If you know me well, you know that each minute of each day is jam-packed. My poor assistant is continually juggling my time, trying to make sure it’s fully maximized. Although my time is well planned, packed with appointments and meetings, I have to admit; it’s not always well-managed by me. She is continually reshuffling the schedule to accommodate longer appointments or hunting me down in the office for forgotten meetings. It is an exercise in patience, which thankfully she pulls off with absolute finesse!
Although I’m not perfect at time management, I think it’s one of the most critical aspects of leadership. Your time is your most valuable currency, but unlike money, you can never make it back or make more of it. You can only learn to spend it well.
I have found in my life that time spent off the clock reflects more of who you are and your potential than how you spend your time at the office or in your business.
In his book, Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders says it this way:
“The character and career of a young person depends on how he or she spends spare time….The way we employ the surplus hours, after provision has been made for work, meals, and sleep, will determine if we develop into mediocre or powerful people. Leisure is a glorious opportunity and a subtle danger. A discretionary hour can be wisely invested or foolishly wasted. Each moment of the day is a gift from God that deserves care, for by any measure, our time is short, and the work is great.”
What do you do during the hours you’re not at work or church? Do you watch television or play video games? What do you do that is productive, challenging, and redeeming? How are you spending your precious time?
I admit, I’m not perfect with my leisure time, and I sometimes catch myself wasting it just like the next guy. And although I’ve asked my assistant, she can’t make sure my hours away from the office are just as planned and proficient as my hours at work! But I can tell you this. When I’m smart with my time, and I weigh and choose the best opportunities through careful prayer (Note: God is in the planning), I’m always more content and peaceful with the way I used this gift of time from God.
Again, our time is short, but our work is great. Are you fulfilling God’s plan or your own? Is the plan executed through prayer? These are important questions because you can only do so much with your time, and the rest you must leave in God’s competent control. Each day I pray for more discipline and thoughtful action and a big dose of guidance from God. Only then can I know that each extraordinary hour is spent wisely and toward His end.