IVP - Online Pulpit - Time Management - A Critical Need of a Leader

September 1, 2007

Time Management - A Critical Need of a Leader

Eleanor Roosevelt, whose staggering schedule included writing a regular newspaper column, numerous speaking engagements, and participation in both national and international projects, was once asked how she managed to accomplish so much. She simply replied, “I never waste time.”

Here are some suggestions might help us manage our time.

Surrender Our Time

To surrender our time is to be governed by a compass rather than to be controlled by a clock. A clock measures time. A compass provides perspective and vision. A clock determines efficiency—how long it takes to accomplish a task. A compass determines effectiveness—doing the right tasks. Both have their place, but the mega-priorities of the compass subordinate the mini-priorities of the clock. We must subordinate our schedules to people, purposes and principles. And just as a magnetic field governs the compass needle, God governs the direction of our lives. We surrender to his will.

Balance Our Time

A balanced life is characterized by order, peace and wholeness. Each part of the balanced life gets the right amount of time and effort. Balance doesn’t mean giving each part of life the same amount of time but giving each part the necessary amount of time.

Jesus is an excellent model. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus was pressured by friend and foe alike. Yet we get the feeling that he never hurried, he never had to play catch up, he was never taken by surprise. He managed time well, because he knew the importance of balance. * Redeem Our Time*

In When All You’ve Ever Wanted Is Not Enough Harold Kushner says that when we open a new jar of coffee, we use generous portions because we have a full jar. But halfway down the jar we are a little more conservative. We realize that the coffee isn’t going to last forever. By the time we reach the bottom, we find ourself measuring portions very carefully, reaching into the jar for every last grain.

We often treat our time that way. When we are young, we are careless about how we spend our lives. After all, we have an entire life in front of us. About halfway through life, it begins to dawn on us that we won’t live forever, and we begin to reevaluate every area of our life.

No matter how efficient we are at time management, we usually feel we don’t have enough time to accomplish everything we desire. Therefore, we must learn to redeem our time, snapping up all the opportunities available.

Imagine a box large enough for three bowling balls. Is the box full? Hardly. Now imagine marbles placed in the box, filling it up to the top. Is the box full? Now imagine someone putting BBs in the box. Full? Now imagine someone putting sand in the box. The box now looks full. But is it? Imagine someone pouring water into the box.

Each of us has several important tasks that require large segments of our time. In completing those tasks there are gaps in our schedule that beg to be filled. It’s in those gaps that time can be redeemed.

A businessman carries a briefcase with paper and envelopes. In odd moments he keeps countless friendships alive. Another man memorized the Sermon on the Mount on his daily train commute into the city. My mother, though extremely busy, found enough minutes to create a beautiful quilt full of memories for her family.

Time is precious and priceless. It’s a gift—that is why it’s called the present.

Posted by Rick Ezell at September 1, 2007 9:39 AM Bookmark and Share

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