Keys to Work-Life Balance: Part 3

Categories: Christian Business Leadership, Money, Organizational Culture, Strategy

The ROI of Time

If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

We tend to think that what we reap from our business depends on how much time and effort we put into it. This misconception is rooted in our prideful notion that we are our source of success and that we prosper because of our intelligence and strength. As the true Owner and Source, though, God is responsible for what results flow from His direction.

Vocational diligence for you may be 45 hours per week. This is the amount of time God requires you to provide to your business. Let’s assume, however, you currently work 90 hours per week. What return do you suppose you earn from the extra 45 hours invested? Despite any financial gains, profit isn’t the sole metric for success. Even if it were, delegating the work performed in those extra hours might have produced the same, or better, results. Because those 45 hours have taken away from other priorities, there’s actually a net eternal loss. (See our previous article in this series on God’s priorities.) 

Poor delegation is certainly a top culprit for work-life imbalance and it inhibits leaders from performing vital functions. (If you’re a CEO, see our 9 must-do roles of a Christian CEO.) Unfortunately, most of us are too engaged in tasks like closing sales, ensuring deliveries, reacting to daily communication, or other tactics that satisfy us emotionally but occur at the expense of the critical matters entrusted to us. 

In 2018, multiple publications wrote about the findings of two Harvard Business School researchers who examined the habits of 27 CEOs for 13 weeks. At the time, the leaders spent their time as follows.

The average CEO worked:

– 9.7 hours per weekday

– 3.9 hours on weekend days

–  70% of vacation days

– 62.5 hours per week

– 37 meetings

Percent of time spent:

– 36% in reactive mode

– 24% on electronic communications

– 15% on phone 

3% with customers

3% with investors

Considering all the changes to workplace dynamics we have experienced in the last couple of years, what might a fresh study reveal about the time management of CEOs and business executives today? Do you find yourself on electronic devices more often than before because of blurred work-from-home boundaries? Are you burdened by trying to overcome marketplace constraints and maintaining payroll? COVID may have canceled vacations and postponed extracurriculars. How did we reinvest that newfound time—back into the business, teetering the “work” side of the scale, or into other replenishing “life” rhythms? 

As Christians, we believe we only get one chance at getting it right. We learn as we go and we can learn much from one another. One C12 member, Don Ventling, President at Landform, looks back on years of working 

C12 Member Don Ventling embraces diligence and trusts God for the results.

C12 Member Don Ventling embraces diligence and trusts God for the results.

Integrated Application

Although God establishes distinctly different roles and priorities for us, they aren’t independent of one another. For example, our relational time with God can occur while studying and worshiping with our church or work colleagues. Family time can be spent talking and thinking about our ministry and work. We don’t live neatly compartmentalized lives. Synergy and integration of God’s priorities can still reflect His order.

God wants us to have proper balance in our lives more than we do. Gaining insight in this area of our lives requires one-on-one time with our Father, asking Him to reveal necessary adjustments. David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). He defines what diligence and balance looks like for each of us. The challenge is for us to accept and obey what He says, so we will hear those six words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” What is the next step you need to take to be a diligent leader and steward of your time and priorities?

Vital Signs

Do you struggle with finding a healthy balance between all of the responsibilities that come with being a leader? Each month in C12 Business Forums, we assess the various dimensions of our life and leadership and share with our peers where we want to celebrate progress and where we need counsel.