As a church staff member, I am sad to say that I have wasted time at work. While I’ve occasionally gotten over-engaged in surfing the net, that’s not what I’m talking about… I have wasted time trying to “fix” people. I’ve wasted time on ideas which were unlikely to produce any measurable results [but they were MY ideas]. I’ve wasted time in meetings which served no actual purpose [some of which were MY meetings]…

However, the greatest time-waster at work – BY FAR – has been spending time on unimportant tasks. I’ve let e-mails and texts plan my day. There’s only one way around that… Map out your priorities. Do important work first. If you don’t, your time will be filled by the unimportant.

As a practical example, in a perfect world I would respond to every e-mail. I don’t, though. Many of the e-mails I receive are unsolicited messages designed to sell me things or get me excited about some initiative. I usually don’t respond to those, because time is a limited resource, and if I spend it there, it’s gone for the things that I really need to focus on. That’s true even if they are good things. In the church world, most of them are. But it’s simply impossible to support EVERY cause, to read EVERY book, to check out what EVERY other church is doing. 

Don’t be a passive bystander in your own work life. Sit down, map out what the truly important parts of your job are, and do those things – first. 

“You don’t put the problem in charge of the solution.” – Henry Cloud

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