I was recently doing a nursing home visit with one of our incredible care ministers when she introduced me as the pastor who somehow managed to put twenty-six hours into his day. The visit continued and we had a great time, but I found myself struck by how this particular person viewed the life that I’ve chosen to live.
There is no doubt that my life is full. I LOVE a full life, boredom and I don’t get along well at all. So, having a full life is critical to keeping healthy peace of mind for me. Now, not everyone can handle my schedule, nor would everyone want to, but for me it is perfectly full. Between spending time with family, church, speaking engagements, and seminary, I manage to live the dream.
One of the questions that I wrestle with is how do I manage to do so much stuff and still not lose my mind. Here are the top three things I do to put twenty-six hours in a day:
- I put relationships before tasks. I work really hard at making the people in my life feel important, not just because I want them to feel that way, but because they really are. Sometimes I struggle with what to do when I need to see so many people, but I have great mentors who help me figure out that quandary. Either way, people always think I’m busier than I really am because I work hard at pouring into the relationship.
- I live by my calendar. Seriously. My calendar is the most important app on my phone and without it I would be toast. Karen and I even invite each other to things on the calendar (dates, meetings, etc.) that are outside the norm. This gives us both the ability to be in the loop when things are different than what we are used to.
- I pick the spots where only I can do the job. There are some things in my world that only I can do and I NEED to be there for those. Everything else is negotiable. I am very clear about where in my world I need to show up (husband, father, pastor) and I won’t make compromises on those spots.
When I can stick to these three rules I’ve found a sense of freedom. The freedom isn’t that I have more hours in the day, but the truth is that it gives me the ability to make every hour of my day count.
There is no such thing as running out of time, time is always the same, but the reality is there is such a thing a having mixed-up priorities.
Where are you spending your time?