My granddaughter is reorganising her study area ready for recommencing school. She and her brothers are home-schooled with Distance Education and much of their learning content is online so technology is an integral part of their schooling. But Rachael still likes to set up her study area with printed organisers and daily planners. Colour coordinated pens and stationery are neatly stored beside her laptop and a handmade plant terrarium is displayed beside an inspirational framed quote and calendar.
It looks great! But, while she took time to present all her preparations, a warning 'ping' reminded her of a timed task she had set up to complete. Her smartphone indicated an incoming text message and she needed to click off Skype notifications from friends so that she could talk with me.
Technology has its benefits and its drawbacks
We have never been so productive, so busy and at the same time so distracted. Throughout history there have always been issues that have prevented us from doing what we set out to do. But, it’s never been as hard as it is today. When it comes to planning and organisation, technology has its benefits and rewards, but it also has its drawbacks.
The very fact that we have so many choices in terms of technology can also cause problems. Having instant access to family, friends, work and the rest of the noise can be overwhelming. Email, smartphones, mobile devices, laptops and other “screens” can get in the way of staying organized, even though the technology was originally created to make you more productive and organized.
The technology can actually cause you to feel pressure to do even more. No matter how amazing you are, you start feeling inadequate that you cannot do more. The technology ends up becoming more of a curse. Take heart, though; you can learn how to wrangle the technology and make it work for you, personally and in your ministry.
Apps to help plan and organise your ministry
There are many apps and programs and that you can make use of to help you plan and organise your time, tasks and ministry. You can become more organized even if it doesn’t come naturally. You can give yourself permission to do things differently. Here are some apps that may be helpful..
Plan, prioritise and organise
You can learn to capture what you need to do, break it down into logical steps, prioritise those steps, figure out what’s next and then get to work doing what needs to be done − without feeling overworked, stressed out, and out of control. You just need to have a plan of action and an understanding of why you need to do things in a certain way. Then you’ll finally really be organized. And a good planner can help.
In ministry, it's important to remember that you are not your ministry. Yes, your work with kids and families has eternal impact. But it's easy for ministry demands to take precedence over all other aspects of your life and family. It's worthwhile to take some time to think and work through your personal, family and ministry goals, as well as your ministry vision. It will help you keep everything in balance. And... although I love technology, I've gone back to using a printed planner. There is just something about writing out my tasks and to-dos, listing them on my schedule and ticking them off as I complete them. What do you prefer.. printed or device/app planners?
My Brilliant Kidmin Planner
With this in mind, I've created My Brilliant Kidmin Planner- a downloadable resource that encourages you to set out your goals and ministry vision, as well as the important areas of focus in your life. eg family- home- ministry- personal development ..... The planner provides space for you to list these and include time each day/week to focus on some aspect or task related to these areas. You can find more about the planner here...
Here are some helpful articles and resources that may also assist you with your goal-setting and planning for this year:
5 Unconventional steps to accomplish your goals- Craig Jutila
The 2 most powerful words for reaching your goals- Michael Hyatt
Make over your mornings- Crystal Paine (You don’t have to keep living life feeling constantly behind, overworked, and overwhelmed!)
2016 Ministry Planner.... Set out your monthly programs, events, training sessions and monthly ministry focus for your own ministry plus important church dates.
Regardless of your personal situation, the best thing that you can do is to try some of the available tips, suggestions, and ideas. Don't just hope that things will be better this year. Begin with a plan, set out the steps and tasks you will need to complete and keep with it. You can get and stay more organized in the age of distraction if you know what to do and have a plan and system in place.