Time Management for Clergy

Overview

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Thyme Tracker is a user-friendly tool to assist the Christian minister / pastor in time management.  It allows the minister to track the amount of time spent on a range of Ministry Areas and activities and hence provide an indication where their time is being spent, and importantly to provide an indicator as to where it isn't been spent (and perhaps should be).

By recording the hours spent on activities this free resource can provide an insight into the shape of someone's ministry and hence might encourage them to consider re-shaping their ministry and assist in the self-regulation of their time.  It is also hoped that it may go someway towards assisting in clergy well-being.

But, Thyme-Tracker can do a whole lot more than time management.  It can …. 

  • Provide a simple, easy-to-use way to enter the hours for each activity;

  • Highlight activities where a considerable time is being spent;

  • Record holidays, sick-days and sabbaticals;

  • Provide a monthly and annual overview of those activities (tabular and graphically);

  • Provide the Lectionary readings for each Sunday and major festivals.

  • Indicate the dates of key festivals throughout the year;

  • Assist in the choice of hymns (based upon the Lectionary)

  • Provide the time of sunrise on Easter Day for your locality (UK only)

  • Provide a Sunday Service Rota

  • Provide a simple way of assessing the shape of your ministry and how it fits into your wider life.

  • Calculate the key dates prior to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM).

  • Provide a simple Travel and Expenses claim form

 

To aid userability, Thyme Tracker comes with a brief user guide showing screen shots of the various features of the tool.

 

Download

Thyme Tracker is available in Excel and LibreOffice format, and the latest version (v3.1) of Thyme Tracker and the accompanying userguide can be downloaded by right-clicking on the files below, and selecting 'Save link as ....'

Excel Version LibreOffice Version

 

"The Role of Time Management in Clergy Wellbeing"

The above paper was presented at a conference Clergy Consultations at St. George's College, Windsor, UK in July 2019. 

A copy of the abstract is given below:

A life of a priest should speak powerfully about God not only to the worshipping communities in their care, but also to the wider community. But so very often this living witness is diminished when clergy suffer from poor well-being due to a greater number of roles and responsibilities that impact negatively upon their lives. This paper explores the role of time management and that it may be a contributing factor towards promoting wellbeing. Finally, a new tool, Thyme Tracker, is introduced that may assist the priest in providing a greater insight into the shape of their ministry.
 

The full paper can be downloaded here.

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Thyme Tracker has a Facebook Page here

All feedback is appreciated; positive and the not-so-positive. Click here

It is hoped that Thyme Tracker will bring a greater insight and perspective to ministry.

 

The Story

After one particularly long meeting a PCC member contacted me and was concerned with the number of hours I appeared to be regularly clocking-up each week and also that my time was being spent on ‘administrative tasks concerned with graveyards, church buildings, writing faculty applications, funding proposals, and the like’.

He went on to suggest that the role of vicar should perhaps be spent between

  • Mission and Outreach;

  • Leadership and Collaboration;

  • Worship and Preaching;

  • Pastoral Care;

  • Stewardship and Parish Organisation;

  • Personal Development and Spirituality;

  • Visible Presence in the Community.

Music to my ears !  However, I agreed to begin a simple audit of my time so that I might better understand where all my time was going. As there didn’t seem to be anything remotely resembling a smart phone App for clergy (plenty for those involved in Business), I put together something that would easily account for my hours each week; albeit in a Spreadsheet.

Well, a project began to develop and was then further developed into Thyme Tracker (pronounced Time Tracker). Why Thyme, you may ask ? Because it reminds me that I’ve a garden that I should spend time in (not just unearthing weeds but sitting enjoying God’s creation that occurs all around).

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)