When you start a project or task its easy to get motivated. New things are exciting and carry a sense of momentum. But we don’t just go and do new things… we do things that we believe in… we just find it easier to do the new ones!
So how do you keep plugging away at the project or task when it’s no longer new?
Part of the answer is to re-consider the motivation that made that task exciting in the first place. Ask yourself (or your team), “What were you excited about this project before you got started? What were you hoping it would do?”
The goal or purpose of the project shouldn’t have changed since then. And that means the motivation to reach that goal shouldn’t have changed either.
So dig into the love that sparked the task, and keep working to use that motivation to fuel the task.
Before you can entrust big things (projects, events, sermons, etc) to someone, you want to make sure they have been faithful in little things (Matt 25:21).
We don’t simply do this to make sure they’re effective, or worthy. We do it for their sake too. It’s not very loving to give someone something that they obviously aren’t ready/gifted to take on… yet.
So what are the little things you give people to do?
It’s worth having a list of things – things you can say “have a go at this” without too much internal conflict about the results.
It’s a helpful filter as you’re looking at the different aspects of your life.
Some things are going well, and you need to keep doing it, but you don’t need to improve it. Just keep doing it.
Some things are fun and people want you to do them, but they’re not core and they’re stopping you from getting to other things you need to keep doing. You need to stop doing these things. Your only other option is…
Get better at it. If you get better at doing some of your things you might then be able to keep doing something you should probably stop doing.
But notice how, “Hope it all pans out” isn’t an option?
1Cor 3 reminds us that we don’t actually make disciples, we don’t actually make people change or grow. God makes those things happen, by his Spirit. But we do make decisions – that God uses.
I don’t just mean that we decide what we say or do. As leaders we make significant decisions about projects and people. Every time we’re faced with an issue in ministry, or an opportunity arrives before us; we are forced to make a decision. And that single decision will have a huge number of consequences and outcomes – many of which you can’t foresee.
This is an important aspect of GTD; it forces you to decide what your next action is for a project.
Don’t underestimate the importance if this. You are, by God’s design, a decision making machine.
What are the decisions on your plate at the moment?
What decisions are you putting off?
What are the projects that are just sitting there – stagnant – because you need to make a decision about it?
If you plan to meet with someone “as soon as you’ve finished the next step”, there’s little chance you’ll meet.
Whereas, if you plan to meet with someone “in 3 weeks”, you’ll meet, and there’s more chance they’ll have finished the next step.
Arranging to meet with a volunteer regardless of deliverables is an important part of communicating to them that they are more important than the project.