since I am working in a church organization, sometimes Work and Ministry overlap, which is both a pro- and a con- because they often have shared schedule. Nevertheless, I have to define which is which.
* Outlets are activities that help me de-stress when toxicity level escalates.
SECOND: Decide which of your major commitments takes priority over the other.
Inasmuch as I would like to have it as: Relationships – Ministry – Work – Outlets, this is not always the case. Often, Work comes first because it is my primary source of income and usually demands most of my time, followed by Ministry. Relationships come third because they are the most capable of understanding your schedule. Outlets come last because obviously, rest and relaxation comes after all the work has been exhausted, not during and definitely not prior.
* No, I am not trying to rank which is more important and significant than the other, I’m just trying to assess my commitments based on practicality of scheduling. You may have a different view regarding this.
THIRD: Group your specific tasks into HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW
HIGH – meaning this really has to be prioritized because not doing so will compromise your schedule.
MEDIUM – this can be postponed to a later time but must be given attention to afterwards, otherwise will compromise your schedule.
LOW – you can excuse yourself out of these without any drastic effect on your schedule, but can be attended to when the luxury of time permits.
* I intentionally left some tasks covered so I won’t offend some people because they just ranked medium or low on my priorities. I devised this to help me in decision making, and to spare myself from entangled commitments.
With this scheme, it will be much easier for me to decide which tasks must be attended to first because I have already decided their order of priority. Also, this is a reminder that things has to be done promptly so commitments will not stack, hence a disaster schedule.
Anyway, ang dami kong time at di halatang busy. Hahaha!
If you think this might help you, you may download one through this link: Commitments Diagram. ‘Til next post!