The time management maze usually leaves us asking, “How can I get more done in less time?” We’re always looking for the latest idea, the newest technologies, and the best strategies to maximize time. While I certainly believe efficiency is critical to maximizing time, I’ve discovered that many people efficiently do the wrong things. Why? Because they lack a clear understanding of two important ingredients that serve as the anchor for effective time management: purpose and values.
The use of your time will always be misaligned if you do not understand your life purpose, and if you’ve never identified your core values. Time management minus purpose and values equals an unfulfilled life. You spin your wheels but never get traction toward the things God created you to do.
So here are two questions to help you get started. First, how has God wired you? When you understand your strengths, passions, personality, and skills, it will give you a head start at clarifying the purpose God designed you to fulfill. Second, what are the small handful of people, principles, and practices that are more important to you than anything else? Your answer to this question will reveal your values. As your purpose and values become clear, write them down and then ask yourself a really scary question–“How much of what I currently do is helping me fulfill my purpose and live out my values?”
In my next two posts, I’ll examine the four additional ingredients to effective time management. Each plays an essential role in helping us find focus, fulfillment, and balance.