Several years ago I read an article with a title something like this, “Five ways Not to Manage Your Time.“ I’m not sure that was the exact title but that was the idea. The author wanted to point out ways that keep us from getting the most out of the time we work and serve.
God encourages us to use our time wisely and well. Paul wrote to the church at Colassae encouraging them to “make the most of every opportunity“ (Colossians 4:5). A simple study of the New Testament shows that we need to use our time wisely by doing the things that matter the most. Unfortunately, we often do the urgent and neglect the important. Serving God surely means that we emphasize the important and that we do not become distracted by the merely urgent.
The article I read years ago was not advocating working harder (by the way, most people I know already work hard) but working smarter.
He encouraged working smarter by not doing the following things.
First, not having a plan of action. If you have not planned for the day or for the week, you become the slave of the urgent and anyone who might dream up a job for you to do whether important or not.
Yesterday I talked with one of my friends who described his way of planning (he did it a week at a time) and how effective that was. I believe it will be effective for you as well.
Second, getting out of balance. The author noted we have vital areas of life that can’t be neglected. If you let these areas get out of balance, many things will suffer. Family, health, work, finances–all matter and must be used and protected.
Third, having a messy work area. This is certainly the case with me. When my work area is messy, I feel out of control. When I leave an organized desk, I am ready for the new day and the rest of the week.
Fourth, not getting enough sleep. Over the past few years more and more people have emphasized the necessity of proper rest. I must admit I have always fought sleep. I am now trying to make sure I get proper rest. Sleeping an adequate amount of hours aids your creativity and helps your outlook on the day.
Fifth, not recharging your batteries. Working without breaks (like lunch) may make us even less productive. We need time to recharge if we are going to get more done.