As I sit and write this, I am people watching. At a favorite coffee shop enjoying some Kenyan coffee and taking in the sights around me I realize just how busy we make life. Cars dart in and out of traffic as they fight for position on the highway entrance ramp, the people waiting in line for their beverage are fidgeting as if they are in some big hurry to get somewhere else. Parking spaces here are at a premium as people take open spaces right as others are exiting them. The classic Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre sang a song many years ago that lamented the plight of the “harried” and said “it’s almost over”. It was one of my favorite songs because the overarching message is that all of this will one day be replaced by an existence where we will be able to praise God and spend time with Him forever. I think back to Jesus’ ministry and how we read of him retreating to a quiet place to pray. Our Lord modeled the quiet for us so that we had an example. It’s not laziness we’re talking about here. I believe you should work, and work hard while you’re working. God deserves our best no matter our trade and we are called to honor His work in our lives by the example we set to our employers and those around us by being the best we can at working. What I think happens though is that we get busy in “busyness”. We forget to manage the clock and leave a few minutes early for that coffee or to give ourselves a sliver of peace to beat the traffic jams. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been there. Of course I have done the very same things I’m writing against. I’m doing so because we both know it’s not a good thing.
I’ve learned that managing my days better and also learning when I’m at my best physically and mentally gives me a way to plan ahead for maximum accomplishment. I use a Trapper Woods 24/7 Work/Life planner to put together my days. It gives me a visual representation of every hour of every day. For me, it works better than traditional planners because my work and family lives intermingle so much, it’s better for me to plan out my days and my nights. For me, it seems I work best in the early mornings and early to mid evenings. Knowing this, I plan my days so much of my busy work is accomplished during those times and other tasks are scheduled at differing times so I get maximum impact from every hour. It also helps to give me that down time I spoke of that we all need. By late morning, my rhythms are starting to peak and I need a bit of a break. It’s a perfect time for me to slow down a bit, grab a notepad, and write down my thoughts as I depressurize. Later, when I’m feeling more energetic, I process those notes into appropriate tasks and actions. I feel more creative and better able to manage the lists during these times and almost always think of things that never crossed my mind at my lower peak times.
As technology brings our work and family lives more and more together, it might be worth the effort to consider planning your days in twenty-four hour formats. Consider your energy levels and plan appropriately. You might find yourself more relaxed and accomplished than ever before.
..and look me up for a cup of coffee the next time you’re in town!