Fred learned “waste not, want not” from his Mother. She raised five boys in a preacher’s home (on a preacher’s salary) during the Great Depression. She almost miraculously managed to make resources stretch. Fred became thrifty about money and time.
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I am not a believer in the “time pressure” phenomenon. I believe there is a faddishness to the race against time I see in so many. As a modest accomplisher, I find it arrogant to think that I couldn’t get my work done in the same amount of time afforded to Einstein, Michelangelo, Salk, and Schweitzer.
Time, like money, varies in value. High energy hours, like after tax dollars, are more productive and more valuable. In thinking about the organization of time to maximize the value, here are a few points I feel are important:
- Make a specific decision about what you are trying to do. — I first make a list of the things that only I can do. Then, I hand off (first by assignment and then by delegation) everything else. It takes ego control to accept that other people can do most of what we think we have to do.
- Keep a reasonably busy schedule of meaningful things. — Work pace is important. When we move too fast we make haphazard decisions and confuse our priorities. If the pace is too slow, we procrastinate and let our time be filled up with even small tasks.
- Learn to use small bits of time. — Successful people use time better than the less successful. Almost everyone uses the big chunks in a similar manner. It is the small scraps of time which make the winning difference. It is also the scraps of wasted time that defeat us.
- Be organized – orderly or not. — As my friends and associates know, I am not orderly, but I am organized. Orderliness is a pleasant trait; organization is a necessity.
Since there is no way of making more time, or even saving time, short of a Biblical stopping of the sun, the exercise is to better use the time we have. I suggest you make a list of five items which would make your time usage more productive and then start practicing them faithfully until they become habits. Why just five? Much better to master five than to make an exhaustive list of unused ideas.
Think about this week: 1) What is my strongest time pressure? 2) How could I better control the use of my time? 3) When do I feel most pressed for time?
Words of Wisdom: “Orderliness is a pleasant trait; organization is a necessity.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky and did not set for about a full day. There has not been a day like it before or since.” (Joshua 10:13,14 NET Bible)
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