I read a blog post on delegating that has some interesting ideas for busy RCIA team leaders. Sometimes the leader is the whole team, and there is no one to delegate tasks to. Michael Hyatt lists seven strategies for distributing or reducing your workload. I’m going to reframe three of them for the work we do.
1. Ask for volunteers
I know you’ve probably done this already without much success. I’m going to suggest you try asking differently. First, write down your most unpleasant task or the one you find to be the biggest burden. Then, break that task apart into smaller pieces. Try to break it down into at least three to five separate parts. Next, make a list of 20 parishioners you know. Now, with your list of three to five tasks in hand, approach each of the 20 parishioners individually, and ask them if they would be willing to do one of the small tasks on your list. I’ll bet you have your volunteers before you get through the first half of your parishioner list. If so, choose your second most unpleasant task, and repeat the process.
When I’m overwhelmed, the thing that calms me down the most is making a list of absolutely everything that is on my mind. Try it yourself. Set a timer for five minutes and write like crazy until you have everything out of your head and down on paper. Next, on a clean sheet of paper or on your computer, sort your tasks into four groups. Group 1 is all of your most important, most urgent tasks. Group 2 is all those important things that are not urgent. Group 3 is all the tasks that you need to do that are not critical. Group 4 is your delete file. If it’s not important, scratch it off your list.
3. Learn to say no
Really, how did those Group 4 things get into my head in the first place? I probably said yes to something I didn’t really want to do. An essential skill of an effective RCIA team leader is being able to set boundaries. As important as this ministry is, there are other things in our lives that are more important. Family and health, for example.
What do you do to delegate in your situation? Do you have team members to share the load with? Or are you on a small or non-existent team? How do you manage getting everything done?