Summary: Time is so short these days, isn’t it? "With all that I’m doing, sometimes I just want to get off the treadmill." If you’ve felt like that, here’s a sermon on managing time for effectiveness. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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Managing Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”

The Bible clearly indicates that for every one of us, there is enough time to accomplish what must be done.

However, if you want this to happen, you’ve got to take the initiative to obey the following Scripture:

Eph 5:15-16 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

But the question is, “How do you do that?” What are practical guidelines that the Bible can give us about how to manage our time?

ONE NOTE: I can teach you how to be more efficient, but my ultimate goal is to make you more effective.

We need to understand the difference between:

EFFICIENCY - doing things right.

EFFECTIVENESS - doing the right things

You see, we can fill up our days with busy, efficient activity, but never be effective. You can do the things that make you rich and famous, but never be effective, if you don’t do the things that matter for all time and eternity – the things that God values.

Mike Tyson’s life was efficient.

Adolf Hitler’s life was efficient.

Mother Theresa’s life was effective.

To understand the foundation of effectiveness, we’ve got to:

Understand the relationship between urgent and important.

URGENT - Shouts at you

NOT URGENT - Doesn’t shout at you.

IMPORTANT - adds value to God’s work, you and others

NOT IMPORTANT - doesn’t add value to you or others

EVERYTHING in your life is some combination of these four.

The key to effective time management (self-management) is doing the things that are important, and especially the things that are important, but not urgent.

I’ve put together a handout to help you visualize this. I want to give you a couple illustrations of what I’m talking about: (I am indebted to STEPHEN R. COVEY for this concept.)

Quadrant 1 - Urgent & Important

Putting gas in your car

Quadrant 3 - Urgent, Not Important

Setting the air conditioning

Quadrant 2 - Important, not urgent

Changing the oil Quadrant 4 - Not Urgent, Not Important

Setting the radio presets

Your relationship with your spouse:

Quadrant 1 - Urgent & Important

Resolving an argument; buying gift for holiday Quadrant 3 - Urgent, Not Important

Pointing out that you were right

Quadrant 2 - Important, not urgent

Buying flowers/gift on a non-holiday; Spending time talking Quadrant 4 - Not Urgent, Not Important

Write down for me one thing that you’re not doing now, but if you DID, it would contribute greatly to your effectiveness as a father, mother, pastor, spouse, worker, Christian, etc.

Whatever you wrote down, I can almost guarantee it is found in Quadrant 2.

A) If it will make you more effective, it’s important!

B) If it was urgent, then you’d be doing it already!

That’s the foundation for effectiveness, doing the important things.

Steps to effective Time Management:

1. Identify the roles you have.

List the four top things that you are in life. For me, they are:

- Christian

- Husband

- Father

- Pastor

For you, some of your roles will be different than mine.

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