Think of something that is valuable. Something that is infinite, yet finite for each of us. Something that you use every day. It is loathsome when waiting but fleeting and precious when enjoyed. No one in our culture has enough of it!
If you are thinking of time you’re right! What’s the best use of my time? It seems I have countless people – organizations, friends and family, who want a piece of my time so they’re really taking a piece of ME!. Often, I don’t know where to start. Yet time is my most valuable resource how do I decide where to use it?
Life is short. There never seems to be enough extra margin of time to do all that we desire. There are always things left undone. Culture entices us into wasting our time yet time is our most valuable asset. How do we know if we are investing it wisely?
God knew we would wrestle with this tension. That is why there are so many references to time in the Bible. The following offers illumination.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
A great application that helps put this into practice is The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The book has sold more than 25 million copies. Many great business leaders mention its influences in their lives.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
You must learn to be responsible for yourself. You are the product of your own choices. You are not captive of your past, or present.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Picture your funeral. This may sound morbid, but what do you want others to someday say about you. To begin with the end simply means to start with your destination in mind.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Covey explains this idea using a diagram.
According to Covey, we should prioritize our daily task list by determining which quadrant the task is in.
- Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent. These tasks should be our first priority. They should go at the top of your to-do list. They are important, and they must be done today.
- Quadrant 2: Important But Not Urgent. They should be our second priority. If we don’t we will face the consequences in the future. You need to schedule this time. What gets scheduled gets done.
- Quadrant 3: Urgent But Not Important. These are those tasks that are urgent to someone else, but they are not important to us. They should be our third priority. Many of the phone calls and emails we receive fall into this quadrant.
- Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important. These should be deleted from our lives. T.V. and entertaining internet surfing are examples, of distraction that keeps us from accomplishing items in the first two quadrants.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
We need to think through how we can all win from the outcome of any transaction.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand
Effective communication means listening not with the intent of replying, but with the intent of completely understanding what the other person means.
Habit 6: Synergize
By doing 1 – 5 we become open to new options and possibilities for response. By spending as much time as possible working in our strengths zone we become more efficient.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Develop all 4 aspects of life; mental, physical, social and spiritual.
Life is short. It’s your life, your time and your opportunity. Knowing your days are numbered, use this resource to help make the most out of them.
Attitude: Reflect on how you spend your time.
Action: Order this resource to begin your journey to better habits.
Question: How do you prioritize your time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Book: Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effecive People