The following are a few suggestions that may (or may not) work for you. I have tried every one of them and can attest to their benefit. I realize we are all wired differently, so some of these might not be for you. Some, you will see as no-brainers. Others, you will reject out of hand. And a few will make you think I am nuts. But, by God’s grace, if two or three are helpful to you, then I rejoice!
01. If you are able, take one long vacation each year. It takes a while for your brain to begin to rest.
02. Plan vacations in advance so you can look forward to that refreshing time — this helps you get your mental money’s worth.
03. On your days off, focus on Jesus and family instead of Twitter and email.
04. Take Sabbaths from social media.
05. Spend free moments reading good theology — it will bleed not only into your teaching but also your character.
06. Work hard to create margin in your finances — do not overcommit yourself.
07. Develop genuine social supports (friends, family, elders) more than social media networks.
08. Fight for simplicity in your life — the way of the natural man is towards increased complexity.
09. Slow down — take a day to sit around.
10. Schedule time for creative thinking — clarity often comes during hikes, extracurricular reading, and brainstorming sessions.
11. Regularly date your spouse.
12. Cultivate your marriage — a strong one can endure tremendous pressure from the outside.
13. Fight hard for a strong and growing daily time in God’s presence, filled with His Word, writing, and prayer.
14. Sleep enough — do not be made to feel weak for needing it. You do.
15. Make time for physical exercise — studying the Bible is challenging mentally, but not physically. Work that body!
16. Sleep a bit more on Sunday night for recovery — church work on Sundays, including preaching, equals exertion.
17. Think long and hard about signing up for anything new — your schedule and everyone impacted by it will thank you.
18. Turn off notifications and check email, messages, likes, comments, etc. only once per day (batching).
19. Know you have limits — “I can do all things through Christ” does not mean you can dunk a basketball. Some pressures, unalleviated, will break us down.
20. Leave your phone behind and go for a walk.
21. Less breakfast, lunch, and coffee meetings. More walking ones.
22. Have friends. Then let them in.
23. Expect most work to take longer than you first expect, and let your schedule reflect the extra time.
24. At the end of your day, take a load off and look at your loved ones more and the TV less.
25. Take email off your smartphone. Give someone else the password.
26. Establish internet accountability. Cell phones included. No loopholes.
27. Download FREEDOM onto your study computer to DISABLE the internet during study blocks. https://freedom.to/
28. Say no.
29. With the help of the Holy Spirit, develop a personal mission statement from God and stick to it.
30. Learn a little more about who you are (and are not) with some personality profile tests.
31. Protect a family/Sabbath day.
32. Hold an annual planning day for the year with your spouse.
33. I like to give my mornings to God. Early morning for devotions, workday morning for study. No internet.
34. Pace yourself for a marathon (or ultra-marathon), not a sprint.
35. Consider the 80/20 principle: usually, 20% of our work nets 80% of the fruit and vice versa.
36. Get out of town with your spouse. Alone.
37. Do not teach every single Sunday.
38. Cancel something that needs to be canceled (a social network, ministry, appointment, standing meeting, etc.).
39. Go on prayer walks.
40. Have a healthy, older, loving pastor who believes in you as part of your life. Whatever you gotta do to make it happen, do it.
41. Know your weaknesses, and pray for God to bring people alongside you to complement you rather than duplicate you.
42. Dream and pray with God. Let Him give you vision for impossible stuff. Hope in Him.
43. Sometimes, the internet produces sameness. Be the redeemed, Spirit-filled, consecrated version of you. No one else can.
44. Avoid information over-consumption. You will never be able to keep up with all the information generated daily.
45. Have a friend you think is hilarious, and hang out with them.
46. Have a regular prayer meeting with your spouse. You are one flesh, and no one can pray with you like they can.
47. Have a prayer meeting with your leadership team. Unity, courage, and focus will develop as you seek God together.
48. Read the old classics.
49. Receive God’s grace.
50. Know the John 3:27 principle: “John answered, ‘A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.’”