Okay, so this is late. Because, obviously, I haven’t managed my time very well today. So I was really gratified to browse through the other blog posts this month on this very topic and discover something I thought was not possible — most people struggle with time management.
I thought it was just me.
Have you ever felt that way? That there must be something wrong with you because you can’t keep it all flowing, all in order, all in your head, or take it all in stride?
News alert: It isn’t just you.
I don’t care how all-together others around you may look, they really aren’t. I don’t care how much everyone else’s life looks like, it isn’t all together.
We all struggle with time management.
I once took a course through an employer on time management, and the one thing I remember from that course is: only schedule the tasks it will take to fill half of your available time.
In other words, if you think you have six hours free or available for work, schedule in tasks that you estimate will take three hours.
Because here’s another news alert, one which my pastor always says: things always take longer, and cost more, than you planned.
Scheduling in half a day is not wasting the other half.
Scheduling in half a day will set you free.
Free from the panic that comes when you realize you don’t have enough time to finish the job.
Free from the frustration that happens when your computer crashes, again.
Free from the aggravation that threatens to steal your peace when a friend calls and asks for help.
Free to allow you time to breathe and enjoy the presence of God the next time He tickles you on the shoulder and says, “Come away with me for a while.”
So, cut yourself some slack, schedule in half a day, and watch the other half fill up in spite of your best-laid plans. Then sit back and smile, knowing you have time.
Disclaimer: Of course, I didn’t do that today. I scheduled in a full day. But I did better than I did on Monday, where I scheduled in a full day, didn’t get it all done, worked like a dog all day, and still had to get up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday to get a project out the door on time.
Disclaimer 2: Don’t do what I do, do what I say. I’m pretty sure my father used to tell me that all the time when I was a kid. And that will encourage me to do what I say. Because we all know the definition of insanity: doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome. And no, I am not insane!