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The 5 Biggest Time-Wasters for Leaders

Every ministry leader I’ve met is very busy … there is always more to do than there is time to get it done.

There are many things that happen in the lives of church leaders that can pull us off of our purpose or goals.

Here are a few ways I’ve been distracted from doing what I’ve been called to do in my ministry. I’d love to hear from you what time-wasters in your ministry are!

1. Trivial interruption or ministry opportunity?

We are in the people development business. We run into people throughout the course of our day. Some of these interactions are an opportunity for ministry, while others of them are just interruptions.

When you’re faced with a person that you hadn’t planned on interacting with during the day, you need to discern which category this interaction fits into.

Politely move on from trivial interruptions … dig in and minister to the people who need it.

2. Multitasking.

Stop fooling yourself … you can’t multitask. There is evidence that the human brain is designed to only do one task at a time. [ref]

When you trick yourself into thinking you are multitasking, what you are actually doing is just switching from one focus to another. Each time, your brain has to re-engage with the new task. A fascinating study showed that it takes 15 minutes to fully regain that focus every time you switch back to a serious task like sermon writing or counseling. Just “quickly checking your email” while doing other work is a productivity killer!

Do just one thing at a time.

3. Travel time.

A part of our role as church leaders is meeting people on their turf … we go out to the coffee shop to meet volunteer leaders … or we drop by someone’s work to pick them up for a lunch meeting. Travel time can be a huge productivity waste.

Next time you drive to the town down the road to meet someone, you need to do something else while you are in town to leverage that travel time. Drop in on someone else … even if it wasn’t scheduled.

Don’t ever travel to a location and only do one task or have one meeting.

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Rich serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at UnSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications.