I’ve been up to my ears in a week-long children’s camp event that our church offers each summer. It requires months of planning and thousands of man hours compiled by nearly 100 volunteers to pull it off, and I was in charge of the program. I spent the last two weeks putting in long hours at work, then working on emails and admin duties in the evenings. The week before and the week camp are a busy season for me.
And now it’s over.
It was a great week and things went well for both volunteers and kids, but now I’m in decompression mode and going through all the email, mail, and phone messages that I ignored (or put off) during those two intense weeks.
This is causing me to consider the real cost of being busy, and to wonder if that cost is too high. Could I have delegated more? Should I have focused less on work and more on my wife and other important relationships? I’m not sure, but I know these are good questions to ask myself.
Do you have a busy season? Is every day busy season for you? If so, you may want to ask some similar questions of yourself.
As a parent, it’s critically important for you to manage your busy-ness so that you can meet the needs of your kids. Just because you have a super-heavy schedule, their needs for your care and oversight don’t stop.
Ask these three questions of yourself to help manage your busy season:
1.- Is this (project, goal, activity) really necessary? A corollary question is “Will this matter in three months?”
2.- Can someone else do a part of this to make the burden more fair? I have a tendency to do things myself rather than ask for help. But fairness is a helpful perspective in these matters. If you are part of a team (family, work staff, volunteer group) then consider that fairness is good for everyone. Others need to be needed so let them help.
3.- Is this urgent (does it have to happen now, in this busy season?) When I get overwhelmed, I often make poor decisions about what needs to happen now and what can wait. Ask trusted co-workers to help you get a fresh (and perhaps clearer) perspective on what could be done later, in a less busy season.
I’m likely the worst offender in this area of time management, but I can still recognize good advice when I give it. Guard your time as a parent. I promise you’ll still have work to do after your kids grow up and leave.
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YLC – In The News
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