Four Ways to Rock Your Semester

Sarah Ball Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning 0 Comments

It’s 2018, a new year and a new semester. It’s time to put our resolutions to the test (and maybe not completely fail this year). But with the new semester upon us (or already starting) I wanted to give you FOUR WAYS to rock your spring semester. Let’s be PRODUCTIVE. 

Your Planning Needs

Your life is busy, you have assignments due for school or work, projects, and lists upon lists of things to do. Do yourself a favor and GET A PLANNER. Planners are a great way to schedule assignments, plan out projects, write “To Do” lists for each day, and even plan for vacations and school breaks.

*Helpful Tip: Use different colored markers/pens/pencils for different classes/assignments/projects to create clarity within your planner.

Planners have come a long way since we were in middle school and your teacher would give you a free planner you would be required to fill out.

There is a great selection of all different types of planners at Target.

If you’re looking for a planner to help with productivity AND help you set future goals, I suggest the Heavenly Planner by Horacio Printing (Bonus: 10% of what you pay goes to support A21 and rescue women from human-trafficking).

There are also some great apps out there if you’re not a paper person. (Just search “planner” in the app store and you can pick one that suits you and your planning needs).

This planner thing only works if you are intentional in using it. Schedule a time during the week (preferably in the beginning, like on a Sunday evening) and schedule out your whole week and what it will look like. Create time blocks for how long you plan on spending time working on an assignment or project.  This will help you know how full each day of the week is going to be, prioritize the important things, and increase your productivity. And with it all written down you’ll never lose it or forget!

Now you won’t have any excuse to hand in an assignment late to your professor.

Check it Off

I don’t know about you, but I love crossing things off of a list. There is so much satisfaction in crossing off a task that you have completed. This brings me to my next tip: create a to-do list.

I mentioned this about with talking about planners; however, I don’t think a to do list in your planner is enough to keep you on track of assignment and project progress. I highly suggest finding a task management system that works for you.

Some people prefer paper, and if you are going to look at your planner every single day and have it consistently in front of you, go for it. That’s the perfect place for your to-do list. If you’re not that kind of person, here are some suggestions.

Two task management systems that I personally love are Asana and Wunderlist. Both of these systems are online, and are able to be accessed by your computer, smartphone, or tablet. This makes it super simple to access your to-do list, anytime or anywhere. The other plus of having an online task management system is that you can organize them by project, assignment, and due date and set up reminders to finish your tasks before the due date. So even if you forget to check your list, you’ll get reminders sent to you through email and the app.

All Those Notes

One thing I remember about college is ALL THE NOTES. I remember trying to manually organize them in different folders on my computers which ultimately took up time that I could have been working on a paper to write, or an assignment I had due. It wasn’t until my senior year at Elim where I discovered apps like Evernote and OneNote.

Evernote can be accessed by both Mac and PC, where OneNote is more compatible with PC, but I was able to download it to my Mac through the App Store. I really like how these apps are organized because you can have different notebooks for different classes, and organize your notes by topic, unit, or basically whatever works for you, but it is all in one place – no more fishing around on my computer for documents!

I highly suggest looking into this if you are a computer note-taker. And if you’re a handwritten note-taker, more power to you (I just can’t write as fast as people talk).

Let’s Talk About Emails

Personally, I feel that your inbox is very important for you to feel like you have your life together. When I have more than 20 emails, I feel as though my life is spinning out of control until I delete all of them.

I know some emails are important to keep, BUT DO NOT KEEP THEM IN YOUR INBOX. I used to keep event reminders in my inbox thinking I could look back and see all the information if needed. But you know what? I never did. I let it just sit in my inbox until 2 months went by and then I finally deleted it because the event had already passed.

What to do with Emails: 
  • Emails about an event, an important date coming up, etc: PUT IT IN YOUR PLANNER. That’s what your planner is there for.
  • Emails about assignment details, or anything pertaining to a class: PUT IT IN YOUR PLANNER. It will help you remember when you’re working on that particular assignment. 
  • Emails with personal, important information you need to keep: DOWNLOAD IT. If you save it to your computer, you’ll never lose it. 
  • Emails about questions: RESPOND TO IT ASAP.

This will clear out the clutter of your inbox and make you feel like a more productive person (because you, my friend, are very productive).

 

Let’s be productive together this semester!

About the Author

Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball graduated from Elim Bible Institute and College with a degree in Theological and Biblical Studies with a focus in ministry. It was at Elim where Sarah knew she had a passion for ministry and college students through the exposure of BASIC. In June of 2017 Sarah joined on staff with BASIC along with her husband, Elijah.

leaders

Leaders Lead People

Anna Marie Magyar Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds” -Proverbs 27:23

If you have just read the title of this blog and are thinking “Well, duh!” you are most likely in good company. Grab your cold brew, and let’s dissect this thought together.

Jesus lead 12 men. Yes, He had other followers, but these 12 did life with Jesus. They witnessed Him seeking the Father’s heart, doing the miraculous and unthinkable, restoring hearts, mending brokenness, and saving souls. They heard Jesus speak of the cross, and what would come as a result. Jesus said to the 12 He led, “I have given you an example to follow” (John 13:15a).

Jesus did not just show the men how to walk through this life; He taught them how to lead people well. Jesus gives this statement we see in John 13 right after He very humbly washes the feet of all 12 disciples. Did you catch that? ALL. This included Judas, who would shortly betray Him. Jesus completes His thought in John 13:15 by commanding “Do as I have done to you.”

So what does this mean for us as present day leaders? Do we start every BASIC or other ministry meeting by washing the feet of all whom we disciple? Not necessarily, though I do recall one leader’s meeting where our BASIC advisor literally washed our feet. It was a beautiful reflection of God’s heart for us through this selfless, and humbling act of our advisor. We shared tears (and some laughs) knowing we were so deeply valued and loved by the one who led us each and every week. Although this acted as wonderful declaration of our advisor’s servant heart towards us, there were many other ways she regularly demonstrated this (Check out the diagram on the bottom for practical ideas!)

I love the way Jesus interacted with Peter. Peter, much like myself, had a terrible tendency of putting his foot in his mouth; saying things he should not, and making bold claims he could not live up to. Despite Peter’s imperfections, Jesus invested in Peter and called out his giftings and strengths (Luke 5). Peter was often invited to witness Jesus’ miracles (Mark 5:37 & Luke 8:51). Jesus never stopped pursuing Peter. He never stopped loving Peter, believing in him, or calling out his destiny. Jesus never compromised the truth with Peter, rather He held him accountable (Mark 8:33). Jesus taught Peter how to lead and left him with one final command “tend to my sheep” (John 1:15-17).

I believe this is the same command Jesus gives to us. We are gifted with the wonderful opportunity to lead others as Christ led the 12 then, and leads us today. As a team, we have our different missions or goals, events to plan, meetings to host, and many other obligations. Let us not get caught up in directing task-completers, but in leading people. These are people who will go on to influence a culture desperate for a God who would humble Himself in every way. Let us lead in such a way that those who follow us would, like Jesus said, go on to do even greater works than we have (John 14:12).

Practical Ways to Lead People:

I. Know who they are, not just what they can do

  1. Invite those you lead out for coffee, or to play basketball. Share a meal.
    1. This can be done individually and as a group.
  2. Get to know their interests, dreams, things they struggle with, and more of what makes them individuals.

Note: When individually building relationships, it is important that male leaders meet with other males, and female leaders meet with other females. This guards each other’s hearts as deeper relationships are built.

II. Show gratitude, respect, and humility.

  1. Those we lead often sacrifice much of their own time and resources, as well as hard work while serving in ministry. Gratitude for this can be shown in a variety of ways including cooking a meal for your leadership team, or simply saying “thank you.”
  2. Respect is huge! Consider the tone of your voice and things you say when speaking to those you lead.
  3. Although we desire to lead as Jesus did, we are far from perfect. Show humility by owning your mistakes, and asking for forgiveness. 

III. Lead with a servant’s heart.

About the Author

Anna Marie Magyar

Facebook

Wife. Cat mom. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and all things Disney. I was a student leader in my BASIC group at the College of St. Rose and have continued to help with the group as a co-adviser.