It’s tough to swallow, but about 80% of all you do can be done just as effectively by almost anyone else, according to Wayne Cordeiro, author of The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior .  Another 15% can be done by someone with a little training.  No one else can do the last five percent.

The last five percent is what really is important in life. Only I can:

  • Be husband / wife to my spouse.
  • Be mother / father to my children.
  • Grow myself spiritually.
  • Keep myself healthy.
  • Keep myself disciplined.
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We need to discover and take responsibility for this last five percent.

This thought is motivating. Since it’s unlikely that we can quit our jobs to focus on the five percent, we must figure out ways to become really good at the most important things.


We all have the same hours in the day. The only option is to arrange those hours to allow time for exercise, spiritual health, and family harmony – things only you can do. Here are tools to regain focus In case you’re squeezing out the five percent:


Create systems that allow your life to become more efficient.  Use online tools for banking and buying.  Create systems for yourself to get to bed on time and up earlier.  Use systems at work to accomplish what needs to be done.  

A system, as Nelson Searcy puts it, “saves you stress, time, energy and money.” Systems can be as simple as where you store your files on your computer. Having a system – same way every time – can open up more free time in your day.  

Systems don’t have to be fancy. One of my systems includes laying out my socks and tennis shoes for the morning and having my clothes ready to put on.  

Coaching & Mentoring 

The world’s top athletes need coaches. Why? Because we all perform better with pressure.

Who is your coach? Working with someone in a certain area of life (such as exercising, finances, schedules, business, ministry, or whatever) will help sharpen you. Coaching can also be done online, through books, professional interaction, etc.

Organization & Administration

Too often, we find ourselves trading time for the most important things because our schedules and planning are disorganized. We must become masters of our calendars. What gets on the calendar gets done.

Leadership & Delegation

The art of leadership and delegation is a huge deal.  Learning how to work through others will be one of your life’s greatest challenges and rewards.



Through conversations with God, we grow and understand more about the importance of the five percent things.  We grow in relationships with those closest to us. We grow in a desire to become whole through living God-honoring lives.  Prayer is a key component whether or not things are going well. Develop a prayer life and watch God work in you.


I’ve been learning that the calendar has an amazing effect on my mind.  Every morning my To Do app, synced with my Google Calendar, pops up with my morning routine and plan for the day. While I might not start everything right away, my mind eventually believes I should be doing it.  

Most of these 1,200 blog posts were written before 6:00 am during the week. I put “writing” on the calendar for 5:15 am until it became a normal part of the morning and my life.


While you are the only one who can exercise for yourself, that person who joins you holds you accountable. While you are the only one who can spend time with your kids as their mom or dad, your husband or wife expecting you home by a certain time holds you accountable. Accountability helps you accomplish what is important to you.

Small Daily Commitments

Don’t become overwhelmed by these ideas.  Decide one thing you will do tomorrow to move toward a more prioritized life.  As John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you can’t do overshadow what you can do.” Keep moving forward.

I love this concept of being focused on the things only we can do.  What does it make you think about? How well are you doing the last five percent?


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