Have you ever tried to resurrect time? Resurrecting time is harder than catching a fly. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can never get it back. Time can never be controlled; the best way is to manage it. Managing time is similar to managing life. Like life, managing time requires planning, patience and attention to detail. Managing your time requires you to judge yourself. By judging, I mean to critically think and ensure that you are getting the most out of your time. There are only 24 hours in a day, and we have to ensure that we make the best of it.
We are stewards of time. A steward is someone who manages and provides oversight of an entrusted valuable possession: your life. No matter your thoughts, your life will be critically judged by your Creator on what impact you have.
To better track your time, I have created a time tracker. A time tracker tracks your time on a daily basis. It takes the daily activities of the day and tracks the activities by the number of hours. This allows you to understand the amount of time that you spend on certain activities.
Let’s look at the first column. Identify and track the amount of time that you spend on activities of the day. For example, let’s track the amount of time that you spend on email.
Simply jot down the number of hours that it takes you to go through email. Another example is the amount of time that you spend on the telephone talking to friends.
The next column is identifying and selecting activities that increase your personal productivity. Look at the activities that give you the greatest impact. Look over the daily activities and determine what activities will spur you to meet your goal.
In this column, I am asking you to strategically think about the things that will increase your productivity. You must look at everything with an inner eye. That inner eye is your spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are full of the Spirit and life. Your spirit is integral in you; it will tell you when you are wrong, and it will tell you when you are right. It is this barometer that tells you when you’ve had enough of something.
Once you’re done selecting activities, begin to increase your time in those activities to bring about the desired result. Again, you are putting the focus on the right activity. Let’s go back to our email example. Not that emails are bad, but you may spend too much time on it, which will limit your time to tackle work. Ask yourself, “Was it important to answer all my emails at that time? Could I find another time period to check it?” To answer the question, you need to decide the importance of the email – whether it is work, play or personal – and its importance. Look at the time that you spend on email and integrate it in your most productive time or in your less productive time, depending on the importance.
We have to look at our activities like a financial budget. Just like a budget, we have activities of income – productivity – and activities of expenses – less productivity. The sum of the two determines your productivity, positive or negative.
The time tracker will point, identify and address your problem areas. Once you understand your problem areas, you will see the change in yourself and in your progress. Use the Time Tracker for the next couple of weeks. See how much your productivity is impacted.