How to Do More and Have Less Stress

Yesterday, I had lunch with a number of fellow pastors. The subject of the meeting went something like this.

How to do more with less stress.

That subject was made for pastors, but it was also made for anyone in the human race. In a day in which our technology was supposed to make us paperless, I have more paper than ever. In a time when we were supposed to have more free time, I find myself with more and more to do.

Are you the same way?

Here are a few ideas about making your day more productive and stress proof.

First, set up systems that work. This was the theme of the lunch with pastors. Pastors, churches, and individuals need some processes set up to do things automatically and on a rhythmic schedule.

For example, I don’t have to have a “to do” list to remind me to prepare for all of my weekly speaking engagements. Both my assistant and I know when those are due and how they will be handled.

Second, find shortcuts. Find areas where you can cut out a step (I do this with my iPhone). Each time you do so will pay long term dividends.

Third, set priorities. Know what has to be done and is a priority and also know the time-wasters that don’t have to be done. Remember the old adage, “Your failure to plan does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

We all need to plan well and not throw ourselves into stress.

Fourth, plan for emergencies. Let’s face it; emergencies happen. No matter how well you plan, you will have to deal with some emergencies. If you have planned well, you will have the time to handle those emergencies.

Planning means you can’t schedule every hour of the day. You need time to plan and to handle emergencies.

Fifth, hand off some of your responsibilities. Find the person who can deal with your item quicker, easier, and better. Then hand it off to that person. This will leave you the time to deal with what you can do best.

Finally, start everyday with God. My doing this makes my day longer (in a good way) and slower. When I spend time with God early in the morning, I am ready for emergencies and stressors.

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