LEADERS KNOW: Priorities

Productivity. Time Management. Balance. Effectiveness.

Family. Work. Church. Hobbies. Rest.

What comes to mind with each of those words?

The first line of words makes me think about the way that I spend each day. Am I being productive enough? Have I wasted too much time? Do I have the right balance between administrative matters, building relationships, doing work, and spending time with my family? Am I being as effective as I can be?

The second line of words makes me think about the different roles and responsibilities I have. I have a wife and a 9.5 month old daughter. I have a job that I work Sundays-Thursdays, some Saturdays, and some off-hour events like mission trips, all-nighters, etc. I go to church on Sundays (and happen to work there…so go quite a few more days than Sunday :)). I like to kayak, workout, play guitar, run, play pick up games of almost any sport. I value and know that I need rest, though I’m not the best at it.

When it really boils down to it, as a leader, your priorities are going to get the most of your time. Whatever has the most value in your life will have the most time in your calendar. Your calendar reveals your priorities.

Do you value work over family time? That will be reflected in how you spend your time. Do you value hobbies over work? That will be reflected in how effective you are at work. Do you value rest over church? That will be reflected in how you spend your Sundays.

It seems to be an American tradition to value over-working. Today we work longer and harder (with less productivity and efficiency) than most other nations around the world. Why? It is something our culture values. And it’s killing us.

We need to start rethinking leadership and work. It’s not always about how much we can get done, but are we getting the right things done? I can check a bunch of things off my list, but none of them may be the real thing that needed accomplishing.

The question for everyone-leaders, parents, young, old, student, teacher, male, female-is this: are you doing what matters most, or are you just filling your schedule with “stuff”?

Maybe you need to stop working and go home. Maybe you need a little less rest and a little more Church. Maybe you need a little less draining work and a little more time spent in a hobby that fills you up.

Figure out what matters most, what your priorities really are (or should be) and start making them a part of your daily schedule.

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