Everybody is busy. One of the most common phrases I hear from men who are retired is: “I’m so busy I don’t know how I ever had time to work.”
How can we make the most of every day?
Developing a plan for the coming day is helpful to getting things done and accomplishing what we need to do.
For many people this is simply a “to do” list, a prioritized list of things that need to be accomplished for that day. Most people need a to do list to keep them organized.
Here are four suggestions for making your list. I find these items especially helpful for pastors.
First, list your “to-dos” by priority and do the first things first. If you don’t accomplish everything for that day, at least you finished those things that really count. If you are doing the wrong things a to do list is worthless. Your goal cannot be a clean desk and a full waste basket at the end of the day. Your goal must be accomplishing those things which matter to God and help you be successful in life.
Many people use the night before to prepare the list and to think (and pray) through the priorities.
Second, plan for emergencies. The unexpected always happens. If you leave time for emergencies, you will often have time to accomplish what you planned and also be responsive to the needs of others. Most of the time, emergencies relate to our families. Planning some extra time will allow you be helpful to those you love the most.
Third, teach the people around you to develop a plan as well. As family and co-workers plan well, you will be blessed because they will have been thoughtful in accomplishing their priorities (and allowing you to accomplish yours).
Fourth, don’t take on other people’s monkeys. If you’re not careful, someone else will put their monkey on your back. If you are always taking on other people’s monkeys (problems), you will never take care of your own. Also, if you are solving problems for others, they are missing the opportunity to learn to take care of their own problems by planning, prayer, and diligent effort.
Pastors–like me–love to help people, often times to our detriment and the detriment of those we are trying to help. It’s best to let others learn to accomplish their goals and deal with their problems.
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