“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
The famous Benjamin Franklin stated, “Time is money,” in his book, Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One. His point, of course, was that time is a valuable thing. There is no question that time is a gift and how we use it is paramount to effectiveness and efficiency as ministers.
In ministry, I have met three types of people.
1. Those who seem to use time wisely.
2. Those who seem to waste time.
3. Those who seem to want more time.
I don’t know which category you feel like you are in today, but let me suggest a tool that has helped me and others I’ve worked with manage time.
Several years ago, I was challenged to create what is called an “ideal week.” In other words, I considered both my life and leadership schedule and established a balanced and ideal plan for my week. I discovered that this exercise helped me reevaluate, repurpose and rearrange my weekly schedule in such a way that I had a clearer direction and more productive use of my 168 hours of a week.
Here is what I suggest: Create a blank week calendar (Sunday – Saturday). Begin with 5:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. Establish a list of responsibilities and activities that make up a typical week. Then go through and determine where they fit. This would include devotions, meals, exercise, sermon preparation, family, meetings, reading, services, dreaming/vision casting, etc.
Now place them in the appropriate time spots that you feel would be best. Try this for one month and then modify, if necessary. Talk it over with your spouse and see if they have any suggestions they feel can make the schedule work even better.
This helpful tool was used by a pastor I’ve been working with and he shared that he now has more time for sermon preparation, future planning and family activities.
I look to sharing more ideas with you on “time” in the future.