productivity

Are You Addicted To Work?

Brief Overview:

In this last installment of our series on work, Matt and Tal answer five questions that church leaders should wrestle with related to how much they work. We live in a world that celebrates ‘the hardest workers in the room’ but when does our hustle become a problem? What are the warning signs that we are becoming addicted to work? How do we put Pandora back in her box if our schedule is out of control and our heart is out of alignment with the way of Jesus?

Evaluation Questions:

  • Do you get more excited about work than your family or anything else? Misplaced love is a symptom of addiction.

  • Do you take work with you to bed, into the weekend and/or on vacation? When work spills into parts of life not intended for work, you squeeze out critical components of your health.

  • Do you believe it’s ok to work long hours if you love your work? Would you believe it's ok to excessively drink or play video games just because you love it?

  • Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop working to do something else? If you get irritated when someone asks you to stop doing something, that’s a sign your body and soul is becoming hooked.

  • Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships? We dare you to ask your spouse or children...

You Are Not A Tetherball

Brief Overview

Pastoral The needs of the people we serve rarely fit easily inside of a tightly wound schedule. There is a level of flexibility that we must maintain in order to be with our people where they are, yet if we’re not careful we will find ourselves only doing surface-level work with little time and energy to focus on our best work. On this episode, we help you find the right strategy to focus on your most significant work and maintain accessibility to your church.


Big Ideas:

  • Distracted work is disappointing work. When you are distracted the quality of your work suffers. You were not made to multitask and focus deeply on your work. And while everything you do does not require a significant level of focus, eliminate distractions when you need to do deep work.

  • Different people need different strategies. Schedule deep work in hourlong, half-day or full-day installments. Use another account on your computer. Create a work environment that helps you focus and avoid distractions.

  • Great work manages distractions. Pay attention to the times of day and type of work when you feel frustrated by distractions. Use the ideas in this resource to develop and execute on a simple action plan. Don’t try to create the perfect plan - just take the next step and give yourself permission to make progress!

No More Saturday Night Specials

Brief Overview

We all know that having a schedule and keeping a schedule are important for pastors. But far too often, we don’t make the best use of our schedules and this damages both our preaching and our health. If you want to thrive as a preacher, here are a few ideas that will help you make and stick to your schedule.


Big Ideas:

  • Scrambling increases stress that damages your health. Forced, last minute sermon preparation increases anxiety, reduces the amount of time you sleep, challenges relationships and pushes time with God in prayer to the side. This is how you become a talking head.

  • Schedule your sermon preparation. Clarify the steps in your preparation process. Get each step on your calendar. Show up when that time is scheduled.

  • Schedule your sleep. Embrace your limitations and decide well in advance when you’re going to bed. Not only is this an act of worship, it’s a declaration of sanity. Your best work consistently happens when you get a good night’s sleep.

How's Work Going?

Brief Overview

Church leaders aren’t scared to work but struggle to do their best work. We feel guilty for not working harder, we’re frustrated that we’re not better at certain aspects of our work, and we feel like everyone else in our church thinks we don’t work hard enough. On this episode of the Five Factors podcast, Matt and Tal tackle those struggles head on and map out a better way to work.


Big Ideas:

  • The secret to great work is a leader who embraces their limits. Too many church leaders are always available, do work that belongs to someone else and are consistently distracted. Smart leaders create boundaries, priorities and focus on what matters most.

  • Audit your schedule. Make sure you’re clear on how much work you’re doing by tracking how your time is spent for a week. How many hours did you work? What exactly did you do during those hours? What did you accomplish at the end of the day?

  • Ask other leaders about their work. Ask five leaders in your church about their work. What time do they start and stop? How do they create boundaries, priorities and focus in their work?

#8: The Real Reason You Want To Be Productive

Biggest Takeaways You Don't Want To Miss:

Pay attention to your productivity. A Microsoft study found that the average worker in the U.S. wastes 17 hours in a 45 hour work week. Honoring our employer and the people we serve by working with focus is a surprising way to make Jesus impossible to ignore.

Be like Ike. President Dwight Eisenhower developed a matrix for making decisions based on the importance and urgency of a particular task. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize your most significant work.

Put your most significant work first. The vast majority of leaders struggle to do their most significant work because these non-urgent tasks get crowded out by what has to be dealt with right now. Taking time to schedule work on your significant tasks is critical to your success.

3 Reasons Leaders Fail To Reach Their Goals

On Tuesday, April 12th at 2 pm Eastern (U.S.)*, I'm hosting a FREE online event that will give you the momentum and clarity you need to reach your goals. This 45-minute master class will give you a way to:

  • Set ambitious goals and achieve them in 90 days or less
  • Measure your progress in achieving those goals
  • Make sure you're progressing towards your goal by building daily habits

7 Common Frustrations That Cripple Pastors

Let's take a trip down memory lane.

Do you remember how excited you were when you took this job as a pastor? You didn't go in blind; life is always hard when it involves broken people in a broken world. But you were convinced this was the place and these were the people you were supposed to lead. 

This job was an assignment straight from God. This job was how and where you were going to make a difference.

So what happened?

Will You Be Watching March Madness When You Should Be Working?

Will You Be Watching March Madness When You Should Be Working?

Instead of spending my time doing things that are worth $25, $50, $100, $500 per hour, you and me and plenty of other people will use that time and invest emotional energy in a guessing game where I may not even break even.

On one level, March Madness really isn’t that big of a deal. Most companies don’t crack down on employees, citing benefits to morale that may produce higher levels of productivity later on.

But on a more significant level, it’s another illustration of a massive problem that I see in my work as a performance coach.

You don’t know how to get it all done.

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