Years ago, I served my church and the greater church in promoting and teaching stewardship. It was an enlightening and fulfilling experience with lay people and clergy working together to plan workshops and events. Ironically, the most arduous task was scheduling a date and time for our next meeting.
Looking ahead three months down the road for the next quarterly meeting, at least one clergy member would say their old pastor joke about putting something on the calendar. Sure enough, one pastor would quip, “I’ll be having a funeral that day.”
Think it about, there is no way that a funeral is scheduled that far in advance! Often this oft-told tale was employed to loosen up the group. Lay people would find themselves gloating on how busy they were. Clergy too would often join in on the fray stating all of the activities of which they are involved. I was an independent rep at that point of my career. I was reviewing my calendar too, but I chose not to join in on the raucous. I would sit back and marvel at this collection of well-intended servants sparring and being boastful of their overextended calendars. Most of this activity I am sure was true, but was it all necessary?
Planning the next meeting or event would lose focus, as the main point now was competing for bragging rights on whose calendar is the most full.
One of the most interesting times is a gathering of a group of sales representatives at a sales meeting. By their own nature, competition always seems to kick into high gear while quaffing a beer. Best stories, biggest sales, most difficult client, and the stories rage on. And again, it comes down to how busy everyone is. Calendars are packed, tighter than that proverbial can of sardines.
Sure, we have all heard the saying, “Plan your work and work your plan” or “failing to plan is planning to fail.” But STOP! Being overbooked, over-committed, and over-burdened is not going to do anybody any good.
Allow for “wiggle room,” leave some gaps in your day to allow for the unexpected. You know that that happens. The stress will lessen, your head will clear, and amazingly, and almost miraculously you will get more done.