What gets scheduled gets done. -Michael Hyatt
That’s the best advice I think that I’ve been given as it relates to getting a handle on time. As a Pastor, I have the distinct privilege, and a potential curse, of setting my own schedule. This can seem like freedom and ease from the outside, but in reality, it is a nightmare.
My church is what’s called, in church leadership circles, a “church plant.” What that means is that it is a church that started fresh, with no leadership, no structure, no set times, strategy, vision, mission, or even programs. We literally started from scratch!
Did I mention that we also had no set budget?
This is also a blessing and potential curse because it can create just as many problems as it can blessings. Everything has to be thought out, planned, and executed well.
Every decision matters.
Embrace The Difficulty
The reality I live in as a pastor creates a vacuum; my time can be spent in whatever I want to spend it in. I have no one lining out a schedule or list of projects to accomplish. Yet, there’s work to be done everywhere.
That’s what makes it so dangerous to time management. I know that God loves His Church and that I am to love His church; especially as a shepherd of the flock! So, I believe that there are two primary questions you and I need to answer:
- How much time can I put in?
- How much time should I put in?
This is difficult because it’s like trying to say “how much can I love my wife?” and “how much should I love my wife?” But whether you are asked by your employer for 40+ hours or you are salaried and expected to complete projects; you have to still ask yourself these two questions about all your use of time.
It’s a tightrope we all have to walk
Understand Your Energy “Banks”
- Emotional Energy
This realm of energy is related to your ability to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice. (Romans 12:15) This is the reserve you have to “be at peace with all men as far as it depends on you” (Romans 12:18).
This is what was so hard for me to grasp at first. I thought since I am called to love and shepherd God’s people and have a great passion to see His Kingdom advance, I would be able to have endless amounts of energy to serve them.
Nope. I am not God
I don’t say that tongue in cheek, either. We will never say that we are God, but we will certainly try to behave as though we are.
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking regular time to practice silence and solitude before God? Jesus did that often. Are you taking enough time to be rejuvenated, refreshed, and renewed?
2. Physical Energy
This relates to your biological makeup. Your calorie intake, your energy expenses throughout the day, and your mental abilities to focus and complete tasks.
This is where, yes, your exercise (or lack thereof) comes in. Your physical energy will be sustained or depleted by your diet and physical exercise. This affects your ability to focus, to think critically, to create, to perform and to possess what you need to accomplish your tasks in the day.
Do you exercise regularly? Do you eat relatively well? Do you understand the basics of nutrition? Do you sleep enough? (Yes, it’s worth asking again)
If you neglect physical maintenance, you neglect proficiency and efficiency in what you do.
God-Made Time Restraints
God made the heavens and the earth in seven, twenty-four hour days. He chose to make the world run on cycles of twenty-four hours. The sun is in the sky for about half of that time and the moon the other half.
You and I can’t change that.
We were made with limitations on purpose. God has set for us a standard Himself by working six days and resting on the seventh. He also, in His genius, made a plan, scheduled the plan, and skillfully worked the plan of creation. He began with Heaven, the sky, dry land, life on land and plants, stars in the universe, life in the sea, life on the earth, God rests. He did each of these in cycles of 24 hours.
So you and I must realize that, in our limitations, we must operate the best we can in stewarding that time for His glory (Ephesians 5:16-17).
So, we must work in accordance with the time we have been given each day and hang our hats on the end of each one, embracing our frailty and limited abilities.
I will be adding “part 2” very soon. Its focus will be on the system that I use and the apps I employ to do it well.