5 Tips to Multiply Your Productivity as a Church Leader
It is productivity that gets measured that gets multiplied.
The number one problem of most people with productivity is that they don’t have a way to measure it. And many people are scared to create a way to measure their productivity because it would reveal they have not been productive.
Getting past the fear of what the measurement would reveal is the first step in becoming a high-performance person. Most pastors become aware of their need for top-notch productivity after several years of experience. But super-rich entrepreneurs feel the impact of productivity on the performance of their business very early. Many of them manage multi-faceted businesses and still have the same 24 hours in a day that everybody else has.
This article contains a few insights super-rich entrepreneurs have used to multiply their productivity through history. And the lessons are useful to any leader in a church organization.
1. The Sundown Rule
This is a rule set by the iconic and super-rich founder of Walmart, Sam Walton. His rule of work is to clear his desk by the end of the day. If there is still something on his desk he is required to attend to, he doesn’t leave it till the next day. He makes sure he attends to everything.
Most people would think that is impossible. But if the founder of Walmart can maintain that work culture, everybody can. High-performance people consider it laziness to leave work for the next day. The next day is going to come with its challenges. So it is better not to add anything today from yesterday.
The sundown rule states that your desk must be emptied before you finish for the day. If your desk is not empty, then you are not finished yet.
Leaders who empty their desks before sundown every day are more productive than those who don’t. This is because they unconsciously tend to do more. Getting things done one day earlier has an exponential impact on the bottom line in most cases.
2. Hire an Assistant
One of the key reasons why people have issues transitioning from a one-person management team is the thinking that no one can do it better. And it is an illusion. There is always someone who can do it better. If you train someone, they can learn to do it better. Your performance will not drastically drop because a significant input is coming from someone else.
Most people working alone are overdue to have an assistant. People like to believe that they can handle all the things coming at them. And it is so interesting because they start to reject offers they cannot execute alone. Why not just add a team member?
The best way to create more time per day is to hire an assistant.
All top leaders have assistants one way or another. Some do in the form of a secretary. Some do in the form of a personal assistant. In fact, many hire as much as 3 to 4 personal assistants. Each assistant is managing a different aspect of their life.
An assistant helps the leader to delegate. There are things worth doing but not worth the time of the leader. The assistants are there to take care of those tasks. And then the leader has time to spend on the high-priority tasks.
3. Decide What is not Worth Your Time
Anyone who has to personally attend to everything that comes at them will find it hard to be productive. Most unproductive people feel the need to be personally involved in everything about their business. This comes down to trust. Great leaders have learned to trust those they have delegated an important responsibility to. This means that what someone else is taking care of, they don’t poke their nose into.
There is an interesting twist in reality that if you don’t decide low-priority tasks are not worth your time, then you won’t have time for the high-priority ones. In fact, you may not identify the high-priority tasks because they will seem non-existent. But the moment you free up time for the high-stakes decisions, you would begin to find yourself getting more of that.
Productive people have a clear list of what is not worth their time.
Most people struggle with productivity today because they have not defined in clear terms what is not worth their time. Some entrepreneurs still do their laundry themselves. And that eats away from the 24 hours they have in a day. It looks so trivial but in the business world, every minute counts. What makes the difference between the real heavy hitters and the struggling ones is the extra time they squeeze in.
4. Make a List of the Top 5 Tasks for the Day
Some do a list of top 7 tasks. Some do much less than that. Some do as low as 3 tasks written down to do per day. But it does work. Most people wake up and start reacting. They react to life all day. They never do something for themselves. They don’t act. Everything they do is a reaction to someone else’s actions.
Super productive leaders decide what their top tasks are going to be for the day. Some decide that on the evening of the previous day. Some decide that first thing in the morning. But it is almost a rule that if you don’t decide on a list of the most important things to do each day, you will spend the best part of your day on things important to other people.
This is a bit different from a to-do list. Even though this is very similar to a to-do list. The purpose of a to-do list is to list actual activities you don’t want to forget to do. The kinds of things on a to-do list would be things that have great repercussions if you forget to do them. But a list of tasks is different.
A list of top tasks is a list of things that must be done. They may not necessarily be things you personally have to do. They are tasks that are progressive actions. These are tasks that take the business forward and not merely keeping it on the same spot. They are mostly tasks that involve several individual steps or actions to get done.
5. Complete Number 1 on the List before Moving to Number 2
Many who spend a lot of time working and have little to show for it, have a challenge with this productivity tip. They start 3 or 4 things at the same time and never really finish any. This is something that requires discipline. An uncompleted task is as good as a task that wasn’t started at all.
Of course, this is in the context of daily tasks. Business activities can get spontaneous and more than 10 things are going on at the same time. But for daily tasks, it is better to finish one before starting another. There is a fulfillment that comes with finishing.
Great leaders finish the first thing on their task before moving to the next one.
In productivity, it seems the simpler the tip, the more profound its effect. Unproductive people neglect powerful tips because they sound so simple. It matters what gets finished. When a task is unfinished and a new one is started, there is a high tendency that the new task will also be unfinished.
There is a law of laws in the area of productivity and high-performance. And that law says:
Get up and do something.
Great leaders start running before they strategize how they are going to win the race. It is easier and better to plan when you are already on the move.
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By David Olarinoye