A mechanic is only as effective as the tools in the toolbox. A flat tire is more difficult than replacing an engine block if the proper tools are not at hand. Likewise, leaders need to acquire the proper set of tools in order to be effective.
Here are a few to get your toolbox started.
It may seem obvious, but regardless of how busy of a schedule you have now, you need to begin keeping a calendar. For young leaders, our schedules will only get busier as we gain more experience, responsibility, and influence. It’s important that we begin managing our time well now so we’ll have the foundation and habit in place later. For some of us, we need this now. We need to organize our time effectively now in order to be productive and lead well.
I use Google Calendar and sync it with iCal on my Mac, phone and iPad. There are other options, but I’ve found this to be the best.
2. Task manager
No matter how many tasks you have, you need a manager for them. There are literally thousands of these out there. Many are free, some are not. Depending on how many projects you manage or areas you deal with will depend on how complex you need this to be. For some, the default reminders on your phone may be enough. Whatever you use, you need a safe place to put what you need to do. It can become exhausting keeping up with all the tasks that are in front of us. A task manager gets that stuff off of our minds and into a dependable place.
I use Todoist for this. It’s helps me keep up with all the areas I manage or lead.
For those of us that do some writing, we need a place to do that writing that’s not distracting. You can do this in Evernote or a note taking place, but it’s helpful to have another place to do it. A place that you aren’t worrying about other notes or writings.
I use Byword for this. It’s clean and distraction free. I can pick up on my iPhone or iPad where I leave off on my Mac. It has an export function that allows me to send it to Evernote or WordPress.
4. Note taker
If you’re a young leader and you’re showing up at meetings and you don’t have a way to take notes, you’re making a terrible impression. Also, if you’re a leader and you don’t have a place to capture your ideas and thoughts, you’re missing out on some possible gem ideas. You need a place to jot down a quick thought or keep clipped articles you come across that you may need to reference later. You need a notetaker with some sort of filing/tagging system.
I use Evernote for this. Evernote is my digital brain.
What other tools do leaders need in their possession?
Productivity is a passion of mine because a the impact of our ministry is easily multiplied when we learn to work efficiently and effectively. Earlier this week ChurchMag Press released my second book The Productive Pastor Handbook: A Guide to Getting More of the Right Stuff Done to help pastors discover a better path.
Click HERE to get your copy today and start increasing your impact.