As a husband, father, family man, full-time worker, and writer, I am often faced with the issue of time-management. I’m still not good at this but I have learned some valuable lessons over the years which may help some people.
Lesson 1: Time is finite. I know that this seems obvious but it is an issue which I have dealt with and see many of those around me dealing with. Even if you are the greatest multitasker in the world, there is no way to get everything that you want to get done done in the limited amount of time which each of us have every day. We can only do what we can do. The issue is, when you look at not getting everything done as a failure. If you really get down to it, it is a form of greed. Instead of looking back at what you could get done and being content with that, you focus on that little or large bit which you couldn’t and think, “if only I had a little more time,” “If only I was smarter, faster, better supported, loved, …” But what you don’t see is that that thinking is what is robbing you of the joy in your life and stealing you from those who are by you, love you, and want to support you.
Lesson 2: It is okay to delegate. People have a tendency to think that asking for help is failing themselves and the person whom they are asking for help from. The truth is that by asking for help when you need it, you are not only making it easier on yourself but you are also showing love and trust to the person that you are asking. It is showing them that you love them and trust them enough to ask for help when you need it and to trust them not to judge you negatively for asking for help. In a marriage, it shows that you trust and depended on each other for support.
Lesson 3: It is okay to have days where you don’t get much done. Those are the days when you need to rest. We all need rest. Without rest, we may be physically present but we will slowly become emotionally devoid in our work, marriage, family, and even love. When that happens, it is easy to become envious of those around us, who aren’t tired and desire to help us. To think, “why are they so happy,” “they don’t understand how hard I work,” or “I wish that I could be them.” When that happens, it is too easy to continue to become more and more distant, putting ourselves up on a pedestal like we are special because of our ‘extra hard work,’ and loose the connections and support that we so desperately need and drive away those who want to give it to us. Because in our pride in our overwork, we are telling them that we don’t need them. So rest when you need it and stop the pity party.
Lesson 4: Prioritize. Look at what you need to do every day and decide what is the most important to your faith, self, and family, then home, work and others. Then do things in that order. If we can’t get to everything on our list, don’t sweat it. I guarantee that if you stop worrying about today and look back at those incompletes the next day, you will find that many, if not most, of them will not be there the next day or will not be as big of an issue as you first thought they were.
Lesson 5: Stop worrying. Worry robs you of your time. So, stop worrying.
Last for now: Be emotionally present. If you can do the things above, you will be less stressed and more emotionally present. Which means that not only will you be happier and so will those around you but you will have more energy and be able to get more done than you could have before.
So, relax, pray, let people know when you need help, and stop worrying. And most important, be emotionally present to recognize, receive, and give love.