Today I had a visitor. A person stopped by to talk to me about performance in a particular area or two of my life. I knew he was coming. Frankly, I was dreading it. Not because I don’t like the guy, but more because I was pretty sure I knew a good deal of what he was going to tell me, and I didn’t really want to hear it. I already knew it.
Well, as I thought, he did go over those particular things with me, and while it is always unpleasant to be forced to go over your shortcomings, he did it I a way that was gracious and understanding. I appreciated it, and as a result of his delivery, I have a renewed resolve to improve. Most of that desire comes out of a respect that he built for himself in how he treated me with respect as well. It was a good conversation all the way around.
Near the end of our meeting, he gave me some advice on scheduling my time that I have not tried before. He asked me what amount of time I set aside in blocks for completing certain tasks that really need to be done. After we talked about where I spend my time, I realized something. I have found that a great deal of my time is taken up by starting something and then restarting it after I have been called away for something else. It is the interruptions that are killing my efficiency.
He suggested taking the important things that really need to get done and actually blocking time off to work on them. Literally making those times sacred for the purpose of accomplishing that specific task. Nothing short of an all out emergency can take me off the task at hand during that time. This is not as easy as it sounds.
It’s going to require Discipline. I am going to need to define these times and then stick with them. No compromise. I have a job to do in that time frame and allowing distractions will negate the purpose of that time and it will stay as inefficient as ever.
It’s going to require Understanding. Whether it is people understanding that I am setting this time aside for something important, or my understanding that there might be something that comes up during these times that is more important than what I am doing. We are all going to have to work together to come to a new understanding of schedule and priorities.
It’s going to require Change. Yes, that word that can shake the foundations of comfort. Mine. Theirs. The all important status quo. Sometimes the best thing you can do is do something different. Face it, doing things the way I have done them has not worked. Time for a shake up.
Time is one of those things that we only get so much of. Everybody gets the same amount, and while we can make the most of it, we can never make more of it. It is easy to think that your time is worth more than another person’s time, but it really comes down to what you do with it that makes it valuable.
The Bible has a verse that speaks of this:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”
Relentless Living requires us to look at what we are doing and evaluate it. Is it profitable? Is it necessary? Is it possible? Is it something I should be doing? Is this the right TIME for this? Taking that look at how I use my time will make me more effective. This is not only about work, but at home and in my other relationships as well. It’s a discipline that is worth the effort.
Just as Christ set side time to pray, or to spend with his closest disciples, I need to set aside time to do the important things and not be distracted by the interruptions that do not really require my attention. That is going to help me accomplish the important things rather than be in a state of constant interruption by the urgent things that might not be really important.
So, I need to go. My time for this is up, and I have something that needs to be done. Have a great day, and feel free to share this with your friends. Tell them to take the time!
Relentless Growth -> Grow Deep -> Grow Strong