Scheduling Your Discretionary Time

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Hey friends, it's Ryan and I want to talk to you about your time. Time is one of the most valuable assets that you have. We all only have 24 hours in a day. We all have seven days in a week. There is nothing you can do to buy more time, right? We all are given 24 hours in a day. Here's the thing, the more responsibility you have, whether it's at your workplace, in your ministry, at home, wherever you're at, let's say you're a pastor and you are a children's pastor, a lot of your kids pastors, right? If you're a kids pastor and you're given more responsibilities, or let's say in your Monday through Friday, you are given more responsibilities. Maybe it's not at the church, maybe you work in the marketplace somewhere and you're promoted and you're given more responsibility. The more responsibilities you are given, the less time for yourself that you are going to have. 

That's just a sheer reality. I remember a long time ago hearing Peter Drucker address this in his book, The Effective Executive, and he talked about how the higher up you go, the less discretionary time that you have and by discretionary time, he meant the time that you have to actually do what you want to do. And he said you have to be very, very intentional with the discretionary time that you are given. I want to spend a minute and talk to you about this, your discretionary time. Now remember the more responsibilities you have and the larger your organization, the larger your ministry, the less of your own time, the less of your discretionary time you're going to actually have. So with the discretionary time that you do have, you've got to be real, real intentional with it. Now here's the deal. Why do you have less and less discretionary time with more responsibility?  

One, you have more people that you're working with, you have more responsibilities to oversee, right? You have a lot more on your plate, more people pulling at you, more demands. And so I need to carve out some time to focus on the things I need to focus on and I'm going to tell you what I think the best bang for your buck is and that is to carve out chunks of time. 

Now, I've heard Drucker teach this. I've heard Jim Wideman teach this. I've heard John Maxwell teach this. I've heard Sam Chand teach this. I've heard all kinds of leadership gurus teach this principle and that is you've got to schedule into your calendar chunks of time. You can't rely on five minutes here and five minutes there and five minutes here and five minutes there. I know some high-profile pastors of big churches that work from home one day a week and that is their time where they have discretionary time.

I have one day a week where I'm not meeting with people. I'm not figuring things out. This is a time that I do the things that I need to do, right? I know some pastors and some leaders that  stay home the first hour every day before they go to the office. They spent an hour at home in the morning. That is their chunk of time, right? Some people choose to have their meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays so that they can have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to do the other things. There is no right or wrong way to go at how you use your discretionary time. What I want you to understand is that you need to be very intentional with your discretionary time and the more responsibilities you have, the less of it you're going to have because more people are going to be calling you.  More people are going to be popping in your office. 

You're going to receive more emails, you're going to receive more Facebook messages. You're going to have more things that you need to take care of. Now that large block doesn't have to be a day. It can be a day, it could be an hour or a three-hour window. If you don't schedule those large blocks of time, they won't happen. If they don't happen, you will suffer and your ministry or your work will suffer. 

Take a look at your calendar, friends. How well are you doing with your discretionary time? Are you scheduling blocks to focus on the important things that only you can do? Or are you allowing your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday to be dictated by everyone else? You need to own it. If you don't take control of your schedule, no one else will or someone else will. It just won't be you. Someone will take advantage of your schedule. You need to own it yourself. Take a look at your discretionary time. Make sure you have large blocks of time where you are focusing on the things that only you can focus on. It'll make a big difference for you friends. Have an awesome day.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank