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No one really enjoys cleaning the bathroom. I know there are some people out there who will tell you that they do; but, they are lying. Can’t imagine the pleasure one gets from scrubbing evaporated feces off the side of a bowl that has seen more butts than the Marlboro Man’s ash tray(okay, I know I tried too hard on that one, but I had to).
In all seriousness we know that there are things we have to do and that’s just a part of growing up. The worst is when it conflicts with what we want to do. For example those Saturday mornings when you know you need to get up to do chores around the house before people come over. You want to sleep in, sit on the couch watch cartoons or chomp on a stick of bacon, but you know inevitably, the work has to get done.
When it comes to ministry the list of what we have to do; yet, don’t want to do is endless. It can frustrate and drive us crazy. And no matter how much we hem and haw, it needs to get done. So, how do we get done what needs to get done without loosing it?
- DELEGATE: Chances are there are people who don’t mind doing some of the things you hate doing. These people won’t mind when you ask them to write up a database for the work camp. They like what you consider mundane because God has gifted them in this area. Send out an email to parents or church members and don’t be surprised when someone responds, “Sure.” But, when you do find that person who loves the mundane, spoil them to death and show them how much you value their gifts.
- WORK OFF OF MOMENTUM: I love running races, I’m just not a fan of the trainings, because it means doing long runs when I don’t always feel like it. But, then there are the times when I find myself inspired to go then extra mile halfway through a boring training run, the best thing to do is take advantage and go for it. Next time you find the tiniest bit of motivation, jump on it. You could find yourself getting ahead of the curve, which means more margin for you.
- DO THE PROPER PREP: When I painted houses my boss gave me some valuable advice. She said, “The harder you work on prep the more you’ll enjoy the finish.” When it comes to something we hate, there is a tendency to wait until the last minute to do it. If you don’t give yourself margin, if you don’t put out all the materials before hand and if you don’t prioritize your responsibilities, you’ll find yourself resenting the task even more. Yes, preparatory work isn’t glamorous; however, if it’s done right you’ll find yourself cruising through the finish.
- STUDY BETTER PRACTICES: You probably hate doing certain things because as mentioned before you don’t have a system for it. Instead of resenting it, learn more on how you can make it better. A book that I’m reading that has helped me greatly is Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky, in fact the folks over at the99percent.com are geniuses when it comes to producing. But, if you don’t have time to read, take the time to look at other models in business, ministry and beyond. You might find what makes them successful, will do the same for you.
- START SAYING, “NO”: Ask yourself, “Do I really have to do this?” Seriously, is what you hate doing something you really have to do? The answer will be yes to most of them; however, don’t be surprised if that fundraiser, that event or meeting is really dispensable. Many times we find ourselves doing things we think we have to do, when in reality we are guilted or pressured into doing it. Do yourself a favor, kill it and say no if it’s pulling you away from your vision and purpose.
Again, this isn’t the sexiest list in the world, but it is one that will help you get through the necessaries. As adults we have responsibilities but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer through them. Take the time to look at it is you need to do, have to do and want to do. Write them out, move forward with your plan and tweak along the way. With the right systems and structures in place, you will thrive.
If there is one thing you could eliminate from your “MUST DO LIST” what would it be and why?