Theme: Time Management
Dwight Eisenhower (pictured above) lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine. It comes with no surprise that his methods for time management have been studied by many.
He created for us a divide between two categories – urgent tasks, and important tasks.
Urgent tasks are things that you feel like you need to respond to, like emails, phone calls, texts, “the news", and other people's agendas. Meanwhile, important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term goals. So, in your life, how do you manage your time? Do you spend more time on the urgent or important?
My guess is the urgent. Why? Because it is our nature to feel like we have to respond to the urgent first. But when we do, our time really becomes someone else's time. I have had to learn this as a pastor. There is only so much time and I can spend it on the urgent or important.
The fact is there are things that only I can do and there are things that only you can do. Those things that only we can do are the important things. These things change over time and with different jobs and stages of life, but what we must do is cut the fluff.
If we can cut the fluff – the wasted minutes – and apply those towards what actually moves us forward or the purposes for which God has called us… we’re in for a great ride. The opposite is also true. If we get caught up in only the urgent tasks, we can go through a whole day, month, or years, busy-as-ever, and never move what's important forward.
Does this mean we never respond to emails? I wish, but no. But it may mean we take time to "unsubscribe" from the unimportant emails so we only get the important ones! Try it, it is life changing!
All this to say, one thing I know that is important is to pray. Only you can pray the prayers you need to pray. No one else can. Prayer is important because it opens us to communication with God. So when life says there are more urgent things than prayer, remember, it's a trick. The devil trembles at the weakest saint on their knees.
Let’s take note of what we do with a critical eye. Let’s cut the fluff. Prayer is never a waste of time!
Scripture: Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
“Father, my heart feels anxious (tell God what is giving you anxiety). I don’t like this feeling, but I’m thankful I can come to You and receive peace. You invite me to replace my anxiety with prayer, and even though my mind and heart are racing, I’m coming to You knowing that You provide healing and calm for my soul. Thank You for giving me breath and life. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. I lay down all worries, all my physical and mental anxiety, and any attempt at trying to control it all (tell Him the things you are laying down right now). I surrender it all to You. I need You. I need Your peace that transcends my human understanding. Even if things are unstable around me, I pray that Your peace will be evident in my heart and my life. Guard my heart and mind, God. I trust that You are faithful, and I receive Your peace in my life today.”