February 12, 2011
Tick Tock
Tick Tock RS
Last weekend, we continued our series, “Best Question Ever: What’s the Wise Thing to do?” Our lesson this week: “The Clock is Ticking.” Our focus: time management. Looking at my husband during the message, I knew that this week’s message really hit a nerve (and I know he’s not alone). 

Up until I graduated from college, every moment of my life had some sort of activity planned. I remember being involved in several extra-curricular activities outside of school growing up (dance, volunteer work, school clubs, etc)…and in college, I would attend classes in the morning so that I had plenty of time in the afternoon to go to work and participate in Student Government (among other activities). It was a constant hustle and bustle. If you have children of your own, you may find yourself spending hours in your car driving your kids from Point A to B…to Z. It’s nonstop!

Ecclesiastes 2:23 “All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.”

Have you been there? 
  • Constant hurry
  • Rushing even when it’s not necessary
  • Panic when you’ve left your cell phone at home (I tend to panic over my camera)
  • Starting a number of things, but never getting it all done 
  • Nights where your mind continued racing…long after your body was ready to rest? 
Yep – I’ve definitely struggled in this area. Like I said, the hustle and bustle continued up until I graduated from college. Upon graduation and entering the workforce, I recall feeling lost. I spent so many years in a rush, that I forgot how to enjoy life. The only way I knew to live was with several balls up in the air. Thus, I recreated that rush. However, that rush has created many sleepless nights and I’ve spent the past two years trying to adjust my actions and behaviors during the day so that I can get a peaceful night’s rest (I don’t drink caffeine past a certain hour, and I sleep with ear plugs and a eye mask).  This is clearly no ideal way to live, but we all do it. If  you were to talk to me in person, I would tell you that I focus on being content…allowing one or two very important things to guide me, rather than being thrown in a gazillion directions. No, I’m not the cleanest person (according to my husband) and I don’t always remember birthdays, but I’d much rather live this way:

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Which way would you rather live your life? And what are you doing with the time you’ve been given? Our minister offered some time management principles that I think make perfectly good sense:

Five Time Management Principles
  • There is a cumulative value in investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period of time (exercise, prayer, consistency in a schedule, etc.). We can look back at ourselves after a period of time and see change. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and you hit the gym every day…and you stick to a diet, you’re going to visually notice a difference in how your clothes fit and how you feel!
  • Neglect also  has a cumulative effect over a period of time. If you ignore your health, marriage, finances, etc. – you will eventually notice an impact (and a negative one at that).
  • There are rarely any immediate consequences for neglecting any single installment of time in any one area of your life. For example, if we skip the gym one day…we usually won’t notice a significant difference.  However, if we skip the gym for six months, we will likely lose any muscle mass we’ve built up…and we’ll likely gain weight. This same principle could be applied toward our marriage or finances, or anything else for that matter.
  • There is NO cumulative value to the urgent things that we allow to interfere with the important things in our life. It is so easy to talk ourselves out of the things that are important. I recall all the times I’ve left the office planning on going to the gym…in the 10 minutes of driving from my office to the gym, I’ve talked myself out of going. Or the times where I really needed to finish a project at work…and then got caught up blogging (I hate to ask, but where does blogging fall in terms of the matrix below?). Looking back, these hours of wasted time amount to nothing.
Urgent Important
  • In the important areas of life, you cannot make up for lost time. There are no all-nighters or cram sessions (as we once did to prepare for an exam) as it relates to our relationships, our children, our health, etc. For example, if you miss six months of exercise, you can’t expect to make it all up in a day (ouch – painful!). The same applies with our relationships. 

Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Our time is so precious, so how do we get it back? Consider the following: 
  • Considering how I’ve lived my life in the past few weeks/months/years, what do I need to do different with my time? What do I need to remove from my life?
  • Considering what is going on right now in my life, what’s the wise thing to do with my time? 
  • Considering my future…my hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do with the time I have now?

So, if this an area of your life that needs attention…and this message has really spoken to your heart, write down the following words: Physical, Relationship, Profession and Spiritual
  • What is one thing you can do in each of these areas that will have a consistent, positive and cumulative value?
  • What could get in the way of you fulfilling these areas? No excuses – remove those obstacles! 
  • Who’s going to hold you accountable, other than yourself? And I’m serious, you need a partner…spouse, your children, your best friend, etc.  

With that said, I hope you enjoy the important things in life this weekend – enjoy your family and your children. Don’t feel that you have to apologize for stepping away from your blog.  Make the most of the time you have now, because we have very few “do over” opportunities.