Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.Ephesians 5:15-17
Uses one’s own time effectively and efficiently
Values one’s own time and the time of others
Concentrates one’s own efforts on the most important priorities
Gets more done in less time than others
Can attend to a broader range of activities – personal, ministry, relational, family, spiritual, community, etc
What has worked well for you to successfully manage your time and responsibilities?
Is disorganized and wastes time and resources
Moves frequently from one activity to another and has difficulty bringing activities to completion
Doesn’t set priorities
Has difficulty saying ‘no’ to people when they ask for assistance
Can only concentrate on one thing at a time instead of seeing all the necessary work activities needing to be completed
Is very easily distracted
Has strong emotional reactions to whatever is going on at the moment and shifts all focus to that thing
Doesn’t have or follow a plan or method for how to use one’s own time
Is often unaware of time constraints, when things need to get done, or how long something might take to complete
May perform alright on important priorities and issues, but is not good at coming through with smaller things/responsibilities
What demands and opportunities in your life do you need to say “no” to more often so that you can spend your time focusing on what’s really most important?
Causes of Weakness
Has a hard time saying ‘no’ to people – wants everyone to like them
Has not developed an approach for organizing tasks and responsibilities
Prefers to take action rather than stop and take time to think and plan
Not willing to spend time planning – too focused about getting results quickly
Not aware of time – not a good judge of time or how long things take to complete
Difficulty releasing tasks to others
Undisciplined in making a plan and following it – preferring to do what’s most comfortable or fun at the moment
Which of these weaknesses do you recognize in yourself?
Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.
SET GOALS: Goals are essential for setting priorities. If you do not have goals, you can’t prioritize your work. Using the goals, categorize what you need to do into areas such as: mission-critical, important, nice if you have time, and not very important to your goal. When faced with choices or multiple things to do with your time, apply your priority scale.
Use a Timeline
USE A TIMELINE: Lay out your tasks and work on a time line. Consider buying a flow charting software that does PERT and GANTT charts. Alternatively, write down your work plan. Write down the sequence or parts of the work. Ask others to comment on the ordering of activities and what’s missing.
Manage Your Time
MANAGE YOUR TIME: Review your calendar over the past 90 days to figure out what your three largest time wasters are and determine how you can reduce them. Set deadlines for yourself. Use your best (most productive) time of the day for the toughest projects. Set priorities and plan those things into your schedule first before unimportant or urgent matters fill up your schedule. Give away or delegate tasks that someone else could do. Do not be guided by just what you like and what you don’t like to do.
MENTOR: Find someone who is better at time management than you are. Watch what he/she does and compare against what you typically do. Try to increase doing the things he or she does and doesn’t do. Ask for feedback from some people who have commented on your poor time management.
BE SENSITIVE: Be sensitive to the time of others. Generally, the higher up the person you are interacting with is, the less time that person has to interact with you. Communicate clearly and succinctly.
SAY ‘NO’: Others will always ask you to do more than you can healthily do. An important time saver is the ability to constructively say ‘no’. One technique people use is to ask the requester which of the other things they have asked you to do would they like to cancel or delay in order to do the most recent request. That way you say both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and let the requester choose.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg Mckeown
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy
- The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands – Lysa TerKeurst
- Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example – Steve McClatchy