I suppose the very existence of this text contradicts the title of this post, but it's mostly true nonetheless. I think that my current schedule at this point in my life is perhaps the most time-consuming that it's ever been (and my blog is taking the biggest hit!).
A few months ago I realized that I was always either at work, in my car driving to work, or in my office at home...working (on stuff for my job or for school). I counted out the hours in my week and here's what I came up with:
40 hours per week for my job. It should be noted that I get paid for 40 hours, but I usually end up putting in more than that. It's just one of the perks that comes with being in ministry. I have friends who think I'm an idiot for working such weird and long hours, but I actually enjoy it. I love my job.
12 hours per week preparing for the early church service at Riverview. I'm privileged to be able to lead worship and preach at the early service at the church, however everything I do is strictly on a volunteer basis - it's not a part of my job description. Preparing a 25 minute message, getting the worship songs and other elements of the service together takes a LOT of time.
12 hours per week studying and doing homework. I started seminary this past summer, and I've been trying to go full time, at which I've been successful...so far. Most of my school work gets done at home in my office late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.
So when my week begins, I automatically take 64 hours right off the top - those hours are spoken for, and they are vital for maintaining what I do at my job and for school. But then when you throw in the fact that I'm a husband, father, and homeowner, things start to get difficult. 64 divided by seven days equals approximately 9 hours per day. In other words, if I worked seven days a week, I'd work 9 hours each day. However, this isn't usually how I spread it out (at least not ideally!). I try to do five 12 hour days usually, spreading out the work load of each area in each day.
While it all sounds nice, and it might look like I've got it together, things are coming a bit unraveled. I've been sick recently, and I think it's due to a lack of sleep, bad eating, and just being too busy. Also, my fuse has significantly shortened with my wife and kid. It's difficult to throw all of those things into the mix and still be everything to everybody (it should be noted that I realize that I can't be everything to everybody, but I try to do what I can however, even that is tough).
Something's got to change in order for me to maintain my sanity, and I think I've figured it out. I'm going to cut back on my school credits per semester. For example, I was planning to drive down to Sioux Falls for two weeks in January to take a J-Term class and pick up three credits. I don't think I would survive the trip. My wife (who's expecting by the way - oh yeah, add that into the mix too!) would go nuts being by herself for two weeks, my kid would have nowhere to go and no one to care for him, I'd have to take time off work and would get behind as a result, and my message prep for church would probably end up taking the back burner during those weeks - something I'm not willing to do. So I cancelled the J-Term trip, and I'm going to scale back the amount of credits I take in the spring semester. It's not much of a down scale, but I think it'll work Maybe then I'll have more time to blog (for the both of you who read this)!