Shepherding Your Time as a Leader
Are you extremely productive at unimportant things?
We are so capable of being so remarkably busy we can fail to consider the true importance and value of focused work on the right things.
It is only through careful prayer and thought that we can hope to clearly see the potential value and impact of our work. We must think carefully to identify the changes and adjustments we must make to ensure that we are truly affecting change on the most important things.
The challenge? Shepherding your time.
The solution? Do a self-check. Consider how much time you have spent recently thinking about your leadership, your work, your values, and your vision.
In a world of work where there is always more to do than can be done, having a clear and comprehensive understanding of what you need to accomplish is more important than just meeting all the deadlines.
Everyone is busy today. Not everyone will be productive.
STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN to what God is doing through your organization in the lives of people, then BIG things will happen. Much of the work of leaders is the discipline of helping people pause long enough to actually see and consider what it all means.
- Zoom out.
Evaluating what’s truly most important with a clear, Christ-centered perspective results in the must-do’s being done. The second most important and beyond fall in step, being accomplished not at all or at least at its appointed time.
- Separate the small stuff.
Our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Times of stress and strain are excellent opportunities to evaluate your life as a leader and what needs to change.
Take action on the small things that really matter most. Protect yourself from being pulled into an orbit of other’s anxiety. Be a steady presence in this frantic world.
You can only do this by being clear on what the areas of your greatest contribution actually are to your family and your organization. Otherwise, you’ll be tossed and turned during the day and you’ll toss and turn all night.
- Embrace the uncomfortable.
Moving forward on big projects means you must constantly work to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Instead of seeking to get more motivated, I encourage you to identify the wall you feel is most difficult for you to climb over. Is it calling to schedule time with a donor to meet? Is it asking someone to commit and give? Is it having that difficult conversation with a staff member that needs to improve?
Identify the wall. Then pray, prepare, and take immediate action. The motivation will come as soon as you take the first step to get moving. Actions lead, feelings follow.
Ari Weinzweig sums it up well:
“When all the big business stuff is said and done – missions and visions written, strategies and systems set, values and cultures established – our long-term success still really comes down to this: the effectiveness with which we manage ourselves will almost always make or break the rest of the work we do. While it’s true that a once-in-a-lifetime innovation or a quickly implemented stroke of genius might brings us to success in spite of ourselves, 98 times out of 100 the effectiveness with which our organizations operate will depend on the way we work within ourselves. The better we manage ourselves, the better we, and everyone around us, will do.”
Let us take Paul’s advice to heart. We all run the race, but only one receives the prize. Run your race – your vision, your ministry, your purpose – in such a way that you will receive the prize!
I look forward to hearing how this post finds you and what you do with it!
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