Monday, December 18, 2006

Protecting Time Off

About a two-minute drive from my house is a new, home-grown little coffee and sandwich shop called The Music Cafe. Since I tend to visit early in the morning, I've been able to chat with the owners who opens up the joint at 5:00am. Sometimes he looks pretty ragged, which he explains with the fact that he is short on staff and occasionally has to work until close at 10:00pm.

While I don't think it compares with owning your own restaurant, I've found that working for a church that has its doors open seven days a week poses it's own challenges for keeping a reasonable schedule. Add to that the variability inherent in volunteers lives, the deep love for the people I serve, and the potential for eternal impact through what I do. It can be difficult to say "No" strongly enough to get regular time off.

As I evaluate the last year, I think there has been growth for me in this arena. And there is much room for improvement. Mondays are my day off, and I think I've done a much better job protecting those days for my family. It's just a guess, I but I think I've probably only worked two or three Mondays all year. Praise the Lord! That's something only he could have done.

God-willing, next Monday I'll write about how I've worked to protect Mondays.

For those of you out there with variable schedules in any field, how do you protect your time off?

1 comment:

Derek R. Iannelli-Smith said...

David, reading your post today, I thought it was something the Lord had been dealing with me too. Your article also relates to vacation time too. I have a boss/brother who is very adamant about me taking advantage of it this year, of which I am thankful. I would like to respond to, "For those of you out there with variable schedules in any field, how do you protect your time off?"

For me the first thing I had to do was put it on my ACCESSIBLE calendars so that those who were either looking for me or wondering, could look for themselves and see my day off schedule.

Second, I solicited others to assist me with my time off, and inadvertently, this has been a great blessing as they can "field" some of the needs and use discernment. A recent upgrade to our phones also helps in that we now have VM functionality.

Third, probably the hardest for me is practicing the fruit of the spirit of self-control and participating in a Sabbath.


Like you, I think I did a little better this past year than previous years. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I too catch up on Monday, on my day off, with personal touches with my Lord, and with a select few others. God is so very good!

BTW keep up the blogging, some of your blogs I have used last year to coach our Productions and Operations Technology Ministry Teams. Cross-centered and refreshing...when you get time of course - wink