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"Where has the week gone?" This cry echoes through many church offices. Pastors, especially, know the frustration of trying to keep a schedule when people want to see them. If nobody ever comes to see you at the church, you're in trouble. On the other hand, if you're never able to keep to a schedule because so many people want to see you, you're also in trouble. My attempts to find a balance have led to a disciplined schedule.

I try to budget chunks of time in a weekly pattern. Certain hours are set aside for prayer and study, staff appointments, and administrative details. Other blocks of time are used for correspondence, compiling the bulletin, calling, writing, and committee work. A special effort is made to keep planned time for my family and relaxation. My planning sheet includes routine deadlines so new ones can be worked around them.

Many people might think this approach is not only unrealistic, but confining. Although any given week has never gone exactly as budgeted- any more than ...

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