productive pastor

On the third episode of The Productive Pastor Podcast we tackle the topic of priorities and their place in your weekly routine.

I have found my week runs smoother and I feel I have accomplished more when I consistently am able to work within my priorities. Every part of this episode, from The List to the Toolbox focuses on what it means to routinely accomplish priorities and how this action gives us more time for what we care about and what we are most effective at.

The list:
7 Secrets To Becoming Far More Productive With Your Time: Carey Nieuwhof

An Unconventional Approach to Jumpstarting Your Productivity: Vincent Nguyen

How To Form A Healthy Schedule and Actually Schedule Health: 200 Churches Podcast with Dave Jacobs


5 Steps to Building a Priority Based Schedule:

1. Scripture and Prayer.
The most important part of your schedule is regular scripture and prayer. This must be the cornerstone you schedule everything else around. If this is only happening during teaching preparation you will not be able to adequately be the spiritual leader you are called to be.

2. Your focuses points and goals.
If you can’t rattle off your top 3 priorities at any given moment you will struggle to accomplish anything. Focus brings clarity and clarity brings about completion.

You can designate these privately or (I suggest) with a board or committee. These goals need to be public and measurable goals focusing on a specific objective. Focused energy is what you are shooting for here.

3. The Job at Hand.
There will be tasks you need to do but do not fit in your priority area. Some of these might be recurring or one time items. They need to be done but do not get priority status. I find it easiest to just block out chunks of time and do these all at the same time. This is what some of us call busy work.

4. The things that matter to you the most.
You might have a project that isn’t currently on your priority list but matters deeply to you. For me, I put sermon preparation in this. It gets a big block of my time and is related to my priorities, but isn’t a specific measurable goal.

This podcast is another one of those projects. I make the time for it because it matters to me.

5. Margin.
Give yourself margin. This means time to relax, to think or read as well as time to makeup work when you find yourself in the time bomb. When you schedule margin intentionally you will always have the time to get things done.

My Weekly Schedule


I like to block out my time as well as realize certain days will be geared towards certain tasks. If you look, my Tuesdays are almost all given over to meetings. I try to get some prep in towards the end of the day, but I realize this normally doesn’t happen. I let Wednesdays and Thursdays be directed towards more study work, but I also build in discretionary (or margin) time. These are the blocks I am able to make things up. This is a really broad idea of a week and this schedule morphs every few months. This is probably the 5th revision of my weekly schedule.

Our toolbox tip this episode comes from my Dad, Dr. B. David Brooks of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, La. He gives us a great, short idea for how to make sure we are consistently accomplishing the task at hand.

Thanks for listening to this third episode. Keep on using the #productivepastor on twitter and Facebook. You can follow me at @revchadbrooks on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram. As always, I appreciate your iTunes review and rating!