DCL 1.2 Instruction | Our Priorities: Today’s Priorities Give Me Focus
Given the choice, would you rather save time or money? Most people focus on money. However, time may be more valuable than money. You can always get more money when it is lost, but you can never get more time. Consequently, effective leaders focus on establishing priorities in order to get the most out of their time.
“Therefore be careful how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
It has been said, “Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.” We must learn to focus. The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. Truths we learn from the early church are crucial to maximise your priorities.
Video Presentation: John Hull, President / CEO, EQUIP
Biblical Case Study: The Early Church (Acts 6:1-4)
In this text, the early Church was growing, and it began to experience conflict among the members for the first time. The apostles step forward and declare their priorities, sharing just how they planned to deal with the demands on them:
1. Time is our most precious commodity (v.1). The needs of a growing population forced the apostles to declare their priorities.
2. We cannot change time, only our priorities (v.2). They looked at their options to compare and contrast what they should do.
3. Leaders can do most things but not everything (v.2). They used common sense and good judgment to discern their top priorities.
4. We choose our life by how we spend our time (v.3). They laid out criteria for how they would delegate lower priorities.
5. Priorities help us to choose wisely (v.4). They declared to everyone what their top two priorities were.
- How do you make decisions on your priorities right now?
Making the Decision to Choose and Act on Our Top Priorities
1. Ask yourself three questions:
What is required of me? (What tasks must I assume in light of my work?)
What gives me the greatest return? (What produces the most results?)
What gives me the greatest reward? (What is most fulfilling to me?)
2. Remain and work in your areas of strength.
You can discover your strength areas by listening to the counsel of others, by experimenting with tasks and by watching what you continually are asked to do. William Gladstone said, “He is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is wiser still who from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.”
3. Evaluate and follow your priorities daily.
According to a survey, only one third of workers plan their daily schedules, and only 9% actually follow through and complete what they planned. Too often, we do easy things first or quick things first or fun things first or loud things first, instead of first things first. This is the task of the leader.
4. Delegate whenever possible.
Leaders usually go through stages. They move from doing it all themselves, to dumping work on others, to eventually delegating appropriate work to gifted team members. By delegating well, leaders actually can develop those team members. This makes the leader even stronger. Peter Drucker gave this advice: “No leader has ever suffered because his subordinates were strong and effective.”
5. Invest in the right people daily.
Often, we find ourselves spending much of our time with problem people, instead of productive people who can advance the vision. Evaluate who you invest time in based on their value to the team, their strengths, their responsibility and their potential.
- What are your top priorities?
- What present tasks should you delegate?
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DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2.