How Much Time Are You Wasting Each Week?
Everyone is always looking for a way to maximize their time. Have you ever sat at your desk with your email open in one browser tab, about 10 other tabs also opened, and wonder what you were even working on in the first place? It’s very easy to do. Without a clear list of daily priorities, it’s hard to remember what you’ve accomplished during the day. According to the New York Post, the average worker could be wasting more than eight hours per work week on activities unrelated to the job. That’s an entire workday. Yikes.
Some time is eaten up by being off task or doing things like checking Facebook and chatting with co-workers. These human factors will never be fully eliminated, but the time that is most concerning is time wasted by bad process and inefficient systems. The saying “work smarter, not harder” sounds great in theory, but can be difficult deliver upon. These time wasters can be identified and reduced if we step back and evaluate our workflow.
By working in ministry, you are juggling various types of work, and it isn’t always clear what tasks should take priority. Do you pop in on one of the men’s small groups this week, or should you send follow up emails to the guests that attended on Sunday morning? Both tasks have huge value in a church, but when faced with a time crunch, which one should you choose?
If you are faced with a priorities dilemma, try asking a series of questions that usually reveal a clearer priority list:
- Is this a recurring task or a one-off?
- Are you the right person for this task or is someone else on the team better suited for the task?
- How urgent is it and what are the consequences if not dealt with in a timely fashion?
- How much time will it take?
- How Important (tied to our mission) is this task?
And the last, and often most important, question:
- Is this a task that can be automated?
Administrative duties such as guest follow up, church membership data management, prayer teams notes, or tracking small group attendance can seem draining. This is in part because they are tedious, recurring, and require consistent attention.
According to Executive Pastor Online’s Kevin Stone, “an organization can be boiled down to literally hundreds of individual and interdependent processes, but the key is to decide what the best method is to do something and to document it in a format that ensures the agreed upon method is followed every time. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?”
Does your organization have these processes in place and have they been properly communicated to pertinent staff or volunteers?
In the digital world we live in, opportunities for increased productivity and tools to help us get there are abounding. Have you considered what a church app can do in terms of increased productivity for your church? Good tools can help automate the tasks that eat much of the time staff are spending on administrative duties.
Digitally Consolidate Your Internal Processes With An App
- Check-in: Track your people in real time by monitoring attendance for services and events. Members may input their info, take a photo, comment, and check-in all within an app. This will help streamline the tasks of people counting or crunching attendance numbers each week.
- Calendar: Bring in events from any calendar and put them all in one place. People can also RSVP in the app, which saves a lot of time spent sending follow-up emails.
Interactive Notes: Printing sermon notes on paper can be a huge task (and budget buster). Like a traditional paper outline, congregants may take notes in an app. This feature can function as a traditional sermon note outline or a small group discussion guide.
- Chat: Chat is a live two-way communication channel. It’s a way for ministries and groups to connect in real-time, without having to manage multiple other chat apps, like GroupMe, Slack, or iMessage. With chat, your messages are all in one place.
- Text Engagement: This feature provides a way for congregants to connect by texting a simple word to your church specific number. Text “Guest” for a digital connection card, text “Pray” to submit a prayer request, or text “Give” to exercise generosity. The best part? You aren’t tracking down multiple pieces of paper and trying to enter them all into your church management software. With text engagement, data is already saved digitally by having people use online forms for data gathering as opposed to paper.
- Giving: Looking to attract attention and support for your next capital campaign? Help to create more context around your goals for these large generosity projects by telling the story of why you are doing what you are doing through the app. There is also an opportunity through the app to easily give digitally. Tracking your progress through the app is easy, too, with the help of giving dashboards.
Whatever processes, technology, and culture you build into your organization over the next 2-3 years will impact the next 5-10. Time truly is your most valuable asset. The core functions of nurturing and ministering to people can’t be done if your time is eaten up doing the ‘business’ of church. At aware3, we are passionate about helping you be the most impactful leader you can be, and for us, that begins by providing the tools to make your life easier and more efficient.