10 Ways Church Staffs Can Increase Productivity


We all wish we could be more productive with our day, but very few of us actually use all the time in our day well. If you work on a busy church staff, chances are you are looking for ways to improve your productivity. You may not waste huge chunks of time, but you'd be surprised how often those smaller, 15 minute segments of time fall through the cracks.

Below are 10 activities to improve overall your productivity. Smart church staff members can use these quick tasks to fill the smaller snippets of their day, which will result in less time wasted and more tasks completed.

1. Create a to-do list.

Take a few moments to create a list everything that needs to get done this week. Once you have a comprehensive list, prioritize it by underlining the things that need to get done today. Highlight the items that are urgent.

2. Go for a walk outside.

Take a 10 minute stroll outside. You will be surprised at how much your outlook, focus, and stress levels improve when you step away from your desk and go for a brisk walk. Many studies have shown that walking improves thinking, learning, and creativity, and taking a quick break from your work will result in better focus when you come back to it.

3. Look at your calendar. 

What is on your calendar today and for the rest of the week? What important events do you have coming up for the rest of the month that you need to begin planning for? What frequent events should you add to your calendar? What meetings do you need to consider no longer being a part of? By taking a hard look at your calendar, you will be able to better manage your time and organize your work.

4. Write a thank you note to key staff or volunteers. 

This is another great way to take a quick break from work and do something that will rejuvinate you. Thank you notes do not have to be long or flowery to brighten someone’s day. Simply write three or four sentences expressing gratitude, sign the card, and drop it in the mail. You can easily write two thank you cards in 15 minutes.

5. Organize your computer desktop. 

Organize your desktop icons, clear out your trash, close needlessly open windows, and run any necessary updates. If you have a few additional moments, update your address book as well. In short, organize your digital life. It will make you less overwhelmed and more productive in the long run.

6. Read.

Instead of surfing the internet or scrolling through facebook for a 15 minute break, focus your time by reading one chapter of a book or one article from a magazine or news source. This is a great way to sharpen your mind during a break - and you never know where you will gain problem-solving inspiration for the current challenge you're facing.

7. Zero out your inbox.

There are two different types of people in the world: those who let all their emails linger in their inbox forever, and those who zero out their inbox at the end of the day. By zeroing out your inbox each day, you guarantee that you have responded to all the urgent needs for the day. You shouldn’t always feel the need to write a long response, but do respond or forward the email to someone who can be responsible for the follow up. Once an email has been dealt with, you can delete it, archive it, or move it to its appropriate folder.

8. Be a connector.

Do you know two people who do not know each other yet but should? Is there someone that you want to know but have not yet met? Spend a few minutes writing an introductory email. Whether you are introducing yourself or two friends, it is always beneficial to widen your personal and professional network. You could also spend a few minutes updating your LinkedIn profile.

9. Declutter your desk. 

Put away the coffee mugs, shred the papers you don’t need, tidy the desk, and file the papers you want to reference in the future. The benefits of keeping an organized workspace are not all cosmetic. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, a clean desk helps you stick with a task more than one and a half times longer.

10. Catch up on invoices. 

If you are like me, you probably have a stack of receipts that you have to go through at the end of the month to turn in for reimbursements. If you have a few minutes each day, start filling out your reimbursement or invoice forms and cataloging your receipts. It'll save you that chunk of time at the end of every month.

What do you do when you have 15 minutes of time in your day? How do you increase your productivity in practical ways?

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