The only successful to-do list includes this formula: Assign + Execute = Done.
What appears to be a massive to-do list is almost just that. Some of these to-do’s will take 10 minutes while others may have taken 10 collective hours poured into them by our entire NextGen team. The multi-color spreadsheet to the right is our master schedule of 3 camps happening simultaneously at the same location on one weekend: 3-5 grade, 6-8 grade and 9-12 grade.
Assigning. This is probably more important than execution. If the task is assigned a champion to ensure it is completed then you do not have to worry about the 10 minutes – 10 hours it may take to execute the to-do. Evenly distributing your workload for a huge task like winter camp is the only way to go. It should never be one person’s job. If the item is not correctly delegated it will most likely not get done or present a source of frustration for the whole team. On our to-do board, in each checkbox there are initials representing the champion of that task, most of our team picked their own tasks to own. This came out of experience in a certain area or a gifting that made that task more preferable.
Executing. It usually always takes longer than you think, so allow double the time you think it may take so that you can produce quality work and not simply just get the job done. I’m not only talking about your input or work on the project: take into consideration graphic artists, t-shirt companies, shipping+handling timelines, and room for error if something needs to be redone. Set some timers. Today I had 15 minute timers going to keep me on task to execute my current to-do so I could move on to the next one. In the same manner, when a team-mate finishes their tasks you should start playing dominos (let one person that is finished fall into another persons task to help them until they are finished so that you can speed up the endgame)
This is probably not far off from what you and your team does before a camp or retreat. In a project as this you will be heavily reminded the importance of teamwork, if not you may be doing something wrong. You might be able to lift a few heavy things but you can’t do it all. Learn that now and you will still be sane in a few years and perhaps even your longevity in student ministry will increase.
A word of advice: Don’t wait until the last minute to think out loud with your team and start assigning and executing tasks. It’s never too soon to begin a project, but too soon can turn into too late very quickly. Set dates on your calendar now for planning your next big event, set alarms on your phone, and reminders on your calendar for certain tasks. I suggest 4-6 months ahead of time.
Do you want more students at your camp? Do some forward thinking like some of your families.
If your personal and work life feel like they are overflowing with to-do’s try this exercise, I call it the “brain dump”.