Do you spend a lot of time on airplanes? Many pastors do. Whether it’s traveling for conference or flying halfway around the world to preach and build up local churches, air travel allows you and me to have a worldwide impact for God’s Kingdom in a way that wasn’t possible a couple of generations ago.
Like anything else, flying has its drawbacks. There’s the hassle of getting to the airport and going through security, not to mention the possibility of lost luggage or other travel-related difficulties. But perhaps the biggest drawback is the downtime that is involved. There is so much waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for your flight. Waiting to pick up your luggage. All on top of the time you spend sitting on the airplane to get where you are going. It’s not unusual to end a day of travel feeling as though you have accomplished nothing other than getting from Point A to Point B. But air travel days don’t have to be wasted days. With a little intentionality you can make sure they are productive days.
The time lost to traveling is time you’ll never get back. That’s why it’s important to redeem as much of it as you can. Here are eight ways to make the most of your travel time:
- Get an aisle seat. If possible, book an aisle seat. You will have more room, be more comfortable, and be able to get to the restroom more easily. While none of these factors has a direct impact on your productivity, the more comfortable you are the more likely you will be able to focus and get some things done.
- Eat light. Eating a heavy meal before boarding will inevitably leave you feeling groggy on the plane. Instead, eat lightly before the flight. You will hav more energy to devote to your work.
- Use wait time to connect with people. Have a list ready of people you need to call or text, and then check off as many as you can while you wait in the boarding area.
- Don’t be afraid to nap. Many pastors are consistently sleep-deprived. There is nothing wrong with using a portion of flight to catch up on some sleep. Just remember that, in most cases, a forty-five minute nap is all you need in order to feel refreshed. Any longer than that and you are likely to wake up feeling groggier than when you started your nap.
- Catch up on reading. Make sure you have a few books with you. In fact, we recommend that you don’t go anywhere without a book. You can take advantage of even small increments of downtime to catch up on a little reading.
Rather than viewing plane time as wasted time, start focusing on the opportunity it affords you to get some things accomplished that you otherwise wouldn’t. For renegade pastors there is no such thing as wasted time. With the right mindset and preparation, time spent traveling can be time used for God’s glory.
– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman
The above excerpt is from pgs. 132-133 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Time Management.
Time is your most important God-given resource no matter how hard you work, you can’t make a day last longer than twenty-four hours. By mastering a set of proven time-management principles, you can regain control of your life. It is possible to manage your time so that you can stay on top of the never-ending demands of being a pastor, nurture your congregation, spend quality time with your family, and take care of your physical and emotional needs. Become the pastor God has called you to be.
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