In one of my consulting opportunities I was asked to help someone think strategically. We were looking at this person’s ministry, trying to design a system that would allow for continual growth and improvement. The ministry had grown rapidly and the leader barely felt she could keep up with her current demands.
She recognized the need to delegate, grow new leaders, and spread out responsibility and ownership, but she couldn’t seem to get past the current demands of details to develop a plan to do so.
Have you ever been there?
While attempting to create a system with her, I think we may have gotten to the root of her problem (and one I’ve had many times personally). She looked at me with complete sincerity and said, “I just don’t have time to prepare…”
Have you ever had that thought?
Do you see the problem with her statement? If you don’t, we have a bigger problem on our hands.
Unfortunately, it’s a common misperception of all parts of life. We don’t feel we have time to do the required preparation to do the job right, so we continue in the mediocre success, while drowning in details. The reality, however, is that preparation time is often the most important part of the work.
As corny as it may sound—an inch of preparation is worth a mile of success.
It’s Monday. Take a few minutes to prepare.
It will make the rest of the week much easier and more effective. I start each week with some clear objectives. I want to know what I need to accomplish for the week. These are usually broad and I list them in the form of a checklist. (Sermon, write quarterly newsletter, prepare for staff meeting, prepare for finance meeting, etc.) Once I have this list I break them down by day. Some items, such as my sermon, may require time from multiple days. And then I start each day with its own checklist.
It’s not complicated, but it is strategic. I find the more deliberate I am to pre-plan my day and week, the more productive I feel at the end of the week.
You have time to prepare. I would say you don’t have time to waste not doing so.
This article originally appeared here.