Like anyone who has led for more than a few years, you’ve probably sensed that things feel a little more chaotic today than they did a few years ago.
You may wonder why, but think about the change you’ve witnessed in the last decade.
Your parents had one inbox. It was paper, and the letter carrier came once a day.
Mom and dad also had one phone at work and one at home. It rang from time to time, and when they weren’t around, there was voicemail.
So…think about it. How many inboxes do you have?
I counted. I have 11 inboxes. Eleven. (And I’m sure I’ve missed some…)
For the record, that includes text messages, a public and private email inbox, two Facebook inboxes, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype (yeah…I use it for podcasting), Asana and even my bank has a private secure message inbox (horribly clunky, but still, if they want to talk to me…).
This doesn’t account for hundreds of ‘message requests’ that come in from people I don’t follow or friend on Insta or Facebook.
And we haven’t even talked about people knocking on your door, swinging by your house, or sending you good old fashioned snail mail or stuff via courier.
Every time you look at your phone or watch there are eleventy billion people who want a slice of you.
Ever wonder why anxiety is on the rise?
Welcome to 2019.
And you know what this leads to? Chaos.
YOU’RE A SLAVE TO…SOMETHING
In an interview I did with my friend Frank Bealer on how to boost your productivity in high demand seasons, Frank so rightly pointed out if you’re not a slave to your calendar (scheduling your priorities), then you’re a slave to chaos.
I understand what it’s like to be a slave to chaos. As a leader in my 30s, as our church grew and the demands at home rose with two growing kids, I didn’t know how to respond or even weigh the growing number of demands on my leadership.
My terrible formula was that more demands equal more hours, and it was a recipe for failure. It eventually led me to burnout.
On the other side of burnout, I took some time to rethink everything and adopted some new patterns and strategies.
To my surprise, my productivity didn’t just improve, it soared.
As our church kept growing, I organized my life around a fixed calendar and started managing my time energy and priorities in new ways. Those changes led me to not only get ahead on growth, but to go on to write four books, launch a weekly podcast, spend more time speaking at conferences and events, and have more time at home with my family. It even helped me move exercise into my regular rhythm.
You don’t have to fall victim to the constant demands on you, but so many leaders do.