Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2 Peter 1:10

In our final week of our series, The Preciousness of Diligence, we will take a little time to discuss some practical ways in which we can be more diligent in our everyday lives. For the last two weeks we have focused on defining diligence; being of zealous and careful nature in one's actions and work. We talked about what to avoid in order to remain diligent and what things we should do in order to become more diligent. If you haven't already, please take some time to read the first two installments of the series, as they will help you better understand the context of this final blog. Part One / Part Two

We've been following the definition of diligence, as defined in the anthologies Self, by Jess C. Scott. Scott defines diligence as such...

A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief and fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Budgeting one’s time, monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness. Upholding one’s convictions at all times especially when no one else is watching.

Last week, we talked about the three things that would enable us to be more diligent in our work. Those three things are:

  1. Budgeting Your Time
  2. Monitoring one's own activities to guard against laziness
  3. Upholding one's convictions at all times

Following these three principles will ensure a great level of diligence in your work and your leadership.

Today, lets talk about some practical ways in which we can be more diligent. We must understand that the scripture is paramount, but without works, it is dead. James 1:23-24 mentions that being a hearer but not a doer is actually doing a disservice to yourself.  Listening but not doing, as the bible puts it, is like looking in the mirror and leaving from in front of it and not fixing yourself before you go out in public. In a more practical way of thinking, its like going in front of a mirror and seeing your makeup messed up, but not doing anything to fix it. You are doing yourself a disservice, by not fixing yourself. So, take what is being said to heart and let's look at some practical ways in which we can fix ourselves and not do ourselves the disservice.

Time Management - There are twenty-four hours each day, one-hundred and sixty-eight hours each week, and five-thousand and forty hours in a thirty day period. That is alot of time. Not enough you say? It's all about how you manage your time. 24 hours to a person who has no control over their affairs is not enough time. 24 hours to a person who properly manages their work is more than enough. Understand this leaders, time management is exactly what it is, management. If you don't properly manage your time, you will feel stressed, weary and anxious; always feeling like there is no time. That is not the will of God for your life. Scripture says in Philippians 4:6 says to be anxious for nothing. Why would our Father give us things to do only to make us be something that he told us not to be? Confusing right? We must properly manage our time. Consider doing the following in order to manage your time:

  • Use Your Calendar and tasks App - Nowadays everyone owns a smart phone. Each smartphone is equipped with two time management apps that help leaders, like you and I, not lose our minds. So, don't lose your minds. Use your calendar and task apps to write out your tasks for the day. You may think you can hold everything in your head, but real leaders don't hold things in their head. Here is the reason why, their head is for thinking and planning not for storing. The more you keep hidden in your head the more you get off track, and the easier it is for you to miss deadlines and procrastinate. Here are some free task apps that you can use to be more diligent:
    • Wunderlist - Your beautiful and simple to-do list
    • todoist - Ultimate to-do and productivity manager
    • Click here for Top iPhone and iPad Productivity and Time Management Apps (NetworkWorld.com)
    • Delete Social Apps from your phone; Use Computer - Your iPhone can be your greatest weapon to productivity and diligence, and it can also be your greatest adversary. According to KISSmetrics Over 150 Million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices. The average person spends over 700 minutes on Facebook per month. Facebook has become so popular that if you spell it with a lowercase 'f' it makes you correct it to uppercase. That is staggering. The average person spends over 11 hours on Facebook a month. Don't be average. Advance!You can do without your Facebook and Twitter apps on your phone. Believe me, it is possible to live without it while you work. It is possible to actually wait to get to a desktop to post or read. Understand this, there is nothing wrong with social media. I love social media, but there is a time and a place for it. I know everyone won't agree with this method of diligence, but streamlining is relative. The way I do it, may not be the way you do it, just as long as you DO IT. Here are a couple things you can stand to delete from your phone to increase your productivity and achieve a greater sense of diligence:
      • Social Apps - Such as Facebook, Twitter (They are already on your iPhone anyway)
      • ESPN Mobile Apps - Nothing wrong with them, unless you find yourself glued to it.
      • Apps you never use - Old Games and social apps that are never used. Streamline your time.

Days off - Rest is not an option, it is a commandment. God rested after His work. You should too. Working all night and all day is not always a sign of diligence, but if often a sign of a lack of budgeting time. There are times where circumstances will have you working late, and there will be some times where you will have to burn the midnight oil. However, leaders who find themselves consistently and habitually pulling all-nighters, lack a time management skill. That is truth. It's all about your perspective. How do you see your day? How do you value your time? Think of it this way: lack of sleep is dangerous and detrimental to the body. Not getting enough rest causes the body to have to work overtime, when it should be resting itself. Doing this habitually will cause your body to decay earlier and therefore eliminate months even years off of your life. Working hard in order to enjoy tomorrow's reward no longer is the case for that person, because their latter years are diminishing with every sleepless night they get. Rest. And not just resting from the keyboard, rest with the lights off and phone on silent. Go to sleep. Take an evening off. If you are married, budget your time, so that on a specific day out of the week you are not working and with your family. Take lunch breaks and vacations. It's needed in order for you to enjoy that which you are working for. Don't make excuses, just rest.

Write Your Vision - This is very important and it will require you to budget your time. If you do not budget your time in order to write out your vision you will end up trying to keep all of it in your head and nobody will know how to move forward with your vision. Your vision is no good in your head. Write it out. Remember this, your vision is not for you. Your vision is written so that people will see what you have been given accomplish. Without it the best people can do is make an assumption. And assuming a vision is detrimental and unfulfilling. In every project or every task you have been given to work on, you should write it out. Here is an app that I use to write out everything for every vision that I have. It is easily accessible with an easy interface.

  • Evernote -  Remember everything with evernote

Remember to hold on to diligence people. We as leaders, in whatever field we are in, are called to a higher standard, and in order to get things done, diligence is something that we must hold on it with all our might. Proverbs 12:27 says that diligence is man's most precious possession; so hold on tight. Treasure it. Maintain your time and your budget your hours. Guard against laziness and fight off people who suck the life out of, life. Be diligent and advance.

Until next time, Advance!