Leadership in Context Episode 17 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Time Stewardship, part 1
There is a good chance that you would say you are busy. Most of us are. But having a busy mindset is one of the things that will zap your mental, spiritual, and emotional energy and will keep you from being productive.
So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.Psalm 90:12
This passage is interesting. God had shown His displeasure with His followers’ stewardship of time. This verse is a prayer on behalf of the Israelites. They don’t want God to be angry at them anymore…“so teach us to number our days.” They are asking God to help them assign their days.
As the new year is starting and we are planning our calendar, how will 2019 look different from 2018? It’s as simple and as difficult as this: Assign your days. Just like you assign your money. You take $5 out of your wallet, and you assign it to this. You take out $20, and assign it to that. You give money a particular job to accomplish. We need to give our days particular jobs to accomplish.
The Lord has taught me that every day, He deposits 24 hours into my bank account. No more; no less. Rich people don’t get more. Smarter people don’t get more. Old people don’t get more. Young people don’t get less. Everyone gets the same amount. It’s the one thing we are all given completely equal.
Managing our time, or allowing the Lord to managing His time through us, is one of the keys to stewardship. God invented time so that man could measure himself. God is eternal. There are no clocks in heaven. Clocks are here on earth so we can measure our progress. We are only given so many years, so many hours, so many breaths.
Where do you start? Go back to the Scripture: “…teach us to number our days...” Start numbering your days. What does that look like for someone who has a lot going on in their life? It means breaking it down into bite-size pieces.
I have heard from many leaders: “My life is so confusing. My life is so unscripted. My life has so many things happening that I have no control over. It is really hard for me to have a schedule.” That is exactly backwards. That is why you needto have a schedule. The more variation you have in your life, the more disciplined you have to be with setting schedules.
Will your schedule be interrupted? Absolutely! But you know exactly where it was interrupted, and you can go back and pick up where you left off. Many good leaders have good intentions to get to things, but because they are not on a schedule (and they get interrupted), they never go back to that very place where they were lost—many things don’t get done.
Let’s Look at a Day
I heard a great salesman one time talk about how he divided his day into four categories. This is great, bite-sized thinking. (Note: Not all of the time is equal. He looked at the efficiency of time and broke it up accordingly.)
Things that happen before 10am: He believed that it was important to get something tangible done before 10am.
10am-12pm: He found that was some of his best productive hours. There was high-energy, focus, and a lot of movement.
12pm-3pm: A large chunk of time to knock a lot out.
3pm-5pm: The end of the day. (That, of course, isn’t counting evenings, which in ministry is where a lot happens.)
As a top salesman in his company, he found that if he could make three cold calls in each of those categories, he would get in 12 calls a day. So no matter how busy he was, he made 12 calls a day. He stuck to that discipline. For years and years, he was a top performer that not only kept repeat customers, but brought in new ones. All he did was make three calls in each of those four time slots on a regular basis. (That’s 60 calls a week and 240 calls a month.) This takes a large task—making 240 calls a month—and breaks it down so that you are not exhausted by it.
I was recently talking with a friend of mine. He is very successful and has a lot going on. He was telling me about all that he had to get done and how overwhelming it was. I suggested that he just pick a day the following week and knock it out. If he got interrupted, then he could just push a few of those things to the next day. The truth was that all of the things he needed to accomplish being spread out over a long period of time was emotionally draining. Having a plan to have an assigned time to get it done accomplished much and freed him from the overwhelming exhausting of just thinking about it.
Break Down Your Days
To many of my pastor friends, I always recommend having a few days where you do certain things. For example:
Monday: Sunday debriefs, meet with leaders
Tuesday: Message research
Wednesday: Finalize message
Tuesday and Thursdays: When I was pastoring, these were the days when I would meet with people. Not for crisis purposes, but proactively. (I would pack them in—sometimes as many as 5 or 6 back-to-back. You really should only need 30min to 1 hour per person.)
Stop being a time spender. Stop spending time, and start being a time investor. Investors look at something and understand that if they make an investment today, that investment will allow them to have something to spend down the road. We all have to spend time. There are things we have to do—not all things that we love, like cutting the grass or changing the oil. If we invest enough time into the things we have to do, that will give us time to spend that will not hurt our time budget.
Look at your calendar. Schedule out the things you need to do and when you are going to do them. When God was angry at the Israelites for not being good stewards, their prayer was “teach us to number our days…so we might incline our heart to wisdom.” One of the signs of wisdom is that you are an efficient leader with an efficient schedule. You know how to say “yes;” you know how to say “no.” You are not reacting all of the time. You are leading. Proper accounting leads to proper wisdom.
This week, you have 7 days. No more and no less. You have 24 hours in each day. And each one of those hours has 60 minutes. That is the way it works. It will never change. You have to adapt to that and work within that. Begin to look at your schedule, and change your mentality from “when I get around to it” to taking charge of your hours and planning them out. Don’t get around to things; make things happen.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!