January 11, 2023

Drop the tasks that are holding you back
Are you feeling like your wheels are spinning but you’re not going anywhere? It sure is hard to stay motivated when you aren’t seeing results. It’s time to examine and drop the tasks that are holding you back. 

Written By Gary Reinecke

ICF Master Certified Coach, Resource Designer, Mission Strategist : InFocus

If you’re finding that you don’t have time to move your vision forward then it’s time to drop the tasks that are holding you back. I too have found myself in a situation where I needed to let certain responsibilities go so that I could focus more and more on the things that would move the ministry forward. Instead of building processes and delegating tasks I had unintentionally taken on more and more responsibility, until I found myself in a real bind. It left me near the end of my emotional bandwidth. I was tired, irritable and not enjoying life.  

Someone pointed the problem out to me and suggested I delegate so I can concentrate on doing what only I can do. Simple suggestion but complicated to execute. 

3 considerations when delegating tasks that are holding you back 

delegate that tasks that are holding you back

  1. Pruning – deciding what tasks others can do and then cutting them off 
  2. Releasing Control – delegating means you have to let go and empower others
  3. Grieving – you had a rhythm that worked for you, don’t be surprised when it’s hard to let that go 

1. Pruning

Leaders don’t thrive when they are spread too thin and the mission suffers for it. Warning signs include mental and emotional exhaustion and feeling spiritually dry. Readiness to prune is usually gauged by pain tolerance. When a leader hits a wall then she/he is probably ready to prune. 

Pruning away the tasks that are holding you back is the road to increased fruitfulness. Here is an exercise to assess what to prune. First, track how you spend your time and identify the top categories that are taking time. Second, ask the following questions:

  1. What can you delegate?
  2. What can you stop doing and no one would notice?
  3. What can you, and only you, do?

2. Releasing Control

There are a lot of motivations that influence a leader to want to control a situation or another person. The reality is that control is actually not an achievable goal. In very few circumstances can a leader control anything. Control is an illusion! And leaders who struggle with control are STRESSED. 

Parents who hover over their kids. Bosses who micromanage employees. Husbands or wives who gaslight their spouse. Coaches who penalize their players unnecessarily. Leaders who over work their team members. Struggling to surrender control is an emotional symptom to a spiritual problem.

Steps to Surrender control:

1. Awareness

Control is insidious. Often, it has a firm grip on you before you are even aware of it. There is no recovery from control without an awareness that it is a problem.

2. Forgiveness

Control is seeped in judgment and is often multifaceted involving skewed views of yourself, of others, and even of God. To truly surrender control, it may be necessary to do an inventory of judgements you are holding onto and process through asking for, receiving, and maybe even extending forgiveness to relevant parties (including yourself).

3. Change

Control will continue holding you back unless you change your relationship with it. And change is never easy. It’s best to have a solid delegation plan in place and then contingency plans to help you when control threatens to surface again.

Coaching questions to help leaders surrender control:

  1. What is causing your stress?
  2. How are you compounding your stress?
  3. What is a more desirable outcome?
  4. What new behaviors can you adopt?
  5. What are some things that you can do to make things right?

3. Grieving

Can you grieve the loss of tasks? Absolutely. Every single change involves loss. Changing habits means losing the comfort of a familiar rhythm. You established that rhythm because it met a need and worked for you for a time. But that rhythm is now holding you back and needs to be changed. 

Delegating means letting go of processes that served you well and entrusting them to others. It means changing your relationship with processes and with people. That’s a lot of change that requires letting go of what has become comfortable and maybe even important to you. It is almost impossible to move on without processing through these losses. 

Processing what is lost

If you want delegation to stick, it is important to acknowledge your loss. Here are some questions to help:

  1. Which tasks or processes are you feeling uncomfortable delegating?
  2. In addition to the task, what else are you giving up by delegating it?
  3. How has that rhythm served you well in the past?
  4. In what ways is that rhythm holding you back from accomplishing your goals?
  5. How is passing on this task helping in the development of others?

Remember the story I started the blog with above?   A year later I found myself with more margin, a group of people I could delegate various responsibilities to and in a much better place personally.  Bottom line – I was more productive doing the things that only I could do, gifted at and enjoyed doing.

NEW Resources

Christian Coaching Essentials

We’re excited to announce the release of our latest book, Christian Coaching Essentials!

In this book you will discover the power of a comprehensive Christian coaching process. With the purchase of the book you also gain access to a self-led online course and resources!

The Christian Coaching Essentials Cohort

Learn and practice the coaching essentials with Bob and Gary. This cohort is designed to give you a solid foundation in coaching principles and get you coaching with confidence. The spring cohort begins in April 2023. Learn more HERE.

Cover Photo by PAN XIAOZHEN on Unsplash

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

Not sure where your place is in ministry? Start here.

 What do you uniquely bring to the table? It might be different than it was a few years ago.

Considering a new ministry opportunity?

How many times have you heard leaders share that they are considering a “new ministry” opportunity? How to help with discernment surrounding transitions.

6 Steps to Responsible Money Management

Money is a touchy subject. But dreams need to be financed so it’s a topic that comes up regularly in coaching conversations. Here’s how to help your client’s align their finances with their goals.

6 reasons coaching is the best investment

Things are different now—and that make coaching more important than ever. Here are a few reasons why coaching may be your best investment in 2023. 

Sharpen Your Coaching Skills in 2023

If the last few years have taught you anything, it’s that adaptation is necessary and good. Finding the best ways to support people and teams in their personal and ministry development is an ongoing, life-long process. 

Are you running out of time?

You have so much you want to do but where can you find the time? Here are six things you can do to find the time to accomplish what you really want to do.

5 Principles for Empowered Small Groups

Are you struggling to find the right small group curriculum? There are a lot of great programs out there and you may have even tried some but if they just aren’t fitting your context or meeting your needs—what do you do then?

Coaching spiritual growth

There are ministries and even bible studies filled with Christians who can’t answer the question, “What is God doing in your life?” How can you help them jumpstart into renewed spiritual growth?

Coaching Groups that Grow Disciples

You see the same people at church doing the same things over and over again. They are faithful but they aren’t really becoming more like Jesus. How can you as a coach help Christians break out of a spiritual growth plateau? 

4 Ways to Build Redemptive Relationships

You want to see people come to Christ but there seems to be a growing chasm between the churched and the unchurched. So how can you build redemptive relationships?