Recently Kris Vallotton spoke to our local group of business people on success. The content was so good I had to share it. Here are some keys for finding rhythm in your life.
Think of your life in one-year blocks of time, not just one week. The longer-term view will help you develop a better overall rhythm in life and not just live reactionary to whatever is your current situation or circumstance.
Only a fool sleeps in the harvest (See Proverbs 10:5 and 20:4).
I have a friend who is an orchardist. He manages large area’s growing apples. During harvest season he works extremely long hours, is on call at a moment’s notice and has little time for other activities. This is the critical time when all the previous months management pay off big dividends. If he chose to limit his work to a strict 8-hour, five-day schedule then he would miss some of the significant gain due to fruit not being harvested in their prime.
But after the harvest comes another season. None of the other seasons require the same level of time or attention. However, if he worked during the ‘lessor’ seasons like he did during harvest he would shorten his lifespan! Additionally, if he didn’t work the long and intense hours during harvest, he would limit and reduce his income – he would be a fool as the proverb says.
LIFE HAPPENS IN SEASONS. The better you understand and know the seasons as a whole, the better you can manage and plan my rhythm from season to season. Rest in winter. Work in harvest.
FIND BALANCE IN A WHOLE YEAR RATHER THAN TRYING TO FORCE YOURSELF TO BALANCE EVERY SINGLE WEEK OR MONTH. For your overall year, was there a season of rest, a season of harvest? For next year, when can you plan a season of rest? When do you expect it to be a season of harvest – a season where you seem to be continuously on the ‘go?’
Here are 8 keys Kris shared to help you manage your rhythm in life and in doing so build towards greater overall life success:
- MAKE THINGS THAT CANNOT WORK IN OTHER SEASONS YOUR FIRST PRIORITY.
Prioritize what needs to be done now – with a year-view rather than just a day-to-day framework of mind. “Today” you will ALWAYS have more to get done than you have time to do it. You could always spend more time at the office. But young children are only young once. Your son has that championship tournament only once a year. Your wife’s birthday and your wedding anniversary are only once in a 12mth period. Make the priority the things that cannot work in another season of the year – or a lifetime. Prioritize your time with a view of what is most important rather than the ‘urgent.’ Do during this season what will give the greatest value to your time over the whole year or whole lifetime. There is a time to sow, a time to reap, a time to be still, a time to run.
- GET GREAT AT THE ART OF GOAL SETTING.
This gives you a sense of urgency and focus. The greater the focus the greater the power, or ability to get things done. For example, if you give team member 40 hours to do a 20 hour job they will likely do it in 40 hours. If you give them 20 hours to do the 20 hour job, they will meet your expectation. If you give them 19 hours to do a 20 hour job you will look for ways to creatively hit the target. But if you give them 15 hours to do a 20 hour job you risk overwhelming them, resulting in poor morale, demotivation and no result. Set lofty goals but ones that pull the best out of yourself and your people.
- DON’T REACT; RESPOND TO PROBLEMS.
Kris shared the story of a friend whose region was under a particular trade embargo. Where everyone else saw the problem, complained and had to shut down business, this man saw opportunity. He ended up adjusting his approach, and his business grew exceedingly during this time. Don’t just react to difficulty or obstacles; look for the opportunity. Within every problem is an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to expand, if we are willing to embrace change.
- DON’T LET OUTSIDE FORCES DICTATE YOUR SCHEDULE.
You determine your time, your phone and the emails you respond to and when you respond… YOU manage you. Listen to God and do what He said you to do. Trying to please people is a waste of time. You are not the savior of the world. Make a list of your priorities and protect them. What do you need to say ‘no’ to? Where do you need to protect your ‘yes?’
- MAKE REST AND EXERCISE A PRIORITY.
The Sabbath wasn’t a suggestion. And it wasn’t because God needed it. The Sabbath was made for man. The body needs rest. The benefits of daily exercise are widely documented, extending physical capacity and improving mental and emotional capacity. But agreeing with the evidence doesn’t help. Rest. Exercise. DO IT. Protect it in your schedule.
- PLAN DIFFICULT TASKS DON’T AVOID THEM.
Kris shared the most difficult task in his business was dealing with upset customers. He would prefer to avoid them. Avoiding what he didn’t like only came back to bite him later, with a bigger bite! He realized if he took one situation at a time and gave himself a reward afterwards, he would get difficult things done more consistently and with no negative buildup. Find an incentive that you will find rewarding for accomplishing difficult tasks. Rather than letting them build up, tackle one every day.
- ONLY TAKE CALCULATED RISKS – UNLESS JESUS TELLS YOU OTHERWISE.
Only a fool starts building something without calculating the cost to complete it. Take risk, but count the cost before you start so you don’t get half way and find you cannot complete. If you only do the things you can do, you will never do what you can’t do. Is there any evidence you are you a believer – that you have hope for a better future, regardless of current circumstances?
- KILL THE BAD IDEA AS SOON AS IT’S NOT WORKING.
Not everything always goes to plan. Recognize when it is not working and do something about it. Adjust, adapt, pivot or kill it. Admit you are wrong quickly. Really great leaders know when to quit. If you get on the wrong freeway, get really good at taking the FIRST exit off!
Of the key points listed above, which one do you need to do something about right now? What will you do and when will you do that by? Who could you share this with to help you stay accountable to whole-life-success? Who could you share this with to help them develop greater rhythm in life?
For more on Kris Vallotton, his resources and speaking engagements see www.KVMinistries.com