If you know me well, you know that each minute of each day is jam-packed with a plan. My poor assistant, Michelle, is constantly juggling my time, trying to make sure it’s maximized fully.
Although my time may be well planned out by Michelle, packed with appointments and meetings, I have to admit, it’s not always well-managed by me. She is constantly reshuffling the schedule to accommodate longer appointments or hunting me down in the office for some meeting I’m late for. 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 important aspects of leadership. Your time is your most important 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 and the life of my employees and clients that the time spent off the clock reflects more of who they are and their potential then how they spend their time at the office or in their business. In Chapter Twelve of this summer’s book, J. Oswald Sanders says it this way:
“The character and career of a young person depends on how he or she spends spare time.”
I cannot regulate or dictate how my employees or clients spend their time outside of work or their business. I can only pray that their “off” hours are as productive as their “on” hours.
Sanders goes on to say, “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? What are you spending your precious time on?
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 her, Michelle 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.