In any situation in life we are faced with the reality of limited resources. We do not have unlimited amounts of time, energy or money. This leaves us with the need to make choices since we can’t do everything.
When it comes to deciding how will we spend our time or money there are lots of different factors that come into play. Examples might include things like, what will make us happy or what will help me achieve my goal. However, we are rarely so straightforward in our preferences and in reality there are a host of thoughts, issues and beliefs which impinge upon the choices we make. Since not all of these things are helpful to us we can often make bad decisions.
When a leader chooses what to focus on there are three questions that must be asked of any potential opportunity:
Is it my responsibility?
This could be as simple as ensuring that you don’t interfere with what someone else is doing. Is it really something you should be focusing on? For the Christian this should also include those things that God needs to take care of. How often do we, as followers of Jesus, run around trying to do God’s job for Him?
Can I change it?
This is a question about a realistic ability to make a difference. If I am unable to bring about any change in a given area, then all resources expended as a result of focusing here will be wasted.
Does it matter?
Finally, is it important? Even if the answers to the first two questions are ‘yes’, the potential area for focus could still be trivial. Given our limited resources, we have to focus on things that really matter.
The only things on which we should be focusing are those that get a ‘yes’ from all of these questions, i.e. the point where all the circles overlap.