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7 Practical Tips to Help You Stop Working 7 Days a Week

rest well

So you’re busy. Welcome to the club.

For too many of us, busy now means working seven days a week.

One leader approached me a while back and said the one thing he knew would change everything for him was to stop working seven days a week. The problem was, he had no idea how to do it.

My heart went out to him.

I don’t think I know a single leader who hasn’t struggled with working too many hours. And I know far too many who never take a full day off.

While I think overwork will always be a struggle for most driven people (it has been for me), I think it’s a rising epidemic for most leaders.

So how do you change that? I’ll share some insights from my journey and would love to hear yours.


First, two things that are simply true in leadership:


This may not be the case when you start. I remember beginning in ministry in some very small churches and thinking “how on earth am I going to fill 40 hours?” I actually called people to see if there was more I could do.

As we grew I never suffered from the problem of boredom again.

In fact, a church of 100 can place just as many demands on ministry leaders as a church of 1,000. Sometimes more, because in a church of 100 people assume you have all the time in the world for them. Similarly, in any field, an organization of 10 people can place just as many demands on you as an organization of 1,000 people.

You think you will make up for the demand by working more hours, or by working smarter, but that’s a dead end street.

So just admit it. Say it out loud. No matter how many hours I work, I will never be done. 

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.