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Church Secretary's Guide To Work-Life Balance

Apr 21, 2008
Long work days and sometimes weekends can make our lives out of balance. Our bodies need rest if we are going to be productive in what we do. Hey, even God took a day off to rest!

I believe that God was setting an example for us to follow. When we work hard all week, we need time to regroup and refocus ourselves so that we can be just as productive the following week.

Your vacations should be times of renewal for you. Time for you to turn your brain off (not completely (smile)) but at least for a moment. Enjoy your families, read a book and just REST.

Without taking a break, you will not be able to perform to your highest potential. It may seem as if you are getting more done, but it is to your own detriment and eventually the train will run out of steam.

Pretty soon, your attention to details and your commitment to excellence will suffer. I can always tell when I'm tired when I see mistakes that I have made and begin telling myself that "they'll be ok, nobody will notice."

Here are 7 spiritual and practical (not so spiritual, but necessary) steps you can take to make sure you are balancing your work and personal lives properly. Begin now, getting the rest you NEED and deserve.

Pray - this is the most important step. If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy :). Don't let this get you caught in condemnation if you don't already or you find yourself always "out of time." Start small... even 5 minutes (other than saying grace over your food) in the morning is a good start. It will ground you and get you centered on what really matters before you go out and tackle the world each day.

Plan Vacation Time - make sure you talk to your boss and co-workers before leaving. If you prepare them properly, you won't spend your entire vacation getting phone calls or worrying about if this or that got done correctly. I have a chapter in my book "Effectively Managing Multiple Projects...A Super Easy Guide to Getting Organized, Reducing Office Clutter and Producing More with Less Stress", that talks about Duplicating Yourself In Others.

Set A List Of Priorities - decide what is most important to you and prioritize. If spending time with your children or family is important, you should make it a top priority and organize your life around those times. Become as efficient as possible at work so that you don't have to stay late so often. Don't let others get you off of your priorities.

Eliminate Unnecessary Activities - once you have your priorities set, eliminate the waste. If going to lunch everyday with your co-workers puts you behind at work and you end up staying late, pack a lunch. If you are always doing things for other people and never having time for yourself, set some boundaries with your friends and family and DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO.

Slow Down - you've heard the saying "stop and smell the roses." This is important. If you plan your time properly, you won't always be rushing from one place to the next. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes when scheduling appointments so that you don't have to drive like a NASCAR racer in order to get from one place to the next.

Delegate Responsibilities to Others - I talk about this in my book to. Empower others to help you and take some of the load off of yourself. Don't be so controlling that people refuse to help you. You have to make a conscious effort to remember that you don't have to do it all alone. God will provide people to help you. And you can't be afraid to recruit help.

Let It Go - Don't harbor offenses and don't be too hard on yourself. Be quick to forgive those who mistreat you. And don't constantly beat yourself up with what you "shoulda" or "coulda" done better. Just choose to learn from your errors and do better the next time.

Remember, God took time to rest and so should we. As I mentioned earlier, we are no good to our pastors if we are tired and cranky. It's easier to "put on patience" when you don't feel like you have rocks in our eyes or like you've been run over by a mack truck.

Go to my blog and take my"Are You Stressed or Getting Rest Quiz" now, http://www.churchsecretaryessentials.com/blog
About the Author
Tamala M. Huntley is author of the revolutionary manual, "Basic Training 101: A Super Easy Guide to Getting More Done, Reducing Office Clutter and Producing More With Less Stress." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit http://www.churchsecretaryessentials.com NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as as it remains complete and unaltered with the "about the author info" at the end.
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