Managing Your Time: Develop a Top Six List

Developing a Top Six list ties into planning your day before it starts. Whether you are a list maker by nature or not, creating a to-do list of what you need to get done every day is an important part of good time management. But don’t stop there. After you make your list, identify and rank the six most important tasks. When you dive into your to-do list, tackle these six tasks first, in the order you ranked them.

I’m sure you are familiar with the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle). The 80/20 Rule holds that 80 percent of the results in any area come from 20 percent of the work. In other words, 80 percent of your effectiveness will come from 20 percent of your focus. Developing a Top Six list allows you to harness the power of the 80/20 Rule by identifying the 20 percent (or so) of your work that will bring you the greatest return on your time. You may have 30 or 40 items on your overall list, so prioritizing the top six directs your attention to the tasks that will be most effective for your ministry.

Creating a to-do list of what you need to get done every day is an important part of good time management. Click To Tweet

The Top Six list also helps you move seamlessly through your day. For example, say you finish the first two items on your to-do list, but you don’t have the list prioritized. You glance over the rest of the items, wondering what you should do next. At that moment of trying to prioritize on the fly, you are highly susceptible to distractions. A few minutes trying to figure out what’s next can turn into hours not doing important work, especially if you start dabbling with less pressing tasks.

On the other hand, if you finish the top two items on your to-do list and know exactly what numbers three, four, five and six are, you can keep moving forward. You can stay in a state of productivity, building momentum that will carry through the rest of your day. As you make this a habit, you’ll get faster and faster at completing your Top Six list, and then you’ll have more time to chip away at all of your less effective but still necessary to-dos. Again, plan your work and work your plan. You’ll be able to end each day knowing you were as effective as you could be.

– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 92-93 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.

Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.

P.S. – Click here to grab your copy from Amazon today!

Your partner in ministry,


Like This Post? Stay Updated with Nelson:

Share This Post

© Nelson Searcy. All Rights Reserved.

About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyLeadership