There is a lot of inequality in life. Some of us have more money than others. Some of us are gifted leaders or entrepreneurs, while others of us are gifted writers or incredibly skilled with our hands. The truth is, no two people are entirely alike, with one notable exception.
We all have 24 hours in a day.
Time is among the most precious things God has given us. Given enough time, people can achieve some incredible things. People have changed the world in the span of a life time. I see people who make the most of their time each and every day.
Time is also resource that I’ve probably misused most of all.
I didn’t study enough in school. I didn’t take advantage of good job opportunities like I should have when I was younger. Instead, I spent a lot of time playing too many games, watching too many YouTube videos, and generally being unproductive.
There are a lot of people in my church who would love to give more time serving the church. They would come each week, plug into the church in some new ways, and help transform the community they live in.
If they only had a 27 hour day instead of a 24 hour one.
This week we are beginning a new sermon series dedicated to helping equip people to get the most out of what God has given them. After all, that’s what stewardship truly is; getting the most out of what God has given us.
So this week I want to talk (again) about getting the most out of time.
“Know Thyself” – We all do things differently. I’m fantastic at procrastinating on things that I need to do, but don’t want to. Just ask the people at my Conference or my reserve unit about trying to get me to do paperwork for them. But I’m also a morning person who can be really productive when there aren’t other people around. So I try to schedule the tasks I don’t enjoy for when I have the most energy and focus; morning.
You need to know if you’re a morning or night person. Can you work in a coffee shop environment, or do you need silence and isolation? How long can you work on different things before you finally just need a break? The first step to better use of your time (or really any habit) is to “know thyself”.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Ah, Master Yoda, true this is.
Our best intentions have an incredible ability to ruin our actual results. We can plan out our week “trying to get it all done”, when we really know that it just won’t work. I cannot write a sermon, while mowing my yard, while doing a pastoral visit, no matter how much I try to squeeze into a Saturday morning.
We need to commit to our plans, which means we need to learn our limits (see Point #1 above). I’m guilty of trying to think I’m way more productive than I actually am. My week goes better when I just learn to say ‘No’ to some things. This enables me to commit to the things I need to do.
Slay your dragons before breakfast, so they don’t eat your lunch – I love this phrase, which I completely stole from Michael Hyatt. And this builds on the previous points.
We all have “must do” tasks. Those things that have to happen every day, week, month, and year. These tasks don’t care if you like doing them or not. They have to get done. And if you don’t get them done, they will show up and demand your attention.
Things like medical check ups, bills getting paid, and spending time with your family all need to get done. Or else you won’t have a family, home, or health.
These are the things that need to be highest on your ‘To Do’ list.
Otherwise these dragons will eat your lunch.
Remember, I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.