I like planning ahead. It is one way of the ways I manage the many different responsibilities and opportunities that come my way. During Covid, I struggled with the fact that planning ahead was impossible. It was difficult to know how long we’d be living under each set of Covid regulations, so long term planning was off the table. Each time I established a workable rhythm, a change in regulations meant I had to adjust once again. To be back to normality is still a great relief to me!
I tend to plan my diary about 15 to 18 months ahead. Over the last couple of weeks I have confirmed all my overseas trips up to October 2024. This is quickly followed by pencilling in my holidays and then my key meetings here at King’s. I hope to send out all our King’s elders and trustees dates for the next church year soon.
I also have an outline shape to my weeks when I am in the U.K. Sunday is worship at King’s, and we will often have meetings in the afternoon or evenings. I also like to spend half an hour on Sunday evenings looking at the week ahead and noting anything that has cropped up and will need my attention; Monday is work planning and a day for preparation, and I will also I speak with key staff at King’s; Tuesday is normally a series of King’s focussed meetings, including an evening every other week for elders or trustees; Wednesday and Thursday have a predominantly Newfrontiers focus, as well as more time for preparation; and Friday and Saturday are usually days off.
Plan to Plan
Forward planning helps me move towards being intentional about how I use my time, and not simply responsive - though we all need to maintain a degree of flexibility as well. But working this way won’t happen unless I set time aside for it – I have to plan to plan! I try to block out space for short, medium and long term planning. New information comes in all the time, so short term, weekly planning is essential. But unless I have spent time looking ahead and putting in the most important things, the urgent will always be taking priority over the more strategic.
As I said last week, time is a precious commodity, and forward planning is one way I try and maximise my use of it and create sustainable rhythms.