Time Management: 70 Things Every Man Needs to Know
64. Time Management
Excerpted from Pastoring Men, Moody Publishers.
The greatest time waster is the time we have to spend undoing that which we ought not to have done in the first place. There are very few things in life that can’t wait two weeks. Here are four points to teach your men.
First, don’t give yourself to those who don’t absolutely need you at the expense of those who do. Triage is the military technique of deciding how to prioritize treatment of wounded soldiers when a wave of new casualties swamps the capacity of the medic unit. For our personal decision-making, we should conduct a little civilian triage by asking the following:
- Who can’t live without you, or you without them?
- Who would you help if you don’t have to neglect anyone in the first group?
- Who are those who will be fine with or without you?
Let’s prioritize everything on the basis of who will cry at our funeral.
Second, never do anything someone else can do. Many years ago I decided I would only do things I do well. That served a good purpose, because it kept me in my areas of competence. However, I have also realized that simply because I do something well doesn’t mean it’s the best use of my time. Since then I’ve added a “part two.” I also don’t do anything if someone else can also do it. This principle frees up an unusually large amount of time.
Third, distinguish opportunity from distraction. Many times distractions come disguised as opportunities. Unless we have thought through who we are, what our lives are all about, and what’s important to us, we will not have the focus to choose the best. Author Al Ries says that focus is the art of exclusion.
Fourth, recognize the difference between a good idea and a God idea. We are naturally inclined to act on the impulse of a good idea. But sometimes good ideas get in the way of God ideas. Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan; it is the habit of a man who would distinguish between good and God.
For More: (1) Read the related topics of “Balance,” “Priorities,” “Stewardship;” (2) go to www.pastoringmen.com and click on “64. Time Management” to watch or listen to “Time Management: Doing God’s Will” in The Man in the Mirror Remix.
#444 © 2011. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for non-commercial ministry purposes with proper attribution.