by | Feb 8, 2024 | Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Rest, Rhythms, Work

If you’ve followed us here at Converge Coaching for a bit, then you know how we feel about work/rest rhythms. The concept is foundational for so much of what we do to help you stay healthy in leadership. You can probably rattle them off faster than I can list them:

  1. Daily: Put definitive beginning and end times to your workday. End your day intentionally without allowing work to bleed into your non-work life.
  2. Weekly: Pause once a week in order to observe sabbath. Unplug, unwind, and do something replenishing.
  3. Quarterly: Reset every 90 days. This will be different for everyone but consider taking a day or a weekend away to rest and dream.
  4. Annual: Take a real vacation once a year. Close the laptop. Put the “out of office” notifications on all the things. And take real, unadulterated time away.


But today we’re going to explore a fifth rhythm. We call this one “capacity vs. demand on said capacity.” This rhythm is trickier than the first four because we need to put a definition and a premise in place.

First, let’s look at the word “capacity.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “the facility or power to produce, perform, or deploy.” From our perspective, let’s think of it as the amount of brain power, emotional energy, and vision one has available to produce, perform, or deploy in the workplace.

Second, we need to set forth a premise: It is difficult to accurately measure how much brain power, emotional energy, and vision one might “have in the tank” in comparison to how much is being expended. A 40-hour week of routine tasks is different from a 40-hour week filled with high-demand tasks. Data-entry and filing one day is vastly different from writing content, event planning, problem-solving, and chairing difficult meetings the next day.

Since not all tasks/work hours are created equally in terms of their demand on our capacity, we must give thought to this fifth rhythm. At its core is trusting God. Trusting that He will take our responsible efforts and turn them into something impactful.

What do our responsible efforts look like in conjunction with trusting God?

  • Doing our best to avoid multiple long-hour days in a row.
  • Getting wiser about what events we commit to and how much time we commit to them.
  • Being thoughtful about travel and the stress it places on us.
  • Refusing to descend into workaholic mode when organizational challenges arise.
  • Paying attention to high-energy-demand events and doing our best not to schedule them on top of each other.
  • Reminding ourselves regularly the organization we serve is God’s—not ours!

If your demand is exceeding your capacity, alarm bells will sound. Be sure to pay attention if:

  • You find yourself easily and disproportionately irritated. If things that normally roll off your back suddenly generate nuclear responses, you may be exceeding your capacity.
  • Sleep disturbances begin happening. This could be abnormal insomnia or night-time waking and difficulty getting back to sleep.
  • You discover the first four rhythms are no longer refreshing. You’ve effectively implemented daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual rhythms, but suddenly they don’t seem to be working.
  • Your calendar is empty of time spent with friends and life-giving relationships. Flip through your calendar. If there are not any recent coffee dates or lunches or golf with friends, you might be headed toward exceeding your capacity.

These alarm bells might be signaling you need to evaluate your capacity compared to the demands on your capacity. Also, keep in mind that this rhythm is not a replacement for the other four . . . it is in addition TO them.

Can we appeal to you today? Please be diligent with your daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual rhythms. And be sure to consider this fifth one . . . your capacity, and the demand on that capacity.

Rooting and praying for you,

John & Jaime