I’ve been working on my personal time management skills for over 35 years. It started out of a need for survival. A young husband and dad passionate about serving in a fast-growing church—trying to keep up with all the responsibilities of these roles and seize every opportunity that came along.
In those days, it was all about efficiency for me. Trying to figure out how I could do tasks faster to create more time to fill up with other activities. I got pretty good at it.
But eventually, I reached a limit. I could only perform so fast. I could only do so much. Yet I continued to feel weighted down by the pressure—self-imposed, mind you—of everything I wanted to do and felt I needed to do.
Effectiveness Over Efficiency
I heard Stephen Covey talk about the common occurrence that happens to many in their pursuit of climbing their ladder of success. Too often, people reach the top of their success ladder only to find the ladder’s leaning against the wrong wall.
We can work so hard and stay so busy yet still not have a sense of fulfillment.
I realized then a profound principle that has served me and many others well…
It’s not how much you do that matters—it’s what you do.
It’s a huge mistake to think managing your time is simply a matter of becoming more efficient. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Don’t get me wrong—I still believe in improving efficiency. But not to try to cram more activity into my day. I want to make sure I’m doing what will matter most to me.
All The Time You Need
We will never have enough time to do all the things we’d like to do in a day. And certainly never enough time to do what others want us to do. Or to seize all the opportunities that present themselves.
But I’ve come to believe this will all my heart—and those who’ve heard me speak on time management know this well…
You have all the time you need today to do what God wants you to do—for what matters most.
When I find myself feeling frenzied, frazzled, and unfulfilled, it’s a dead-giveaway that I’m off track. My activities are not aligned with my true priorities—with God’s purpose for me. I’ve allowed priorities to not be prioritized, overcommitted, or spending too much time on something. Maybe a bit of all these.
And this isn’t meant to create guilt on top of whatever frustration you might be feeling. Life is a journey for all of us and we do better some days than others. But keeping guiding principles like these before me help me to have many more fulfilling days than frazzled.
Question: Where might you be trying to doing too much? What might you let go of today to make time for something truly more important? Share your answer in the comments below.