Is it better to arrive late – or ugly? Arriving late is just another way of saying, “My schedule is more important that yours.” Arriving ugly is like wearing a sign that says, “You’re not worth the effort.” It is a terrible choice to have to make but one I annually seem to face shortly after Daylight Savings Time goes into effect.
Personally, I think whoever came up with the brilliant idea to begin messing with our time should be ceremoniously stripped of all modern time-telling devices, given a sun-dial, a pat on the back and wished “good luck” making it to the first appointment of their day.
Another equally formidable time bandit is the rapid approach of April 15th and the IRS’s pressure to make sense of the receipts I have been stuffing in a basket all year. Who has time for that?
As I have no control over either the onset of Daylight Savings Time or the IRS, I choose to focus on the things I at least have the illusion of control over. One of those things is how I manage the time I have been given. With no claim toward being a time-management expert, I want to share some of the time-taming tips that have helped me when I have had too much to do:
- Kill the snake closest to you.
Let the “urgent” go and take care of the important.
Author Steven Pressfield says it well: “I am keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important and (b) you must do what is important first. What’s important is the work.”
Watch this video about how to prioritize by Marie Forleo – I am one of her biggest fans! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4jr52uaUPw
- Think like a magician.
“And now, for my next trick…” Do one thing at a time. Focus on the task at hand and let everything else go. Eliminate the unproductive and stressful process of task-switching. When one task is complete, move on to the next with a feeling of accomplishment as you check it off of the “to-do” list.
Get up an hour or two earlier than everyone else. Shower, dress for the day and put in a couple of hours of work before breakfast.
- Be OK with the chaos.
Do what you can to get organized and clear the clutter but don’t be too hard on yourself if, at the end of the day everything is not “just so” and in its place. Stack the papers on your desk, make a path through the toys and drape a clean kitchen towel over the dishes in the sink.
- And, of course – Pray.
Remember that God is a God of order and will honor your prayer to help put your world in order. Pray and then trust that everything will eventually work out.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do this.” Psalm 37:5
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What are your favorite time-taming tricks?
Share your bounce-back stories in the comments section below.