5 Secrets to Combat Wasting Time

Last week we discussed time, our most valuable, non-replenishable resource. Specifically, we looked at five ways we waste time - most of the time, without even knowing it. 

Today, I want to offer five responses to combat the five ways we waste time. I’ll remind you of the five points from last week's post, and then I'll offer a practical response you can use today to stop wasting time and start stewarding this valuable resource well.

1. Our Good Intentions Don’t Equal Great Intentionality. Therefore, Build Your Ideal Week.

We describe people who are good at getting things done as being good at “blocking and tackling.” Well, the way everyone can be good at getting things done is “blocking then tackling”. 

What do I mean? Build your ideal week. Here’s how...

Take all of the categories that make up your week: meetings, tasks, projects, self-care, pastoral care, message prep, writing, etc. - then block them into an ideal week and place those blocks into your calendar app. Your calendar now dictates what you say yes and no to.

Taking the step to act on this now equals great intentionality both now and later.   

2. Our Waste Arrives With A Whisper. Therefore, Make a To-Don’t List.

I know you’ve mastered your To-Do List, but how are you doing with your To-Don’t List? When is the last time you assessed all that you do in a day and triaged the things you don’t need to be doing? 

When you identify this list of items, you have 2 choices: Eliminate or delegate! If neither you nor anyone should own it, then just eliminate it. If someone needs to ensure it gets done, who can do it at 80% of the level you can? Train them to take responsibility. 

I’m not a betting man, but if I was I’d bet you could build a To-Don’t List of 10 tasks in 10 minutes.

If we don’t eliminate waste at a rate faster than it piles up, we are becoming less productive. 

3. Our Whirlwind Always Wins The War. Therefore, Identify The Wildly Important.

Do you know what the three most important things are that move your church’s mission forward? If you know them, what percentage of your calendar is protected for these three things? 

Remember, the whirlwind always wins the war when we are passive. What would it look like to give 20% of your calendar to the three most important parts of your work? That’s one entire work day of your week. 

Our addiction to the frantic keeps our most important work out of focus.

4. Our Scorecard Is Screwed Up. Therefore, Prioritize Your Days.

Remember, it’s not about doing more, it’s about doing more that matters. On a weekly and daily basis, we need to be prioritizing into 3 categories: Primary, Supporting and Additional. Here are the filters to use:

  • Primary: If you absolutely had to stop working after doing just one a day, which would you do?
  • Supporting: These support the Primary.
  • Additional: Necessary whirlwind items that need to get done.

On a weekly basis, set 4-5 Primary, 6-8 Supporting, and 8-10 Additional tasks you will commit to doing. Then each day before you leave the office, prioritize your upcoming day.

When busy is the goal, we can accomplish nothing and still win.

5. Our Aim Is Balance. Therefore, Find Your Rhythm.

This is the formula for peak performance: Stress, Rest, Repeat.

Here are four quick principles to maximize this rhythm formula:

  1. You must be drawing from and restoring energy to yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  2. You must appropriately use your energy, because it diminishes with both overuse and underuse.
  3. You must consistently push beyond former limits.
  4. You must develop positive energy rituals.

Does your work week aim to achieve life balance or life rhythm? Life balance tends to keep us away from stress. Life balance tends to avoid finding new limits. A strategy to avoid growth in your leadership is to avoid stress in your leadership.

What are the daily, weekly and monthly rhythms that are essential to promoting stress and rest in your spiritual, emotional, physical and mental life?


@@God has given you two invaluable resources: time and energy. One cannot be replenished and one can.@@ 

What are you doing to steward these two resources well?