So many of us feel like we are overworked and responsible for too many things. Having too many priorities keeps us from focusing on the things that are most important.
In coaching leaders who struggle with this, I often have them identify the 6-8 things that are the most important things for them to do. The question to answer is “What can I and only I do?” Often these 6-8 things have been pushed out by things of lesser importance. (i.e. Sermon Prepping vs. Bulletin Printing) How about you? Do you feel like you have too many things to do? Read on!
1. You don’t have to do everything yourself
What are the 6-8 things in your work that you are the best person to do? Many of the other things that are currently taking up your time could be done by someone else. Even though you may not have paid help, many things can be done by volunteers. Perhaps you are struggling to even identify what is important? John Maxwell once said, “You can never overestimate the under-importance of nearly everything.” Many of the things that we do are not as important as we think they are. There are a few things that are critically important, however. Identify the things that are most important and spend most of your time doing them.
2. Consider the value of your time
Unless you are an admin assistant, is it a valuable use of your time to make copies, buy supplies for the office, or update a database? If you are church planter, solo pastor, or small business owner who feels like you have to do everything, understand the following principle: If someone else can do something 80 percent as well as you then let them do it! In a small organization, you may feel like you do everything better than anyone else. But don’t let the most important things be pushed out by the lesser important. Spend your time doing the things that you, and only you can do.
Questions to ask concerning the things you spend time doing
- What kinds of things are you doing that someone else could do?
- What are the things that I and only I can do?
- Am I the only person that can do this task?
- Is there any better use of my time?
- If I train someone else to do this will it free up a lot of time later?
- Am I taking away the opportunity of someone else to serve by doing this?
- What are the 6-8 things in your work that you and only you can do?
- Make a list of everything else. Could someone else do some of these things?