I recently completed a master’s degree while being in full time ministry, married and raising two teenage boys. (Yes, I am still married!) One question that I have been asked several times is “how did you ever find time to do it?” So, I thought I would share some of the principles of time management that I have learned. (Hint: This is not what you are expecting. Keep reading).
Time is not the issue
Time is constant. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day. Time just happens and it cannot be managed. I hear people say all the time, “if I only had another hour in the day, I would be able to do…” I have to say that’s a mere copout. Having enough time is never the issue.
The hard truth: People will always do what they choose to do.
Here’s the issue
Lee Iacocca said “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s important and then give it all you’ve got.”
The issue is what we choose to do with the time we have available. Most of us have many things that are very important and it all has to get done, so how do we decide what to do? We must ask ourselves this question:
The issue is prioritizing. It might be important, but is it the most important thing to be doing right now? We have to constantly evaluate what we’re doing against what we should be doing.
(caveat) Let me say that the integrity by which we utilize our time is critical. Don’t steal time from whom it really belongs. If it’s God’s time, give it your best; if it’s your employer’s time, give it your best; if it’s your family time, give it your best; if it’s your time, give it your best! Although my degree is work related, I never utilized my work hours to do school work unless I took an authorized day off. My work hours belong to the people whom I serve. When we are not integris with our time, I believe we will have to work twice as hard to recover the productivity that the time deserved.
Time management tips
- Plan ahead and know your deadlines.
- Use a calendar and note taking system. (I recommend google and evernote because they follow you where ever you go.)
- Review tomorrow’s schedule and to do list.
- Use a to do list.
- Prioritize Biblically: (God, family, work, everything else) – I learned the hard way that this is the only priority that will bring peace in the process. Develop a daily rhythm of life that incorporates life priorities.
The true essence of good time management
There are a lot of tools and techniques that will help you manage priorities and get things done. However, the most important thing is to live by principle. Time management is about living out your principles and what’s important to you. When you begin to do that, you will find the tools and techniques that work best for you.
One of my favorite quotes is this:
“Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.” Leo Buscaglia
Keep REACHING FORWARD to God’s best in your life. How? By doing what’s most important NOW. After all, the only time we really have is the present moment.