There is one thing we can do with time: Manage it! A healthy pastor has a healthy attitude toward time.
The alarm clock had served him well. For the past 45 years that alarm clock faithfully catapulted the longshoreman out of bed before dawn so he could get to work on time. But this day would be the last time. As a new retiree, he had one more task to perform. He ceremoniously placed the alarm under the 90-ton press at work and then walked away.
No matter what your attitude is about time, the Bible tells us “The length of our days is 70 years or 80 if we have the strength” (Psalm 90:10).
That is only 840 months, 3,640 weeks, 25,550 days, 613,200 hours, 36,792,000 minutes and 2,207,520,000 (two billion, two hundred seven million, five hundred twenty thousand!). That sounds like a lot of seconds, but not really when you consider thirty seconds have already passed just quoting these numbers!
While the length of our lives may vary, time is a resource every person in the world shares the same amount of on a daily basis. Time is nonrenewable. I don’t have more time to work with than you do. Time cannot be stored. One cannot slow it down, speed it up, hold it up, divide it, or give it up. Money cannot buy time, and as much as we would like, we cannot change it.
There is one thing we can do with time: manage it! A healthy pastor has a healthy attitude toward time.
Good time management is not my greatest forte. I have had to work harder at being a good steward of the time God has given me. However, I have learned several things through years of pastoring that have been very helpful to me.
- I work best from a daily list. And I try to tackle my most important tasks first.
- I make a weekly plan. I plan a schedule. It has been proven that every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution. But I also allow for interruptions. And when that happens, I remind myself that I am in the people business, and building relationships are important.
- I am learning to turn off Social media during work times. I actually lived in a time when “social” was something you did face-to-face. In person. So like other things in my busyness, I have a specified time to be “internet social”, just because that seems to be where everyone is hanging out these days. And, if they want me to see a picture of the lovely spaghetti they are having for dinner, that is fine with me- but only in that specified time block!
- I am learning to say “no”.
- I have learned that I am not a good multi-tasker. In fact, recent studies have found that no one is really a good multi-tasker because something usually suffers in the process.
- I work hard to overcome my habit of procrastination.
A Healthy Pastor Manages Time well, and that includes taking time for family and for self!