As a collector of time management ideas and tips, I picked up Dan Kennedy’s time management book on recommendation from a friend. Kennedy has made a bunch of money in sales and knows how to manage his time for maximum efficiency. The book is part of a series of books written by Kennedy under the “No B.S.” label. As a Christian, you might be offended by the label but long ago, I learned that you can mine the good stuff from literature and throw the rest away. Other than the title, there’s no language to deal with within the covers and the information here is pretty solid.
Kennedy’s methods are designed for the business professional but have value to ministers also. His tips on managing the phone, focusing on goals, and preparing your execution plans are all valuable nuggets to adapt to your situation. In Kennedy’s words, he looks for the “Time Vampires” in your life, those people or things that can suck the life right out of you, and he gives you workable advice for handling them.
The book pulls no punches. Kennedy himself says you might not like all of his ideas and that is perfectly alright. Take what you can and run with it. He gets to the point, gives you a problem, a solution, and the way to get there. Chapter done. Then, he discusses something else. He writes like he speaks and he doesn’t waste paper here.
One of the things I liked most about this book was Kennedy’s insistence to focus, focus, focus! In ministry, we can get caught up in the mundane and keep ourselves busy but if we aren’t making progress in certain areas, then we really are just spinning our wheels regardless of how busy we are. Near the end of the book, Kennedy shares his best advice when he says to identify three things you know will make you successful in whatever enterprise you are involved in. From those three things, identify an action you can take from each one and DO THEM. Focus on your goal, what it will take to get there, and don’t get sidetracked by meaningless details. This rang quite true to me as I’ve heard veteran church planter Steve Sjogren say essentially the same thing in his writings. As a church planter/pastor, I could easily get bogged down by the latest craze, endless ministry programs, and meetings with others than avail nothing. These aren’t bad in themselves but when they become the bulk of our execution for the day, they rob us of truly accomplishing what God wants to do in our church and our life.
Again, if you can get past the title, there’s much to be gained here. It’s a good book with good information.