Does the thought of adding one more thing, including time management, make you want to scream? Are you exhausted by the volume of information and events making promises? They promise easy steps to improve relationships, organize your life and grow your income. Are you overwhelmed by the tools and systems you need to learn and put in place to grow your business?
As a woman who has endeavored to squeeze twenty lifetimes into one I understand! If you are looking for another tool, system or strategy this is not for you. If your soul longs for more peace, ease and grace than read on.
More than just making lists!
I used to think time management meant making a long list. I became a master list maker! The problem was no matter how hard I worked to cross off all the items on my list, I barely made a dent! In fact the list kept getting longer. I now know it would take many people to accomplish everything on my list.
I confused “you can have it all” with “you can DO it all”!
Believe me I tried. I gave my best shot! For over two decades I ran the nutritional network marketing corporation I had co-founded while home educating my three children. In addition I led a weekly community Bible study and a high school speech club. That was in addition to going to the gym every day, keeping a morning personal development routine and managing my home. My schedule also included nightly speaking engagements and business networking events.
Perhaps YOUR story is similar. I don’t give up easily but after two decades of my best effort I came to the brilliant conclusion that I cannot do it all! I prayed and I studied with the best. From attending Brian Tracy’s advanced management courses to listening to everything Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn produced. I read Stephen Covey’s books. I spent thousands on seminars. I bought planners and calendars. I accounted for every minute. But still, I felt like this leaky balloon.
I would patch one hole (sales were dropping) and another would spring up (the house was a mess). I would plug those and two more would spring up (kids lagging in school work, husband not happy). No matter how many holes I patched more leaks sprung up! .
I prayed and asked God to help me. I believe He did. Over time I developed skill sets, strategies and the ability to Delete, Delegate and Automate many tasks. I have also gleaned some powerful time management strategies from the life of Jesus.
Perhaps no one had more pressures and demands placed on his time than Jesus. The sick went to drastic measures for to receive his healing touch. The hungry and the spiritually famished pressed in for nourishment. The crowds attempted to keep him from resting. Jesus had to squeeze a lifetime of ministry into a few short years.
The life of Jesus holds time management secrets that transcend time and culture. They contain the key to a life of purpose, peace and freedom.
What Jesus Knew About Time Management
He knew how to stay in the present.
In His famous sermon on the mount Jesus said,
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:34).
I have found that focusing on tomorrow causes anxiety and frustration. It is not that I do not have a vision or plan for the future. It is that each day I dedicate my energy and focus on the most important tasks I can do today. Every morning, I ask myself the question,
“What is the single most important action I can take TODAY to advance in the direction of my goals, dreams and desires?”
and then I DO THAT! Great companies and great lives are built one day and one action at a time.
He knew His purpose.
In Luke we read that the crowds tried to keep Jesus from leaving.
“When daybreak came, Jesus went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and [they] came to Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them.” (Luke 4:42)
Jesus priority was to prepare for an on purpose day by spending time with
the Father. His purpose was to preach the Kingdom. Look at His response:
“… but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43)
Knowing our purpose gives clarity. It fuels passion. It gives us the stay power to go the distance.
3. He decided in advance where He would spend His time
From the age of 12 Jesus began to choose where he would spend his time. We read the story of their annual trip to Jerusalem to celebrate the Holy Days. A day into their return travel, the distraught parents of Jesus discovered he was not in the caravan. They turned around and went back. Three days later they found him in the temple seated with the teachers listening and asking them questions. Like any parent who has found a lost child, they were overcome with emotion!
“When they saw Him, they were overwhelmed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Listen, Your father and I have been [greatly distressed and] anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He answered, “Why did you have to look for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 4:48)
Decades later we read that Jesus knew He must return to Jerusalem. This time to die. He set out to go there. Nothing could or would stop him.
“Now when the time was approaching for Him to be taken up [to heaven], He was determined to go to Jerusalem [to fulfill His purpose].” (Luke 9:51)
4. He didn’t allow others to impose their values or priorities.
The classic story of Martha and Mary found in the bible gives us a glimpse into two women’s lives. Two sisters. Two different values and priorities. Martha’s priorities were cleaning the house and making sandwiches for the guests. Mary on the other hand, was focused on spending as much time as possible sitting at the feet of Jesus. Infinite love and infinite wisdom was in her house and she didn’t want to miss a single moment of it. The problem came when Martha sought to impose her priorities on Mary. Jesus did not judge Martha for her priorities but would not let her impose them on Mary.
“…Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42)
When we allow things like our emails or Facebook notifications to determine our schedule we will not accomplish what needs to be done. Like the bumper sticker reads,
“A LACK OF PLANNING ON YOUR PART DOESN’T CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MINE” – anonymous
Here are a few tips for better planning (and less emergencies):
- Have a place for everything (even in your calendar)
Plan for the unexpected. Each week or month allocate a couple hours specifically for addressing the unexpected. When you get a call from someone needing help, something breaks, or a project takes longer than you expected you already have a time slot available.
- Tackle the email monster. Set times each day to check your emails. Inform others that you do not check emails constantly. Remember we teach others how to treat us. If you teach your relatives or customers they can interrupt you at will and expect an instant response, they will!
- Have a set time for posting and responding to social media. Like watching television, social media news feeds can be giant time suckers! If you are able to hire a V.A. to do your posting it is recommended. Otherwise like email, have set times to answer, hit some likes, post and get off! Unless it is your time of recreation do not get caught reading the news feeds. Be sure to turn off chimes and sounds of instant messenger, posts, emails, etc.
5. He understood everything has a time and a season
The famous quote from King Solomon tells us everything has a time and a season.
“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—” (Eccl. 3:1)
Spring is a season to plant our garden. A season follows our sowing when we cultivate and water. We wait, watch and pray. Imagine planting a seed and then impatiently digging it up because it didn’t grow fast enough.
Yet this is what people often do. They change companies. They start and stop marketing strategies before giving them enough time to accomplish the results.
There are other seasons where we must take bold action. Getting a plane off the runway for example requires great force than what is required at cruising altitude. There are seasons when we must rest or study. The key is knowing your season.
It is said in the Bible that the sons of Issachar “understood the times and season”. We must too.
When we attempt to do something out of season it leads to frustration. Trying to do something too early can lead to false starts and stops.. Building, for example, without considering the cost can leads to serious financial problems. Forming partnerships without due diligence can be disastrous.. Attempting to drag something from an old season such as old marketing strategies will often produce diminished returns.
6. He had Life-Balance and Margin
The Chinese concept of Yin and Yang demonstrates nature being in balance. From male and female energy to the layout of our home or garden. Balance produces a sense of peace and tranquility.
To learn more how to bring balance in your life click here: “How to Create Life Balance & Have More Joy: 5 Keys Found in the Bible“.
Balance also includes having enough margin. A paper that does not have enough white space will feel busy, stressful and overwhelming to read. A life without margin is the same. To learn how to have more margin in your life click here: “How to Create Margin in Your Life and Enjoy More Peace, Satisfaction and Fulfillment“
Conclusion – Time Allocation, not Time Management
Time cannot be managed. We can, however, choose how we allocate our time; where, when and with whom we will spend our time. Like money, allocation must be decided in advance or it slips between our fingers. Allocate your time to align with your purpose, gifts, strengths, brain lead, values and priorities. In doing so you will accomplish more and have more peace and joy.
Over time I have learned to understand the concept of energy leaks. I am mindful of what increases my energy and what depletes it. Doing so has allowed me to stop the leaky balloon syndrome. I pray it will help you do the same.
*Feeling overwhelmed? Having a business and life coach skilled in understanding brain leads (innate energy advantage), spiritual gifting and time management strategies can be of great benefit in restoring peace, balance and joy. Call today and schedule a FREE Breakthrough Coaching Session 916-439-0484 or email: Brenda@prosperinallthings.com