Day 3: Leadership Strategy 2
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
If God prepared good works for us to do, then we each have a mission! If you’re like me, a zillion things will conspire to get you off your mission. So, a few years ago, I built a mission-filter, mine has four parts, and just 8 words:
1) Love God
2) Serve April
3) Disciple Boys
4) Bless Others
If you’ve never created a mission-filter, take a moment now and jot one down. It doesn’t have to be eloquent or perfect – just capture the basics.
The main way I prioritize my time, is through this filter. Every time I say “Yes” to one thing, I’m saying “No” to another. I’ve learned how to say “No” to things that are outside my mission.
We only have so many hours in the day, so we must make the most of our time – in some cases, this means we should trade pleasures for purpose.
You may ask if I’m suggesting that you give up all your hobbies. Maybe you should.
So what? Hobbies are, by definition, things we do in our leisure time – who on earth has “leisure” time!?
I’m not suggesting that there’s no time for fun, but even that can have a purpose to it, especially if you include your family.
If you feel out of balance, like parts of your life aren’t getting the attention they deserve – dig deeper – look for the underlying issue there. We don’t need “equal time for everything,” so we need to sort through that. Most of us don’t need more balance or necessarily even more time.
We just need more clarity of purpose.
Gary Keller, in his interesting book The One Thing, said it like this, “In your effort to attend to all things, everything gets shortchanged and nothing gets its due.”
Let me share a personal story. One day, I realized I’d been hard on my teenage son for several weeks in a row. I was really “in his face” a lot, and not often in a kind fashion. I felt the need to apologize and to encourage him. I asked him to meet me at Starbucks.
For over an hour we talked about life, respect, maturity – it was super. You know what I wasn’t doing during that time? Everything else. Right then, he mattered the most.
Of my five kids, within the context of my marriage, ministry work, and everything else in my life, my relationship with that one son mattered the most for those 90 minutes.
I didn’t worry about what I “wasn’t getting done,” because right then, I was 100% certain that I was doing the most important thing with my time. That’s completely “imbalanced,” but perfectly content.
Don’t strive for “balance” – instead, get comfortable with always being in the “un-balancing act” of life. We are always intentionally trading off one task for the other, knowing at any given moment, only one can command our undivided attention.
If you want to be a Connected Dad, learn how to prioritize your time by filtering every activity through the personal mission God’s given you.