Time management. Ugh. About the only phrase I dislike more is “pain management.” Unfortunately, when you get older, you begin to hear “pain management” more and more from doctors and other health care providers.
I don’t want pain management. I want pain elimination!
What about time management? Well, it is one of those necessary evils that are part of our lives if we ever hope to accomplish much of anything. Everyone is given the same amount of time each day. Some sleep longer and have fewer hours to work or serve. Some order their days in such a way as to be extremely efficient. I applaud those folks.
There are numerous books and programs that can help you use your time better. Making lists. Prioritizing. Taking calls and answering emails at only certain times to limit interruptions. Lots of good ideas. I wish I could nail one of those plans down and live by it religiously. I know I would be more efficient. More productive.
However, I have found that sometimes interruptions are important. Sometimes that spontaneous event is valuable for relationships…with family…with friends…with ministry partners. Yes, they can be distracting. And yes, they can mean something gets pushed off for another day. But it may turn out that the interruption was the most valuable thing you did all day.
I am working on one area of time management. It has to do with my Bible study time. Judy and I enjoy time in God’s Word, both separately and together. In the mornings, she has her quiet time, and I have mine. Right now, I am reading through the Bible with one of the You Version Bible reading plans. At breakfast, we read a devotion from a respected Christian leader. This year it is a daily devotional book by Joni Eareckson Tada. Other years it has been thoughts from Billy Graham, Oswald Chambers, or Henry Blackaby.
In the evening at mealtime we read through various books of the Bible, reading the notes of outstanding Bible scholars, like Dr. Charles Ryrie. These are enlightening and lead to some interesting conversations. Do we miss some days? Yes. But we don’t get too concerned. We just pick up the next time and go on.
So, what am I working on with my time management? I am making my morning Bible reading come before I deal with emails or Facebook posts or messages, or some of the other ways my friends here and around the world contact me. It is so easy to roll out of bed, grab the iPhone or iPad and begin reading the texts and messages. But I am determined to read God’s Good News and His instruction book before I launch into the day.
Now that I think about it…this isn’t time management. It is heart management. What did Jesus say? Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Everything I need. That might even include the ability to order the rest of my day in a way that honors the Lord and accomplishes His purpose. Worth taking the time.