From Time Management to Personal Management

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From Time Management to Personal Management

  1. 1. Lesson 21 & 22 From Time Management to Personal ManagementEphesians 5:15 - 17“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”Redeem your time means to reclaim, recover, retrieve, rescue and regain it. Elizabeth George,speaking of how we have to make the most of our time says “We cannot manage time. We canonly manage our self”As we consider the importance of time management it is necessary to answer the question:“Do you really want to live out God’s plan?” Does your tombstone read died at 21 buried at 70 –existing if living. We cannot separate the discussion of time management from the discussion ofpurpose management.I. What is the nature of time? A. Time is an unseen force. B. Time is an equally distributed resource to everyone. C. Time is constant. D. Our perception of time differs. 1. Sometimes we don’t feel we have enough of it. 2. Sometimes we feel bored and have to “kill” time. E. We often give power to it. We do so by believing myths like “time heals all wounds”. F. There are two major ways to look at time management. 1. Conventional time management (CTM) This consists of scheduling activities (what you do). 2. Inner time management (ITM) This consists of monitoring one’s energy levels determining how one prioritizes activities (how you feel when you are doing what you do). G. The use of time determines our productivity. Correct use of time enables us to succeed in our efforts to be both efficient and effective. 1. Efficiency is doing things right - there is minimum wasted effort. 2. Effectiveness is doing the right things – gaining desired results.The secret of successful people is that they shape things which others often see as uncontrollable.The purpose of these lessons is to highlight how it is possible to be in charge of your time and toshape its use. The skill necessary for this is personal management because we are going beyondthe management of our time to the management of our values and priorities, which in turndetermine the use of our time.II. What does the bible teach about time management? A. We ought to be wise in our use of time (Ephesians 5:15 – 17). “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 119
  2. 2. B. There is a relationship between using time productively and knowing God’s will for our lives. (Ephesians 5:17) C. The need does not always constitute the call (Mark 6: 30-44). “And the apostles gathered themselves to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, Come aside into a deserted place and rest a little. For there were many coming and going, and they had no opportunity even to eat. And they departed by boat into a deserted place. And the crowds saw them leaving, and many knew Him. And they ran together on foot there, out of the cities. And they went before them and came together to Him. And going out Jesus saw a large crowd. And He was moved with compassion toward them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.” D. Our activities should ultimately be directed by the Father’s will (Mark 1: 32-39). “And at evening, when the sun set, they brought all those who were diseased to Him, and those who had been demon-possessed. And all the city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were sick of different diseases, and cast out many demons. And He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. And rising up quite early in the night, He went out and went away into a deserted place, and He was praying there. And Simon, and those with him, searched for Him. And finding Him, they said to Him, All are seeking You. And He said to them, Let us go into the next towns so that I may proclaim there also. For that reason I came forth. And He proclaimed in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out demons.” E. There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pull up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” F. God has timing for certain things (Gal 4:4). “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son.” G. We ought to conserve our energy levels by responsibly delegating certain activities (Exodus 18:17-24). “And Moses father-in-law said to him, The thing that you do is not good. You will surely wear away, both you and this people that is with you. For this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it alone. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you. You be for the people toward God, that you may bring the causes to God. And you shall teach them ordinances and laws, and shall make them know the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do. And you shall look out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain. And place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. And it shall be, every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge. And make it easier for yourself, and they shall bear with you. If you will do this thing, and God command you, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. And Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.”Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 120
  3. 3. H. We should not take the time we have been given for granted (Ps 90:12; Ps 39:4). Ps 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, so that we may bring a heart of wisdom.” Ps 39:4 “O Jehovah, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; I know how frail I am.” I. We all have to give an account for how we used our time on earth (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-12). 2 Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad.” Rom. 14:10-12 “But why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.” Activity Study Gen. 41:25-57 and identify where there are various time management and personal management principles such as goal-setting, priorities, delegation, scheduling, deadlines and lists.III. What are some common time-wasters?Research has found that some top time-wasters are: • Telephone interruptions • Drop-in visitors • Meetings (both scheduled and unscheduled) • Crises • Lack of clear goals and supporting plans • Lack of objectives, priorities and deadlines • Cluttered desk and personal disorganisation • Ineffective delegation and involvement in routine and detailed administration/bureaucracy • Attempting too much at once and unrealistic time estimates • Confused responsibility and authority • Inadequate, inaccurate or delayed information • Indecision and procrastination • Inability to say “No” • Lack of controls, standards and progress reportsBusiness God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 121
  4. 4. • Fatigue • Lack of self disciplineThis list was created by Dr. R. Alec Mackenzie from the responses of managers in 14 countriesover 8 years. The vast majority of these managers were employed in corporate organisations.Typically these can be divided into four key groups: 1 Lack of clear, focused goals and associated result-oriented plans 2 Lack of organisation 3 Lack of self discipline (one of the effects, but also a cause of other effects) 4 Outside influencesThere is another category I want to highlight; poor personal management skills. The list belowillustrates some time management challenges stemming from limited personal managementskills. 1. Scheduling less important work before more important work. 2. Starting a job before thinking it through. 3. Leaving jobs before they are completed. 4. Doing things that can be delegated to another person. 5. Doing things that can be delegated to modern equipment. 6. Doing things that actually arent a part of your real job. 7. Keeping too many, too complicated, or overlapping records. 8. Handling too wide a variety of duties. 9. Failing to build barriers against interruptions. 10. Allowing conferences and discussions to wander. 11. Conducting unnecessary meetings, visits, and/or phone calls. 12. Chasing trivial data after the main facts are in. 13. Socializing at great length between tasks.ActivityThink about your own list of time wasters. Take a few moments now to create your own “timewasters” list.IV. What are some practical ways to effectively manage time? A. Focus on the things that give you maximum results (high leverage activities). Steven Covey speaks of the sphere/circle of influence and sphere of concern. Our sphere of concern consists of all those things we are concerned about whilst our sphere of influence consists of those things we can shape. A lot of us spend far too much time worrying about things we cannot influence instead of investing our time (which is a limited resource) into those things we can influence. This model encourages us to grow our sphere of influence.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 122
  5. 5. The matrix below shows the continuums of control and concern in our lives and the resultant impact on our inner time management. The Matrix IN CONTROL Routine Discipline Self Mastery OF HAVE Off Purpose Steady On Purpose INFLUENCE Implementation OVER LITTLE OR Apathy Disempowered Deep Resentment NO Frustration INFLUENCE OVER HAVE LITTLE OR HAVE SOME PASSIONATE NO CONCERN CONCERN ABOUT Focus your energy on those things you can change and your ‘circle of influence’ will grow. B. Prioritize the big rocks in your life. “Those who are to succeed give the majority of their time to their priority projects.”Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 123
  6. 6. What are the “big rocks” in your life – the things that really matter to you? Do you block off time to invest each week for the “big rocks” in your life? If you did this as a first step, could the “pebbles” and “sand” items still get completed during your week?Robert J McKair said, “The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend too muchof our time doing 2nd things first.Jesus had some big rocks in His life and it’s important that we follow His example. Luke 2:49:“ I must be in my fathers house” What are your musts? Are they on your timetable? If not how can you monitor your progress? C. Take time out to plan your daily routine and activities. The Oxford dictionary defines planning as “Arranging or working out details before hand.” Time management consists of certain details.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 124
  7. 7. Some quotes on the power of planning: “Those who do not plan their time have decided that time; events and circumstances will rule them.” “Those who plan their time and keep to it succeed.” “To tell who a man’s God is, see whose appointments he keeps faithfully.” “Anything that is not put on a timetable is a thing that you have decided does not need to happen.” D. Create To-Do Lists. 1. Your lists should define the time required for each activity. When creating these lists, remember Parkinson’s Law: work expands to fill the time allotted to it. 2. List activities in order of priority. Remember our human tendency is to focus on the urgent at the exclusion of the important. 3. In your list highlight both the process and the result you want to achieve. Focusing only on results might not make the quantity of work-load clear. 4. Check off completed activities. Human beings are goal-oriented. You will recognize your progress and feel productive. 5. Include appointments with yourself in your diary or to-do list. Often we disrespect our values and priorities by only valuing activities which have to do with other people. However, having some quiet time is an important activity to schedule into your daily routine. 6. By the end of the day create a new list including what you have not been able to do. E. Develop Stop-To-Do Lists. Often we fail to accomplish our mission because we have been distracted by many things (which are often good things in themselves). Stop-To-Do Lists include things which we simply have to stop doing in order to accomplish our mission. F. Conduct a body inventory. Are you sleeping well/eating/energy levels? Are you being honest with people and exercising healthy boundaries? If not it might be highlighting that you are not emotionally healthy. G. Practice the art of delegation. Are you a “control freak” who struggles to delegate? H. Manage telephone calls effectively. 1. Determine the best time of day for calls. 2. Prepare information in advance. 3. Manage length of calls. I. Combine related meetings where possible.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 125
  8. 8. We often find ourselves engaging in a series of one-on-one meetings discussing the same thing largely due to lack of planning for a combination of these meetings. J. Overcome procrastination.V. How does one overcome procrastination?There are a number of reasons why people procrastinate, ranging from perfectionism – waitingfor that perfect time when you can do it perfectly or just sheer laziness. Regardless of the cause itis useful to embrace specific habits which help to destroy procrastination. A. Give yourself deadlines. Remember that moderate pressure motivates while extreme pressure debilitates. B. Don’t avoid difficult problems or situations. Sometimes it’s better to deal with them first so that you can look forward to the easier ones. C. Break up the large “mountains” into small, manageable hills. D. Beware of perfectionism. Just get started, you can always refine things later. E. Remember that there is no perfect time to start. Writers know that you write a book one page at a time and instead of waiting for the perfect time it’s often best to just start. F. Be honest with yourself about how you view the task. Often people will procrastinate in a passive-aggressive manner because they are actually opposed to the activity but too afraid to face it. G. Develop systems to help you to avoid procrastination. 1. You can set times or deadlines for responding to emails (E.g. within 12 hours or having a set time each day for responding to emails). 2. Don’t pick up paperwork more than once but make a decision the first time you see it.VI. What are some common signs of unhealthy Work Life Balance?There is a disease called “hurry sickness” prevalent in a lot of big cities today. It is this tendencyto be unhealthily busy. Unfortunately it also results in sickness and disease. In their book,Restoring Margin to Overloaded Lives, Richard A. Swenson and Karen Lee-Thorp outline somecommon signs of an overloaded life. o I live on Caffeine o I’m often irritable o I worry a lot o I take tranquillizers o I take antidepressants o I avoid people when possible o My brain is tired o I forget things frequently o I feel like things are slipping out of control o I don’t expect things to get better anytime soon o I have trouble making decisions o I am jumpy o I have trouble falling asleep at night o I wake up after just a few hours, but I don’t feel rested o I hate having to get out of bed in the morning o I don’t care about much anymoreBusiness God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 126
  9. 9. o I’m on survival mode o Sometimes I have so much coming at me that I go blank o I have high blood pressure o I get chest pains o My pulse races throughout much of the day o I have acid stomach o I have an ulcer o My bowels are either too loose or too tight (or some of both). o My neck muscles are tense o I get headaches o I use food to calm myself o I don’t care about eating o I get frequent infections o I have a rash o I get short of breath easily o My hands perspire o My hands are cold and clammy o I have a nervous tic o I clench my teeth o I lose my temper suddenly o I drive aggressively o I shop compulsivelyOverload is serious as it affects us mentally, physically, and behaviourally. It affects ourrelationships with other people and with God.ActivityWhich of the following symptoms of overload are true in your life? € I’m not having much fun. € I don’t have much time to care for other people’s needs. € I don’t have much time to care for my own needs. € The people closest to me (family, friends) aren’t feeling loved by me. € God would have to shout – and run – to get my attention. € I resent people who ask for my help.VII. How prevalent is an unhealthy work life balance?Millions of UK workers are likely to be suffering from depression and panic attacks because theyare so stressed out by their jobs.This is one of the key findings of the latest 24-7 survey - a national research project conductedby the, Leicestershire, and the universities of Keele, Coventry and Wolverhampton. Availablefrom www.24-7survey.co.uk.The internet-based poll has found that two thirds of respondents had been made ill by work, with48% of these suffering from depression, and 43% suffering from anxiety or panic attacks.Among the other findings were: • Eight in 10 people have a problem juggling the competing demands of work and home. • Eight in 10 workers feel that at times they cannot cope with the demands placed upon them.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 127
  10. 10. • Women (69.6%) were even more likely to feel this way than men (63%) although both figures have increased in the last 12 months. • Many people work over their contracted hours (one in 10 does a minimum of 49 hours a week, while only one in 100 is contracted to do so). Most do so to keep up with their workloads. • More than half of workers find their daily commute adds to the stress of their day. • Stressed workers were 9 times more likely to make a mistake at work. • A third of employees resent the hours they work, and more than a quarter miss family and social occasions for work. • One in five do not see as much of their children as they would like, feel their marriage or partnership has been damaged by work and are left too tired for sex.On a positive note more than half of workers ensure work does not dominate their lives, feel morefulfilled when busy and enjoyed the challenges of their jobs.Despite the higher stress levels, women generally feel more positive about work than men. Almost threequarters of bosses are sympathetic to time off or changes to work schedules to help deal with family orcaring responsibilities.The survey was divided into a number of sections covering a range of topics from demographicdata through to health, lifestyle, national policy and legislation. Some 3,300 workers took partthis year and the findings of the survey will now be distributed all over the world to helpcompanies and other organisations formulate better policies and practices for their workforces.VIII. What are some practical things one can do to maintain healthy work lifebalance?Molly Gordon, an expert in work life balance, uses some interesting analogies to illustratevarious dimensions of self-care to ensure healthy work life balance. I have adapted this andoutlined it below. 1. Make a list of things that fill your tank. 2. Make a list of things that are akin to getting the oil changed in your car. 3. List those things that are the equivalent of getting a car wash.How about doing this exercise with your spouse, a close friend, or with the whole family as thebasis for setting priorities for the future? How would establishing these priorities affect yourability to enjoy work life balance?It’s important that we are honest with ourselves when it comes to our motivation for busyness.Some people are out of balance because of greed, or as a way to cover up their laziness, or theiregos or merely being a people pleaser. Whatever causes one to be out of balance needs to bedealt with so that one is free to truly honour God with one’s time.Business God’s Way © Paul Nyamuda (Student Notes with Answers) 128

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