New Year, New Goals

Here we are at the start of another year. I’m not really a “New Year’s Resolutions” kind of guy; I prefer continuous quality improvement. Still the changing of the year makes for a convenient way to mark time and to re-think some strategies. In the last several days, I’ve been thinking about some of the things I want to accomplish in 2011, things that will hopefully start setting a new pattern of life for me. Perhaps there may be an idea or two in here for you.

Work Less

As a year, 2010 was one of the busiest ever for me. Starting in about February, I began working 50-60 hour weeks, and it never really slowed down. I only took one week of vacation (actually, I was scheduled for two, but ended up working almost all of the first one), and by December, was working 100 hour weeks for our Christmas production. I wrapped up the year exhausted and ready to be done for a while.

Thankfully, I had the foresight to schedule the first week in January as a week off (including the weekend of the 1st-2nd) so including the week the church was closed between Christmas & New Years, I’m taking a full two weeks off. That’s a nice way to start the year.

What I’ve learned is that as my hours go up, my effectiveness goes down. The longer I work crazy hours, the less I actually end up getting done, and the less I care about what I’m doing. I have less time for people, and get discouraged about what I’m doing. My goal for 2011 is to maintain a more manageable pace so as to keep my enthusiasm and energy high.

We probably won’t get all the projects done that we’d like this year, but hey, there’s always next year.

Live More

I’ve noticed that my life has become increasingly one-dimensional. I spend pretty much all my time in the realm of church technology; either working, writing about it, podcasting about it or organizing meetings with other TDs. I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and I’m not really getting to experience it. So this year, I want to get out more and see more.

My daughter, a senior this year, is really getting into photography, so I want to spend more time with her doing photo stuff. I’d like to spend more time with friends, cooking, eating, watching movies or whatever. Again, I find myself more effective in my work life when my non-work life has some other dimensions to it. Maybe I’ll even do a little more woodworking this year...

Be More Strategic

Last year, we got a lot accomplished. But it was rather scattershot. This year, I’d like to spend some time planning what projects we’re going to work on, when we’re going to do them and think through why we’re going to do them in a given order. As I said, we have a lot to do, and we need to use our limited time and money wisely. I want to make sure I’m investing my time, and the time of my staff, if projects that will deliver the biggest payoff and move us even close in alignment with the ministry goals of our church.

This will mean we probably won’t get much done in January as we need some planning time; but that’s OK. Ideally, that planning time will make the rest of the year more fruitful.

Delegate More

I’ll admit to being a bit of a control freak. I’ve been on a journey for the last several years learning to let go of things. As a recovering perfectionist, this has been hard. However, I’m learning to enjoy the joy of watching others accomplish things. When someone else gets something done, while it may not bee the way I would have done it, they grow and learn. And that’s more important than making sure it’s done exactly the way I want it. The reality is, I’m surrounded by some really wonderful and competent people, and I need to empower them to do more. All of this hopefully frees me up to spend more time doing things I’m called to do in this season of life.

So there it is, a few things I hope to work on this coming year. My goal in all of this is to make sure I’m moving at a sustainable pace. I want to be around Coast Hills for a long time, and the only way I can do that is to maintain some balance. If all goes well, my time here will be productive, enjoyable and meaningful. What else could one ask for?