Everyone has heard and probably stated some form of the flippant saying, “I do not have time for this or that. I want to do it, but I just can’t.” I myself had said that very idea a couple of months ago when I was justifying putting camp plans together at the cost of my family time. Was it right or wrong, it seems to not be as black and white as I would like it to be. Of course, I made this comment in front of a friend and mentor that has permission to speak into my life, saying:
You have the time to do it, you just have not given it the priority that it should have.
The concept hit a nerve that I knew was there. I say I value family, but I have not put the “currency or the cost” of time to what I say I value. In some ways, I have allowed my ministry to become the false priority in my life, letting the urgent or the perceived urgent to override by personal boundaries. I let the job, not the calling from God, and the busyness of administration and self-inflicted duties to run my life and given up power to a vague sense of self.
The foundational question is, “what do you value and what are you willing to do to protect it?”
We want to promote a model that has helped us.
A Way To Make Time
We know that this is not easy to just “do” but we want to show you a model that you can practice, internalize, and hopefully make some priority changes to give time to what you value.
Urgent and Important
These are the things that are at the forefront of your mind, that need to get done in just a few days. In another term, these items are priority #1. These are the documents you need to finish today, the email that has to get out by Wednesday, or the high school camp funds that have to get out by the end of the week.
Important and Not Urgent
These are probably the things that at the end of the day you are thinking about. It does not need to get done this second, but in a few days or weeks, you will have to move this to urgent. At the same time, this is the perfect place to put all of your routine items that will never be urgent, but happen every week. This could include weekly emails, prayer, and meetings with senior pastors or your personal disciple group.
Urgent and Not Important
These are the tasks you don’t really want to spend much time that are not connected with your goals. You may wish to try and delegate these to someone else. We are not saying that these tasks can be ignored, but they are not mission-critical. An effective use of this ensures that the important and not important boxes are fairly balanced. This might be confirmation that students are coming to an all-nighter, coming up with games for a cookout, or the monthly newsletter to parents.
Not Urgent and Not Important
These tasks are at the bottom of the priority list. These may seem simple trivial tasks that you ought to avoid doing but eventually will have to do just to get them out-of-the-way. Be careful as some of these tasks may be trivial now but they may move into a higher ranked category if not completed. This could be the next year’s event signup sheets, a parent’s version of the 2011-12 curriculum, or getting your office room restructured.