As a servant-leader you’ll need to realize that the people you serve have their own agendas and needs. One of their greatest needs is simply to know that you care – that you are there for them. As a result, response time is highly reactive.
Response time is focused on others – responding to their needs and processing the “stuff” that flows from doing your main thing.
By “Stuff” I am referring to the “debris of your success.” As work or ministry happens, stuff happens and things begin to pile up. You may be tempted to try and clean it up, follow it up, a little at a time all day long. This approach lowers the productivity of your results time and ruins the refreshment of your rest time. It’s far better to wait until your block of response time arrives and then do all the cleanup at one time.
Like picking up trash, you can do it one piece at a time all day long, or you can wait, sweep it into a pile and scoop it up all at once. You’ll get twice as much done in a fraction of the time and enjoy it twice as much!
In my schedule, I’ve set aside three afternoons each week that provide quality time just for responding to our church members, and especially to my leadership team and staff. I process and handle email, phone calls, staff issues, counseling appointments, and whatever else needs my touch. It is a joy to know I have some time set aside just to be available – response time that doesn’t intrude into my results time.
Now, you will notice that I reserve afternoons. This may or may not be the best time for your response time, but I chose it because mornings are the part of my day when I am most creative and sharp. Therefore, I keep my mornings available for results time to focus on my main things.