Friday, July 22, 2005

In praise of deadlines!

This week has been utterly manic…..Meetings, journeys, end-of-term gatherings in both infant and junior schools, funerals, more meetings,- and I’m thriving on it.
On Monday, for example, I had to finish my letter and articles for the parish mag before departing for a meeting at 11.00, 20 miles away. This was followed by another meeting back here, then yet another one in sunny Gloucester. Thanks to chronic inability to keep a sensible diary, I also had to produce a draft “Families Welcome at St M’s” leaflet to take to the second of these meetings. So, instead of footling around for hours, I got the whole lot done, to a perfectly reasonable standard, in the space after Morning Prayer, and felt absolutely wonderful :-)
Yesterday was the same: with only half an hour at home all day, I managed to get letters written that I'd been avoiding for ages, and make 3 difficult phonecalls. If the day had been emptier, I might just have got it all done by bedtime, but only just…and I would certainly have chuntered loudly as I went along.
So I clearly need to build more deadlines into my life.
The question is, how?
I fear that I simply won’t take self imposed ones seriously, but it’s clearly not appropriate to leave everything till the last minute,- if only because there is so much in ministry that is long-term, rather than urgent…but probably more important than many of the things that are jumping up and down demanding attention.

I think I need a personal time keeper (who might also manage to persuade me to depart for a meeting in advance of the time I’m actually supposed to arrive…maybe). Meanwhile, you can tell that there are gaps in the diary today...I could be sorting out the worship for the old people's home on Sunday, but here I am blogging. Incorrigible :-(


Lorna said...


I hate deadlines. Mostly I do things as far ahead as I can so that I can avoid the stress. But that just means I make deadlines of my own.

Take today for example: I'm off on a sabbatical weekend with hubby and the dog. So I decided that I had to finish an assignment for seminary BEFORE we leave. And I did though I'd been fretting about it all week. Grrrrrrr.

I'll preach next Sunday. Since we don't use the lectionary :( I hope God gives me something this weekend. There's nothing very preachable on my heart right now. Lots of little things. Pray appreciated.

Daniel said...


That is so much like me it's untrue...

ToBeRev said...

I don't think any of us prioritize "correctly" -- whatever that means! On the upside, we can consider that women are better at multi-tasking, managing multiple priorities. On the downside, it make us crazy. Thanks for your nice words on my blog -- blessings to you too -- good luck with EVERYTHING you are trying to do -- hoping for success with SOME of it!

Caroline said...

same here - give me a day at work and i'll do nothing. give me 20 minutes and it will be done in triplicate with full attendannce notes and file pins. I still don't get the prioritizing right tho - the 20 minutes will almost certainly be spent doing things that are necessary, but not urgent...

jo(e) said...

Okay, I'm convinced. You and I have an awfully lot in common.

Caroline said...

Oh, I thought, goody 5 comments, there'll be some good advice to help me there

and what do I find?

apart from lorna, a bunch of other procrastinators like me


Songbird said...

My upcoming vacation was all the encouragement I needed to get things done today. Last year I was in the office until midnight on that last Sunday night before vacation started! Ack!!
This year I will lead worship in the morning, then do 3 or 4 visits with Therapy Dog Molly in the afternoon. Doesn't that sound more relaxing?

Emily said...

I just read your profile prayers (ENFP like me). I've managed to learn some over the years to get started on things ahead of time but the truth is even the most organized of us are still running around at the end trying to get things done on time. It's the nature of the vocation.