Time is nearly impossible to manage. C. S. Lewis wrote quite a bit about it, musing on how we complain that it goes too slow, goes too fast, we have too much, or we don’t have enough. Time is the environment we live in and it is sprinkled throughout most of our conversations and yet – we are never comfortable within it.
Helping our children learn to manage time is one of the key life skills parents will teach their children and whether we think we are teaching them or not, we are. How we talk about time, how we use our time, how we waste our time are all messages we are giving that are shaping our child’s perception of time.
My husband has recently been preaching on being a disciple focused on the mission of expanding the Kingdom of God. Pastor Brian wisely wrote,
Jesus said to greet no one on the way. In other words, keep focused on the main goal and don’t get sidetracked or waste time. Of course, in our context of being embedded missionaries, stopping and talking is the mission (not the distraction).
How do we manage our time well, passing on these necessary skills as we parent the next generation of embedded missionaries (our children)? The world wants to steal their time through social media and video games; their inner desire to entertain themselves can spend hours on Netflix or Youtube and our third enemy, the demonic realm, will do anything to distract our attention away from God’s mission that he has for us. Again, I’ll turn to Pastor Brian’s recent article and share with you what he learned from a perusal of an old but helpful time management resource.
- Eternal Perspective – Charles Darwin said, “A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life.” Of course this is true for a man who doesn’t believe in eternity, but how much more should this be true for we who believe we will live for eternity in light of what we did with our few short years during this life?
- Can I schedule this goal on my calendar? – The super successful people don’t just burn hour after hour trying to cross more items off their task list. No, they have already thought through their priorities and have scheduled a time for them. And then, enough is enough. Decide on all your priorities, schedule them, and let the rest go. Replace your to-do list with your calendar.
- Energy Management – Important items should be scheduled as early in the day as possible. Manage your priorities around your ever-depleting energy.
- Always carry a notebook – Write everything down. (I am learning to use my voice recorder app as an idea capturing device). Capture everything. Sort it out. Prioritize. Schedule.
- Have the courage to say no – Everyone has a wonderful plan for your life, but only you know your priorities. Don’t forget – we need to say no to more non-essentials and yes to more Kingdom building opportunities.
- Evaluate what your 20% is. – 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results. Evaluate what that 80% is that is eating up all your time… kill it.
- Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin – touch your snail mail, email, and voicemail once… not multiple times.
Dear Friend – want to know a secret about this blog? Managing time is not a solitary event – we tend to make better choices and can get more done when we partner together. Your spouse, your best friend and yes, even your kids – all of our significant relationships can help us manage our time and accomplish the Kingdom work God has for each one of us. I put this principle in action in this blog by “stealing” my husband’s work (with his permission, of course). Don’t waste your time trying to do it all, all by yourself.
Spending my time thinking of you, dear reader, and praying God expands your time and energy and blesses the Kingdom work you do is one of my favorite ways to spend my time. Thanks for thinking life through with me and grabbing every Teachable Moment we can.
Fondly yours for all time, Elizabeth
PS – Here’s a Bonus List of questions and tips that can help maximize your Time Management, courtesy of Pastor Brian. (Thanks honey for helping me maximize my time)
DROP: What items can I drop?
DELEGATE: What items can I delegate to someone else?
REDESIGN: What do I need to continue doing, but do it in a new time-efficient way ?
LIFESTYLE: Get enough sleep and remember what Mark Twain said , “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”