If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, you need to learn the Touch It Once technique. It’s simple: when you see a small, routine, or mundane task that needs to be done, just do it. Do it in one sitting and get it out of the way.
Touch It Once is a rallying cry that will help you decide how to deal with any task that comes across your desk, whether at work or at home. It provides a boundary for analyzing every job and determining the best course of action. While simple, Touch It Once will take some practice before it becomes a habit. To get started with the technique, make these four decisions for every routine task that comes up:
- Decide whether something needs to be done at all and then decide if it needs to be done by you. Some things will cross your desk that simply don’t need to be done–so don’t do them. Let them go. And remember that you don’t need to do everything yourself. If someone else can handle it, let them. Release control. That will free you to concentrate on the things that only you can do.
- Consider if it is a repeated task that can be automated. If you can automate a task, the effort can save hours of work for years to come.
- Decide whether the task can be done in five minutes or less. If it can, and you are the best one to do it, then just get it done. Don’t let the little things hang around and become bigger than they need to be.
- If a task needs to be done, needs to be done by you, and can’t be done in less than five minutes, schedule it on your calendar. Schedule time for the larger things that are going to take a little more focus and energy.
This technique will help you gain control over those little tasks that come up every day, both in ministry and in life.
– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman
The above excerpt is from pgs. 94-96 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.
Your partner in ministry,
Share This Post