Have you ever felt like you didn’t have enough time to get done what you wanted to get done? Lately, I have been on a big time management kick. I’ve been trying to look at what I do and see what I could do better.
The reason to evaluate is that I have one life to live and I want to do something with it.
So here are some of the things I am starting to do.
One week, literally record everything you did on a weekly calendar. See how much time you wasted or rushed through the day. Could you plan better for projects that were coming up? Did you take adequate time to enjoy God-given relationships? In the last week, did you worship, work, and play?
Finally, start looking for ways to eliminate time-wasters. I am not telling you not to play video games or watch chick flicks. I am encouraging you to use those times wisely as well as remove any time-wasters that could keep you from doing God’s will. I let things pile up on me, but recently, I have started developing some rules so that I can redeem the time.
1. Only handle a piece of paper once. If I’m going to open it, I’m either going to file it or trash it.
2. Only handle an email once. If I have time to read it, I better make time to respond to it. If I don’t I will have read an email that gets buried and I don’t respond to it till weeks later.
3. Only handle a voicemail once. If I’m going to listen to it, I better have time to respond to it. If the person who left a message is going to take a long time, I have to intentionally leave time for it.
4. Play and play well, but only after the work is done. I am currently trying to restore the Sabbath in my life. I am working like crazy for six days, and then having the time of my life on the seventh day. What I have found is that I enjoy the six days a whole lot more now.
5. Don’t neglect the urgent for the pleasant. I often will get distracted by something way off in the future while procrastinating what has to be done that day. Choose your tasks wisely.
6. Turn off distractions. Even while I am writing these words, my phone is ringing and my email reminder is popping up telling me someone else needs my attention. But right now, you, the reader, is more important to me and I must shut those things off to concentrate (OK, that’s better now).
7. Always neglect the trivial for the important. Find out what is the best way to use this day, and live it up.
After all, we’ve only got today this one time and then it’s gone. We better use it wisely.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.