Two Simple Questions That Save You Time

Greetings from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It's 55 degrees here this morning. The high temperature will be 75 degrees.

Back home in Athens, Georgia it's going to be 97 degrees today.

So it's pretty dumb of me to be in my hotel room sending this to you.

I should be outside soaking this all in.

But I wanted to help you with something.

Two Simple Questions

You're wasting valuable time - probably somewhere between 4-8 hours a week - because you never ask two simple questions:

  1. Can I live without learning this right now?
  2. Will learning this right now create more time for me later?

Now let me back up the dump truck for a minute.

Here's What I Know About You

You like to learn things.

You read and listen and watch. You learn. 

And you spend a lot of time reading and listening and watching. Learning.

And a good bit of that time is wasted. For pastors, I guess somewhere between 4-8 hours a week.

Because you're learning just to learn.

You're not problem-solving or sermon prepping or strategic planning.

You're just...information gathering. 

And I have no problem if you just want to learn stuff.

But I keep hearing that you're busy.

That you feel like a hamster on a wheel.

That you cannot find time to get everything done that you need to get done.

But I'm telling you that you can make time for what matters most.

You can free up 4-8 hours a week.

Just by asking two simple questions:

  1. Can I live without learning this right now?
  2. Will learning this right now save me time later?

Asking those questions gives you permission to eliminate anything and everything that is not significant.

Asking those questions gives you the focus you need to get the results you want.

It brings clarity to your sermon prep.

And it blocks out distractions as you solve real problems at home and in your church.

I Am Failing Acton University

Here's what made me think about this for you.

As I said, I'm in Grand Rapids.

I'm here for an event called Acton University.

You can read more about it here.

Lots of smart people talking smartly about a lot of smart things.

You can get an idea of what I mean by looking at this.

There are dozens of interesting classes that I can be part of.

And I have not gone to a single one of them.

Wanna know why?

Because they didn't make it through the filter of those two questions.

Which makes you wonder why I'm here in the first place.

Pretty simple.

I'm starting a new initiative that helps college students integrate their faith and their work.

And there is a lot of work to do. 

Questions to be asked.

Conversations to be had.

Decisions to be made.

Getting this off the ground is my entire focus this week.

And anything and everything that gets in the way of that gets set aside.

Not because it's not urgent and important.

But because it simply is not significant.

I can live without being in those rooms.

Thankfully those lectures are being recorded.

When I need to listen, I can go and learn. Someday. But not today.

I am giving myself permission to learn something when I need to learn it.

And I would love for you to give yourself that same permission.

Do The Next Right Thing

Before you pick up that next book. Or listen to another podcast. Or watch another video. Or go to one more conference.

Ask these two questions:

  1. Can I live without learning this right now?
  2. Will learning this right now make more time for me later?

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