Every day, I get to do what I love. Create, teach, equip, resource, and encourage.
I could live by the motto: Eat, breath, sleep, repeat, when it comes to my vocation. Events, training, collaborative meetings, serving, new ideas, emails and social media messages seem to come as if I am playing a rapid fire game of Minute-to-Win-It.
It has never been my desire to create an on-demand life, but some days, I find myself fighting an uphill battle of firefighting instead of purpose making.
Looking back, an on-purpose fixed schedule is the only way I have ever accomplished big dreams, like graduating from college, writing books or running a marathon. When I finished my masters program a few years ago and had more space in my schedule I decided I would try an on-demand schedule (say yes to every invitation). I do not regret that choice. Saying yes to every opportunity or need is how I discovered what was next. It has led me here.
Over the last six months as God started putting bigger dreams of what was next on my soul, I knew it was time to put down the fire hose and have a calendar makeover.
That means this leader needs to quit playing whack-a-mole (thank you Carey Nieuhwof for the analogy), responding immediately to every need or dust bunny that appears and go back to an on-purpose fixed schedule like the one that led me to success in school, writing and running. If you are not already doing this and have a dream, I hope you will join the adventure.
Here are five ways to live a life on-purpose:
- If you feel like you can never catch up, you are probably right. In today’s fast pass world, email and social media makes it impossible to lead a 9-5 job schedule. Instead of trying to finish your to-do list, ask yourself, what is the next most important task I need to accomplish to reach my goal?
- Keep the mission in mind. Are the things you are doing today, leading you where you want to be tomorrow?
- Prioritize your calendar to match your mission. Leave space for yourself, those you love and for the unexpected.
- Value your time. Pastor and leadership coach, Carey Nieuwhof says: “The main reason people don’t value your time is because you don’t value your time.” Think about it: If you say yes to every water cooler conversation or Facebook post, when will you actually have time to do your job? Valuing your time isn’t rude. It shows intention and focus.
- Plan your fixed calendar a month in advance. Review weekly. This takes discipline.
Personally, I want to do my best with the gift of ministry God has given me and I want to be my best for you.
Living on purpose is how we offer our best selves to the world
When our focus is intentional and single focused, people will know we care.