Time Management. Sounds exciting, right? Maybe that’s why we all struggle with managing our time. I remember as a young leader facing the responsibility of planning my days. If you’re like me, you’ve been there. You wake up and kind of just ‘wing it’ to pass the day. You’re not sure what to do. You may even have a thousand ideas. But where do you start? Hold on and get ready to be inspired.
The following ideas are based on some productivity ideas offered by Dan Sullivan. Dan is the President of the Strategic Coach organization. Go check out his website when you get a chance.
Rather than thinking of every day as the same, imagine three different kinds: Work Days, Buffer Days, and Free Days.
III I’ve been doing this for awhile now and it’s increased my excitement and accomplishment level a ton!
These days are a no brainer. On work days, you do just that. If you’re a creative, that’s the day you work on your sermon. Write a blog post. Do the stay at home Mom activities whatever they may be. Go to the office. This part’s not too hard to figure out. If you’re a writer, that’s the day you work on your manuscript or work on the outline for your next novel. It may include working on your website or posting on Social Media. These are the days you take action. But they are not all that’s required to be productive. Being productive involves all you set out to do in every area of your life. You can be productive at work and unproductive in your marriage. You can be productive in your marriage, but unproductive at work or play.
These are the days when you work on things other than work. Think of them as days you buff out the wax job you applied on a work day. That’s not a misprint. These are the days you do laundry, cut the grass, pick up your dry cleaning, finish painting the kitchen. Tie up loose ends. Finish what you started or take the next step toward completion. Buffer days allow you to focus on the minor things you had to neglect to focus on your majors. You already know this, you just never thought about it. Buffer days are a whole lot more exciting than they sound. They allow you to experience a sense of accomplishment and resolve a lot of tension. At the end of the day, you have not just one accomplishment but many!
Free days are Saturdays regardless of what day the calendar says it is! These are the days that you do what you want to. If you want to eat a Hot Fudge Sundae and listen to your favorite music by the pool, go for it. Free days are days when you decide to be productive by resting. They don’t need a goal or a reason to exist. You don’t have to move the needle forward at all. These kinds of days leave you well-rested and ready to get back to work. These are the days when you fill your tank until it runs over. You can’t give what you don’t have, so don’t neglect to have these kinds of days. You should have one of these days AT LEAST once a week. Some of you work so hard you’ve forgotten how to even have these kinds of days.
The beautiful part is you don’t have to dedicate every day to just one of these categories.
You can work for a couple of hours in the morning and relax the rest of the day. You can tie up loose ends until noon and block out an hour or two in the afternoon and head to the beach with your kids at 4 p.m. You get the idea. The trick is to figure out how this system best works for you based on your own unique needs and schedule.
Yes, there will be days when nothing goes as planned. Nobody can deny that. But though life can be unpredictable, it’s amazing how predictable it can be. If you want to change your future, start today. Give this system a try and you will see how enjoyable it is.
I wonder what would happen if we thought of Time Management as Joy Fulfillment? After all….
-Sounds like work to our brain.
-Sounds like it requires too much planning.
-Sounds like it’s only for people who have more time than you do.
-Sounds so Old School.
-Doesn’t sound exciting or fun.
-Sounds like something you do in an office with no windows inside a cubicle.
On the flip side….
Sounds like fun.
Sounds like what the world is longing for.
Sound like oil for the wheels of your mental machinery.
Sounds life-giving and full of hope.
Sounds like something Jesus talked about. John 15:11.
Speaking of joy and fulfillment, it’s better to give than to receive. And gifts aren’t gifts until you share them. So share your excitement on Facebook or Twitter. When you do, you’ll make other people feel better as well as yourself.
Question of the day: How do you approach your daily schedule?
“Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” (Psalm 90:12, TLB)
….And while you’re spending them, shouldn’t you have joy? Maybe it’s time to stop managing and start enjoying the days you’ve been gifted with.