Thursday, February 20, 2014

Managing Your Time and Tasks

I'm facilitating a discussion on this at lunch today.  If you're reading this ahead of time don't spoil the surprise ending.*

"Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you." - 1 Timothy 4:14-16 (NLT)
Why is it important that we manage our time and tasks well?  I think the passage above speaks for itself on that topic.  We must handle the things we are called to do well, because the spreading of the Good News depends on it.**  We need to be brave enough to reflect on our lives and our tasks to see if we are truly doing the most important things... (Are you neglecting your spiritual gifts?)... but if we are truly involved in the correct tasks, then we need to do them well.

Three areas in which I think we all could stand to improve:

Email: Do it less.  Close your email until you need to send a message.  Respond to your email once each day.  I know many of you like to sneak email into spare moments of the day... I disagree.  Be present in the spare moments.  Plan to knock out email at a certain time and then leave it along after that.

Phones: Turn it off.  More often than you do now.  Use "Do Not Disturb" or similar often.  Remember, you're phone is supposed to help you in life and ministry, not distract you from it.

Social Media: Use it sparingly.  I've started using StayFocusd, an extension available to most browsers.  You can change your settings to fit what is best for you, but I use it to limit myself to 10 minutes on Facebook a day.  (I don't even usually hit that, but Stay Focusd is a great way to cap your social media time.)

*Just kidding, there isn't a surprise ending.  But still, don't spoil it.

**God changes hearts, not us... but he chooses to use us in the lives of others.

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