We live and lead in a noisy world.
For most pastors (and leaders of any organization) there is no shortage of people giving their advice, opinion and, of course, constructive criticism. Add to this a non-stop stream of voices on social media, email and text, it quickly becomes non-stop noise.
How can you get control of this and infuse your life and leadership with less of this noise? Here are 3 simple steps…
Take control of the Who.
Unsubscribe to all email lists, subscriptions, podcasts, youtube channels, social media follows, etc, except those that you actually use weekly. I have unsubscribed some incredibly influential people simply because my leadership “sponge” (and gray matter!) is already on information overload. I think it’s called “too much of a good thing.”
Take control of the What.
You can’t always control what shows up on your news or social feeds, who calls or texts you on your phone, etc. However, you can control whether you are watching or listening to these devices in the first place.
Deliberately plan daily no-device down time. Carve out time for study in the Word and prayer. Schedule time with someone; a family member or core team member. Keep all devices out of sight. You will come to love this time and the world will go right on without you and your world will vastly improve because of it.
Take control of the When.
Whenever possible, choose to do what needs done first and connect with who needs connected with before entering the cyber world in any forum. In other words, prioritize who and what matters to you and your team.
I’ll be honest, I check my email early in the work day, usually first thing when I get to the office. If someone has connected and I need to respond, I can put it on the list. Then, it’s time to disconnect and check in with staff and spend some time doing what needs done. Later in the afternoon, usually after lunch with some core people and some more no-device down time, I check my emails again and respond.
When it comes to social media, writing and scheduling posts like this and checking out whats going on with the few I actively follow, it happens early or late, but the day belongs to people.
Simplifying is hard.
It won’t ever just “happen.” We have to borrow from the wisdom of sages like the late, great Dr. Dallas Willard who said to Dr. John Ortberg, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” When it comes to overcoming complexity and quieting the multitude of voices speaking into our lives, the same advice holds true.
Need some more insight into this? Two podcasts that lend some expert advice on this area of personal life and leadership management are interviews by Carey Nieuwhof with Rebekah Lyons https://careynieuwhof.com/episode303/ and Dr. John Otberg https://careynieuwhof.com/episode307/ .
While you’re at it, check out The High Impact Workplace at https://careynieuwhof.com/hiwtools/
Hope this helps encourage and equip you, your family and team!