Friday, December 7, 2012
I Can't Keep Up!
I think life is a lot like the game Tetris. We each have 24 hours coming our way each day. There are times when I'm able to manage the responsibilities that fall my way and other times when things are falling so fast that I just don't know how I'm going to get them done. One of my favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 5:15-16, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." We live in a world that is so busy. There is so much going on all of the time. I am so prone to saying, "yes" to people that I often myself running thin. In order to avoid my life becoming like the last 20 seconds of Tetris, I've discovered some practical things that really help...when applied!
Setting goals. I like setting goals from being a child of God, husband, dad, pastor, chaplain, friend, etc, etc. What are my responsibilities within the various aspects in my life? I don't know that I write these out, but I probably should. Once I examine my responsibilities I set goals for what I would like to achieve as it relates to the particular category. I do better if I can see what's coming down the chute so I can figure out how to place it.
Prioritizing responsibilities. Once I have responsibilities set out, planning starts to fall into place. With my great mental/written list laid out, I begin to prioritize my responsibilities. Some repeat daily, like time with God and family, others are weekly, or one time events. As I begin to lay them out on a calendar, I often discover a problem--namely too much to do and not enough time to get it all done.
Pruning responsibilities. I really don't like saying "No" to people, but I've learned that I have to in order to stay sane and to actually accomplish the things that God has called me to. In the last year, I've had to make hard decisions to resign from boards and other things I really enjoy in order to focus on things I have been called to do.
Using an online calendar. I never used a calendar in the military, I was just always there. As a civilian, I have a ton of freedom to meet with people, study, and to handle small fires. I wasn't a civilian very long before I started double booking and forgetting appointments that slipped through the cracks in my brain, or sat on a paper calendar back at my home or office. I've been way more productive since the advent of a smart phone where I can track and adjust multiple calendars all the time from my phone wherever I am.
I imagine Tetris blocks falling from the sky as I hear the lyrics of this old song, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future..." Time passes us all by at the same rate--one hour at a time. I know we each have been allotted different amounts of total time as it slips by us, but I want to make the most of the time I am given in this life. What have you done to best manage your time?
Posted by Gunnar Hanson at 8:58 AM