One thing is for sure in this life. We only have so much time. We know everyone has the same twenty-four hours in the day, no more, no less. But time is also our biggest variable because we are uncertain of how much time we have. Time is always on our minds. There are clocks everywhere we look. One of the first things you learn to say in a foreign language is, “What time is it.” You can’t escape it or deny it.
Even in the Bible, Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything under heaven. Paul instructs us to redeem the time, for the time is short. There have been countless books, podcasts, and blogs written on time management. All because it is an inescapable truth. We only have so much time.
If there is anything I have learned in the ministry over the last thirty years, people spend their money on what they want and do what they want to do. Lousy time management will cause frustration because it steals your dreams and aspirations in life. Before we get into calendars and systems of time management, I would have you answer some fundamental questions.
What is important to you?
Every time management journey starts with goal setting.
- Do you want to start a business?
- Do you want to be a godly or religious person?
- Do you want to lay on the beach?
- Do you wish to spend more time with your kids?
- Do you want to help your community?
The list could go on and on. You might conclude that many things are essential to your fulfillment, forcing you to prioritize your time and efforts.
Will you be proactive or reactive with your time?
Planning your time and activities puts you in the driver’s seat of life. When you don’t plan out your time, others will steal it from you. Being proactive in time management allows you to say “yes” or “no” to those wanting your time, even if the person wanting to steal it is you. I remember demanding my girls play one sport at a time because I didn’t want to spend all my time at the ball fields. I wanted them to play, but I didn’t want to give all my time to it. You might say that’s mean, but I would say it was proactive.
When you work for someone, people think you become their slave, but this is not true. Employment is a negotiated contract. You will work so much for so much pay. If they want you to work more than you agreed upon, you can say no. The more you allow people to steal your time, the more of an enslaved person you become.
How will you take charge of the clock?
Most people have a time management system of some sort. I’m a task-oriented type of guy. If I can get one major milestone done today, I will feel successful about the day. I used to be a calendar natzi. If it wasn’t on the calendar, it wasn’t getting done. I still use a calendar but more for memory than anything else.
Everyone needs a system of time management that works for them. I might even write about some in future blogs, but I want you to take control of your life today. We all do things we have to do, but you want to tip the scales to the things that matter most. Do what matters to you the most. Time is not money. Time is priceless, and you never get it back. So, spend it wisely, and the true joys of life will follow.