Almost everyone wishes they got more done with the time that they have. There are those very few apparently time management geniuses who get done it appears at least double what everyone else squeezes out. I govern my life on the basis of rules or principles so I can accomplish a lot with my life.
1. I spend most of my time doing things that results in very significant accomplishments. 20% of the things we do results in 80% of the significant accomplishments, so I discipline my choices so I only do those high return activities.
2. I have spiritual gifts,talents, special abilities, and skills in a few areas of life. When I am working in these areas of strength I work with more passion, joy, and energy, and I easily get way more done in these areas because of the fire I have while engaged in these areas.
3. I exercise self discipline over my thinking, and don’t let my mind drift into negative thinking about life or circumstances. In order to get a lot done a person has to work fast which requires energy, and negative thinking is a major cause of weariness. Grumbling and complaining verbally is a result of grumbling and complaining mentally in our thoughts. We all tend towards selfishness so when things don’t happen the way we think they should we react negatively. Most people in our culture and country grumble and complain about just about everything so we will easily pick up that bad habit from those around us. Whenever I hear myself thinking negatively I quote and meditate in my mind on psalms 100, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Try quoting those 5 verses 10 times throughout the day and see what happens to your thinking and your talking. You will feel happier, more energetic, you will be much more patient with people all around you, and because people like being with happy, positive, high energy people you will be very attractive to others, they will want to be around you and will imitate your life.
Time Management is basically concerned with getting things done. I have over the years written some principles down that I use to govern my life that I have discovered from others that work very well. Most of these guidelines are summed up in a easily remembered motto or “saying”. Let me share a few with you;
1. “The goal is not to just get a lot done, but to get done that which is most significant, most important, that which has the greatest impact on the most people. ” A few significant things done, results in more lasting and important accomplishments than a lot of insignificant things done in the same time frame. People fool themselves into thinking they have been productive because they did a lot, stayed busy, and crossed off everything on their todo list. Choosing to do only or mostly the high impact, and most significant things is very difficult because they aren’t what most around us would choose for us, and we all tend toward pleasing people. Also high impact activity usually requires more thought and planning, more effort, and more focus so we naturally move away from it to the frivolous. A wise and disciplined person who chooses to work at a few very high impact tasks will easily accomplish a hundred times more truly significant things that really matter than the very busy, hard working person who accomplishes a lot of things that have low significance. Another way of saying this guideline is, “Choose to do a few things that really matter rather than a lot of things that don’t”.
2. “I am really gifted and good at a few things, so I major on those activities”. The short, easy to remember motto would be, “Stay in your sweet spot”. God has given us gifts, abilities, temperaments, and talents. Some we were born with, some we acquired as we grew up because of the influence of key people in our life, and some God gave us at the point of our salvation which we call Spiritual gifts. When we work and serve in the area of our giftedness we work with so much more passion and fire. When we are working in the area of our giftedness it is the power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity that is working in us so we don’t get tired as we serve, in fact we often find ourselves getting energized. When I travel and speak in churches the person who is planning the seminar or event will usually ask how many times I am willing to speak, they usually assume 2 or 3 times. But I tell them to work me like a dog, I don’t mind speaking 8 hours a day, the more I teach the more energetic I feel. Working and serving in my sweet spot not only results in a lot more fruit in my life, but I enjoy myself so much more, I have fun.
I will give you some more tomorrow.
Tonight at JBC’s Saturday night service Pastor Mike continued his series on “The Things We Fear”, and his sermon was on the fear of rejection. It brought back memories of when I was a freshman in college asking a girl to go to a concert, and she declined because she had to much homework so I went to the concert with three guy friends, and when we sat down I saw the girl I asked there with another guy. I didn’t ask another girl out for anything the rest of that year for fear of the same thing happening. The point of the sermon was if we accept Jesus and don’t reject Him, He will accept us and never reject us forever. In John 14 Jesus tells His disciples that He is leaving and that He will be preparing a place for us so that where He is there’s we may be also, and that He will come back and receive us to Himself so that we will be with Him always, forever. That is an incredible statement of acceptance and love. In His life here on the earth as a man Jesus was constantly rejected by the world until they finally crucified Him. He said that He would take our fears, our shame, our guilt, our rejection upon Himself, that is He would experience it and He would feel it to the max in our place, and when we accepted Him as our Savior and Lord He would accept us, forgive us, give us joy, and peace, and love in spite of what the world would do. It is quite amazing the contrast between the world’s system and the kind of life those who are submerged in that system experience, as apposed to those who follow and love Jesus.
In the last week I have gotten 4 phone calls and 4 emails that were obviously from people trying to scam me, that is trying to cheat or trick me so that they get some of my money, stealing is what it is. On the last one I thought, someone must have written a book on how to do this because they all seem to have a similar approach. Someone ought to write a new book.
It is a strange thing to me that people would attempt to cheat someone else out of their money. I wonder where in their life the moral values were shaped so that they are OK with cheating another person and stealing money from them. Each person has a value system and a developed sense of what is right and wrong. In our younger ages we are not choosing much in regards to what we believe, we are shaped by our parents, other family, teachers, close friends, and church leaders. We are like a piece of clay that someone takes in their hands and molds .
I was very blessed to have been raised by very good parents, family, church, pastors, youth leaders, and teachers. Once a person gets into their adult years they can change that molded moral world view and standards of right and wrong but it isn’t easy and it takes strong influence from other people who are gifted and skilled in influencing people to change. A major factor in people changing is that they are convicted, that is they feel a strong sense of guilt over what they have done and what they are doing. God works on people’s conscience through the Holy Spirit to convict them of wrong and sinful behavior in an attempt to change them. People who are convicted of a particular behavior do one of two things, they either work at changing or they excuse, justify, hide, or blame others. We were born with that bent so it comes naturally.
I want to change and grow to be more righteous and holy every day of my life so I ask God to show me the things that need changing, convict me of those things, and grant me the power and wisdom to make the change as I begin. I also want to be used by God to help other people to change, in fact that is my personal mission statement, “to grow to be like Christ as much as possible in the days I have left, and to influence many others to do the same.”