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First Things: Time Management (presented at VAY Christian Gathering: purpose, in-flow/out-flow, 4-quadrants, GTD)

First Things: Time Management (presented at VAY Christian Gathering: purpose, in-flow/out-flow, 4-quadrants, GTD)

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  • About the topic There is no fundamental difference for the Christian at the workplace than at home or at church. We don’t have separate set of principles depending on where we are and what we do. The issue is probably “How to live effective Christian life when you are not a full time professional Christian - that is you have to work”? - Or “How to serve in ministry and work and take care of family and be a perfect husband/wife and a good parent and be an effective witness for Christ all at the same time and not going insane” Why am I presenting this? So I just want to take the opportunity to share that perspective. In a very general sense. We will take questions as we go so to apply to any particular situation.
  • In order to balance something, you have to ask, “Balance what?” using what criteria? and for what purpose?. The first question is the question of purpose. What is our life is all about? That understanding is fundamental to the question of balancing life - Balance life for what? To do what? -- A car park on the street is very stable and very balanced, but that is not a car designed to do. But life has many aspects and components How things fit together. A life of a soldier has different components than a civilian. What are the basic components of life and ministry. After we have determine the purpose, what for. The components. What. Then we ask how? How to balance all the demands. As soon as we as HOW, we need to take a look at the priorities. But life and managing life is a dynamic process. We need to know whether we are dealing with the right problem, if the adjustment is the right amount, at the right issues. So we need a feedback process.
  • Have audience discuss among themselves
  • Balance is a matter of purpose. That is to say the grand purpose of life is the factor that guide and shape the life and also measure the effectiveness of that life. -- A balanced life is the life that can effectively achieve the designed purpose. The car that runs well on freeway, surface street, up hills, down hills, in hot weather, cold weather, long distance, short distance is a well “balanced” car, so to speak. The car that runs well short distance but overheats on long drives or uphill is not a balanced car. So is life. If we are able to accomplish the purpose God set out for us over the long haul of life, without burning out, depressed, hurt or a pain to live with, but increase our capacity and effectiveness. Then we have achieved balance in life. Unclear purpose will make us run around, doing the wrong thing. Thus unbalanced life.
  • Primary measurement of balance is the WORD. It specifies clearly the purpose of life and how to measure it. The Great Commandment. The Great Commission. It determines priority: Seek first the Kingdom of God. It shows models: Christ - Paul - ect.. People of balanced life. Response to Biblical Feedback is simple: Take action accordingly. Meaning obedience. For it to work, obedience has to be immediate. Delay will cause more imbalance that requires more drastic response Take complete action. (ex: low spiritual input. Feedback = abide in Me and My Word abide in you. Action: obey = Prioritize the time. Immediately. And follow through. Keep at it).
  • Scripture is clear about our goal and priority. God’s glory always. God’s kingdom first. Love God and others. Great commandment, great commission.
  • Let’s look at the general components of our lives. In general, no matter what you do, your life is lived in the areas of work, ministry and relationship. We can lump most everything in those 3 areas. That is external life. Internal (as opposed to the world), we could look at our life in Spiritual area, Physical, Mental and Emotional. Look at THE PICTURES.
  • What we do externally depends on our capacity in these areas. If I am physically limited, there are certain things I cannot do, no matter how much I try (I am 5ft7, and there is no way I can compete with Michael Jordan in basketball). -- Same thing, if my spiritual capacity is of a 12 year old, then automatically when life makes demands on that area, I will be in bad shape. Same thing in the emotional/mental area. We can look at balance in terms of INFLOW and OUTFLOW. Obviously the problem is the OUTFLOW tends to be more than capacity. -- That creates imbalances. So if the INFLOW keeps up with increase demands, then we can achieve balance within certain limits. Look at THE PICTURES.
  • I use the word “balance” loosely here. Effectiveness. Wholesome. Healthy. That’s the idea. So why do we need to worry about balance? Because of the grand purpose of life. -- If I don’t need to run my car, and only park it, I don’t even need the engine, and the car still sits pretty. -- But when I need to go somewhere, the car with a bad engine won’t get me there. When we are unable to achieve the purpose God sets for us, at the level that we must achieve. Then we need a tune up - balancing. When things are out of wack with each other. Look at THE PICTURE of a unbalanced life. When components are either too big or too small for the given purpose. Then the connection between the external and the internal. So we have primarily 2 main areas that need to balance for effective life. A) Life components. B) Inner capacities.
  • The rule of balancing is obvious. INFLOW > or = OUTFLOW. Take the physical. No food, no sleep, lots of work. Balance? Watch out for the other way. Too much or too little is not balance. The balance has be be achieved in each component of life for the whole to be balance. What if I have very physically healthy, take good care of myself, but emotionally I am a sick puppy, how good am I for the purpose? What if my work is great but no time for ministry, is that good? How about relationships? Family, spouse, kids... If it imbalance anywhere, it will soon be imbalance everywhere. That is the challenge. How to keep things balance everywhere all the time.
  • How about just quit something, when it gets too much? That is the normal answer. Slow down. Take a break. But if my real problem is deficiency in some areas, reducing output does not mean balance. Sometimes it makes things worse. Ex: Take riding bicycle - there is a optimal speed for control. Too slow makes it harder to ride, easier to fall. -- Ex: flying. There has to be a balance between lift and gravity, slow down at the wrong time, means loosing lift, means big crash. Another thing is that we can’t just reduce output every time we want. Why? Because of the purpose of life. There are certain output that are essential to maintain and to meet life purpose. The whole idea is not to reduce capacity (anybody can do that), but to increase capacity and effectiveness for better result. 1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
  • That means we need to have someway to deal with demands. Take a look at THE PICTURE. Priority can be a simple thing. At least in concept. Note the urgent and the important. What are some of the examples in each quadrant. (1) Somebody yells “fire”. Kids got in accident. Drop everything and deal with it. (2) Telephone calls. Do we need to jump every time? No. Meetings. Even in ministry. Being available to help is the nature of the work, but not everything is urgent or important, and not everything we should respond to. (3) Eat? Exercise? Reading? Devotion? Preparation for sermons? Work? Take wife out? Talk to kids? -- Yes. These are long term things. Note that 80-90% of the inflow/outflow balance will be in this area. Concentrate on this. (4) Not urgent, not important. Just don’t do them Junk them. Throw them out. TV? Nap? Shopping? -- This is where we gain most of the time wasted. So do (1), concentrate on (3), ignore (4) and if we have time, then do (2). Otherwise, leave it.
  • So do (1), concentrate on (3), ignore (4) and if we have time, then do (2). Otherwise, leave it. SCHEDULE YOUR PRIORITY / NOT PRIORITIZE YOUR SCHEDULE!
  • So do (1), concentrate on (3), ignore (4) and if we have time, then do (2). Otherwise, leave it. The problem of neglecting things in quadrant 3 is it will creep up in quadrant 1
  • Since everything is not static. Life demands change. What used to be 2 now is 4, what used to be 3 now is 1. Balance is not a steady state. Balance is managed chaos. Think of the airplane. All the stress of air pressure, of engine power, or turbulence. But you can have a smooth ride. Why? Tiny, in time adjustments, corrections. Not wait till free fall before taking actions. -- Same thing with driving. Chaos is the fact of life. Manage it. How do we know we over or under adjust or neglect - feed back channels. Keep those open. Maintain them. That’s part of the process. What are the channels? Look in each area. How/Who/What to maintain purpose, priority. Talk to wife. Accountability people. Quiet time. Self examination. Those are some channels.
  • Col 1:23 you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Eph 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 1Tim 4:7-16 Train yourself in godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. 15 Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
  • Our God is a Working God! Work was not a curse, it was there BEFORE the Fall, the FALL twisted work! 1Thes.4:11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody . 2Thes.3:10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." Eph 4:28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need . Ecclesiastes 5 12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. 13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. 15 Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind? 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger. 18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work -this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. Eccl 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil Mat. 6:24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money Eph 6:5-7 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Col 3:22-24, 4:1 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
  • Phil 3:4-15 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things Matt 11:28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
  • “ Tyranny of the Urgent” was a 32 pages booklet first published in 1967, then S. Covey and other expanded on that concept of Urgent vs. Important “ First Thing First” introducing these quadrant concept to business use “ Time Powers” is for applying “Unifying Congruence” as basis for Time Management

Transcript

  • 1. EMC 2011 Seminar 1st Thing: Time Management “How to Balance Ministry, Family and Other Responsibilities to serve without going nuts” – Presented by Bumble based on “Balancing Your Life” from Pastor Tri Dang, 2002
  • 2. Life Focus I live for:  The glory of the Lord  My ultimate pursuit of life  The calling of the Lord  My personal response to Grace  The purpose of the Lord  My priority of God’s Kingdom  The blessing from the Lord  My longing to please Christ
  • 3. Limitations and Distractions Limiting parameters  Physical - body  Time - 24/7  Duties and responsibilities  Abilities and opportunities  Desires and interests
  • 4. Jesus and Tension  Physical John 4:6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. Matt 21:18 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry Matt 8:24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  Time Mark 3:20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.  Relationship John 13:21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."  Ministry demands Mark 1:37-38 and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else-- to the nearby villages-- so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."
  • 5. Focus Areas  Personal life  Family relationship  Work and career pursuit  Ministry  Community life
  • 6. Connecting  Rank the areas that you need to deal with: ___ Personal life ___ Family relationship ___ Work and career pursuit ___ Ministry ___ Community life  Share one specific issue in the top area (if possible)
  • 7. Balance According to Purpose  Balance is a matter of purpose  Clear purpose sets clear direction  Clear direction builds clear principles  Clear principles bring balanced life  Unclear purpose = Unbalanced life
  • 8. Balance - Biblical Perspective  The Word    Determines life purpose Specifies priority Provides balance  Obedience   Immediate Follow through
  • 9. Balance According to Purpose Seek first God and His Kingdom …and other things will be added to life ≠ Seek first things in this life …then add God and His Kingdom
  • 10. Life Components  External life- Outflow o My work o My ministry o My relationships Work Relationship ME Ministry
  • 11. Life Components  Inner Heart - Inflow o My spiritual capacity o My physical capacity o My emotional / mental capacity Spiritual Physical HEART Emotional Mental
  • 12. Unbalanced Life  When unable to achieve purpose  When components are disproportional to purpose  When external and internal life not in tune
  • 13. Unbalanced Outflow  External life- Outflow o My work o My ministry o My relationships WORK Relationship ME Ministry
  • 14. Unbalanced Inflow  Inner Heart - Inflow o My spiritual capacity o My physical capacity o My emotional / mental capacity Spiritual Physical HEART Emotional Mental
  • 15. Balancing Rule  INFLOW ≥ OUTFLOW  Inflow >> Outflow: Unhealthy accumulation  Inflow << Outflow: Unhealthy deficit  Identify critical inflows / outflows
  • 16. Balancing for purpose  Minimize or maximize outflow?   Reducing output does not always mean balance Slower does not always mean easier • ex: Riding bicycle or flying plane • But too fast means trouble too!  Must be adequate to achieve life purpose • The highest calling is not to preserve energy  Maximize inflow / outflow - for purpose  Increase capacity to optimal level • 1Cor 14:12; 15:58; 2Cor 9:8; 1Thes 3:12; 4:1, 10 • According to the measure of faith given (Rom 12:3) • More capacity does not always mean more time
  • 17. Identify Priority Important Urgent NonUrgent Unimportant 1 2 3 4
  • 18. Priority - What and How  Urgent vs. Important   Not everything is urgent or important Review and classify your activities  Do #1 - Slash #4  #4 = unnecessary outflow  Focus on #3  Long-term inflow / outflow  Manage #2  Minimize short-term interruptions
  • 19. Life Priority - Biblical Important Urgent NonUrgent Unimportant DO MANAGE INVEST CONCENTRATE ELIMINATE
  • 20. Feedback - Flexible Process  Balance is MANAGED CHAOS  Accept the presence of chaos • ex: driving, flying airplane…  Managing = adjustments toward purpose • There’s always tension but should not be any conflict  Feedback loop    Eye on purpose Follow priority rules Manage chaos via inflow / outflow
  • 21. Balanced Life  Understand life purpose  Build proportional life components  Practice balancing: IN ≥ OUT  Apply priority rules: (1) + (2) - (4) = (3)  Establish feedback channels
  • 22. Focus Areas  Personal life  Family relationship  Work and career pursuit  Ministry  Community life
  • 23. Issues  Leadership & Unity Josh 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."  Children discipline 1 Sam 2:29 [God to Eli] Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?' 1 Tim 3:4-5 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Relationship 1 Pet 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
  • 24. Balancing Family Relationship  Manage family for life purpose  Family and children are not the main purpose • The Lord’s glory, calling, Kingdom, purpose, blessing  Family is a natural distraction to service • 1Cor 7:32-35  Well managed family is prerequisite to ministry • 1Tim 3:4-5  Undisciplined children are real obstacles • Titus 1:6; 1Tim 3:4  Troubled family relationship hinders spiritual effectiveness • 1Pet 3:7
  • 25. Managing Children  Child-rearing model must be Biblical   Core convictions of many parents on child rearing are secular or experience-based Must develop relationship structure biblically • Leadership of home - husband/wife roles and functions • Discipline - Instruction - Modeling
  • 26. Managing Marriage  Maintain relationship, romance, structure  Love - communication - romance - prayer • Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; 1Cor 7:3-5; 1Pet 3:7  Husband and wife team focus  Maximize role effectiveness for home care • Titus 2:4-5; Prov 31:10-31; 14:1; 1Tim 5:10  Make financial plan • • • • Need biblical stewardship perspective Preserve the freedom to invest in children and ministry Travel light – minimize debts – reduce obligations Are you Wasting, Spending, Saving or Investing in relation to the grand purpose of life?
  • 27. Home Life Priority Important Urgent NonUrgent Unimportant DO MANAGE INVEST CONCENTRATE ELIMINATE
  • 28. Focus Areas  Personal life  Family relationship  Work and career pursuit  Ministry  Community life
  • 29. Managing Career  Need for a Biblical view of work  Christian relevance in the workplace • Most are caught between two worlds - reality and relevance • Even the temporal has its purpose  Work is necessary, sacred and temporal • 1Thes 4:11-12; 2Thes 3:10; Eph 4:28; Eccl 5:12-20; Mat 6:33  Achievement is evaluated in view of eternity • Eccl 1:3; 12:13-14  Work is a means not an end  Faith is foundational to work • Matt 6:24; Eph 6:5-9; Col 3:22-4:1 • Working men: Nehemiah, Joseph, Daniel, David, Paul...
  • 30. Managing Career  Keeping balance  Always have connection to faith ministry • Intentional connection to life mission  Willing to forgo a measure of achievement for the pursuit of spiritual service • Phil 3:4-15  Finding leisure and rest in the rhythm of serving Christ • Matt 11:28  Building security on God’s promises • $10Mil in the bank vs. Phil 4:19?
  • 31. Managing Work - Tips  Practical considerations  Keep the Sabbath worship and service • Don’t make variable or partial based on work - make it invariant  Determine the time you need to spend at work • Work requirements vs. costs and impacts - ask why overtime?  Set and keep a come-home time • Keep rhythm and pattern consistent  Cultivate interests/commitments outside of work • Expand circles of involvement  Make good use of leisure time • Beware of watching instead of doing
  • 32. Summary  Balance is a matter of purpose  Life components: In-takes >= Out-flows    External out-flows: Work, Ministry, Relationship Internal in-takes: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional & Mental capacities Feedback & response process  Prioritize: (1) + (2) – (4) = (3)  Focus Areas: Personal, Family, Finance, Work, Ministry, Community, etc.
  • 33. ?? Questions ??
  • 34. Further Resources  “Tyranny of the Urgent” (booklet) or “Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent” ($8.00 book) by Charles Hummel. There is also a Bible Study Guide from IVP  “First Things First” by Stephen Covey  “Time Power: The Revolutionary Time Management System That Can Change Your Professional and Personal Life” by Dr. Charles Hobbs (out of print)  “Getting Things Done” by David Allen
  • 35. GTD