In our first week of our time management series we looked at how to ensure your priorities feature prominently in your schedule. We used a visual aid to demonstrate how when we focus on the big priorities in our life first then the smaller things can fit around them and support.
Three stepsto prevent the more trivial, or smaller tasks, over running your life.
1. Take TIME to reflect about your priorities:
Yes, we think we know what is important: family, faith, career, our health, passions for politics, or causes. But these are often lazy assumptions not borne out in our day to day reality. When you put aside time to reflect you honour these big commitments with focused thought and prayer.
As you make an intentional step to cut out the noise around you, from technology, administration, and people, you can then consider , reflect and pray. You will start to think creatively about what in the end matters most in your life and how to nurture those essential building blocks of your life. To that place where you have retreated and found quiet, make sure you have brought pen and paper:
“I will climb my watchtower and wait to see what the Lord will tell me….The Lord gave me this answer: `Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance.'” Habakkuk 2:1-2
2. Make decisions:
Until we make decisions about what we want to prioritise, our life will remain in a vague and messy reality. We will not find any momentum. God will not come down and take your decisions for you. He spits out what is luke warm.
We will find that some of the main priorities in our life compete for our time, jostling one another for space. What is the right time and the right pace for each thing?
When we are decisive it brings clarity . Through the decisions we take we develop conviction for what we believe is most important, we gain greater ownership, become committed, and start to feel the wind in our sails pushing us forward. Momentum starts to build.
I made a choice last week to cancel a commitment at work that someone else had offered to take on for the evening, because my son who is from ‘fun country’ had mentioned about getting his homework in early, but needed some help. It was one of those decisions that helped me develop my commitment to a vague priority I have of supporting my children to be successful.
3. Creating order brings harmony and allows the holy spirit to be free to work in your life:
This clarity that decisions help to establish lead on to order in our life. Just as you don’t enjoy eating in a dirty kitchen, or having a social conversation in a messy living room, you cannot enjoy your day, week, or month if your scheduling is all up in the air. Order creates space. For those of us who go cold when we hear the words ‘time management’, be aware that orderliness gives us much more opportunity to be spontaneous and act on inspiration.
In the end what we are aiming to do through these 3 steps is ensure that our life can be organised around our values, the things that are valuable to us, rather than bills, and other people’s deadlines.
Jesus found himself in a situation where he only had 3 years for his public mission, to change the world, revolutionise people’s hearts and minds. Yet he never appeared in a rush, always having time for people, to talk to them, to heal them.
He first made time for his father in heaven. When we do that we will find our time is extended in a special way.
And lastly on a practical note: if you want to develop your personal sense of time. Why not download the work sheet here from slideshare to see where your time really goes. Don’t rely on your memory, it will trick you.
Here is our Ustream archive of our sermon series: