a disturbing lack of reflection

Louisana Flower 2014Good Monday morning to you! Hope you had a great weekend.

Alarm clock goes off, hit the snooze button, alarm clock goes off, snooze button again.

Rush to get dressed and then, maybe, grab a quick high carb (and sugar) breakfast as you head into the office.

As soon as arrive, you power up your computer and immediately begin checking your email and reacting to them. (OK, you also might have checked Facebook as well).

Then you check your calendar and look at when you will be hopping onto the meeting carousel. In between the meetings are rechecking email, sending email, scheduling more meetings, and making a stab at your to-do list.

In fact, you may even look at your calendar with some pride! Look at how it is full of meetings! My input is needed (and is vital!) to so many people. Why, look at my overflowing inbox, surely that is an indicator of my value to the organization.  In fact, I am so busy and vital to the organization that I need to do some (actually a lot) of this at home at night and on the weekend. My family understands because they know how important I am to the organization.

My busyness is surely a testimony to my importance. Right?

One thing seems to be missing – reflection. When did you take time to reflect on what you are doing and why you are doing it? When did you take the time to reflect on your priorities (in all areas of your life) and consider ordering your life around those priorities?

If you don’t take time to truly reflect on what is most important in your life and in your vocation, who is? Are you spending your life merely reacting to the various stimuli in the world around you?

Do you realize that most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their own lives?

Why not stop long enough to spend some time reflecting on what is most important (at home and at work) and then start acting in a proactive manner that is consistent with well thought out priorities?

It is your choice as to whether you live in a state of reaction to the world around you running frantically to catch up or if you live a life of intentionality based upon well thought out priorities.

Have a blessed week!


do you want to improve your efficiency?

How efficient are you? Do you feel like you are wasting time, but you don’t want to?

There are plenty of tools out there to help you such as David Allen’s Getting Things Done site. He has an excellent system.

I also came across this article (8 Things Really Efficient People Do by ) in Inc. yesterday with eight tips to improve efficiency:

1. Stop Multitasking
2. Delegate
3. Use Appropriate Communication
4. Apply Structure to the Schedule
5. Give Everything a Proper Place
6. Time Activities
7. Commit to Downtime
8. Plan Projects

These are some good tips and the article is worth your time to read as he fleshes out each tip for you.

Have a great rest of the week!


Don’t Manage Your Time – Invest it

Good Monday morning to you! Hope you had a great weekend, we did other than learning our daughter’s car needs the timing belt railroad tracks - Keely 2013changed and there might be some other problems associated with that issue. But otherwise a good weekend.

Question for you – how many articles, books, and blog posts have you read about time management? Have you been to any seminars on the subject? How about time-management training at the office?

Now the next question – do you feel that you are any more effective at how you use your time? Not efficient, but effective? Do you feel that you are accomplishing what is really important? My answer has been too often – No. Now why is that? Why is it that we have spent so much money and time on learning to manage our time and yet we still aren’t accomplishing the important things in our lives?

Maybe, it is time to look at our time in another way. Maybe we need to reframe the issue. Time is a resource, many say your most important resource. Maybe you need to think about investing your time in order to produce the future returns in your life that you most value instead of simply “managing” your time in order to accomplish more tasks. What are your priorities? For me it is God, Angela (my wife), Lauren & Keely (my daughters), my family, my country, and then my vocation. There are “returns” I desire for each of those priorities (or areas) of my life. I desire to honor God and to have an intimate relationship with Him, I desire to love and honor my wife and to have a rich and long marriage, I desire that my daughters be healthy individuals that are a positive force for good, and so on.

So, what is important to you? Your time (attention) is the most important resource you have to invest into the priorities of your life. Are you truly investing your time in to your priorities? Does the manner of your investing reflect your stated priorities? Ask the same question about your vocation. How do you allocate your time at your work / ministry? Is it focused on your priorities or on how many tasks you can accomplish that day?

Try these simple steps:

1. Identify your priorities in life, including your work or ministry. (You will need to probably set aside a half day or full day away somewhere where you can really think without being disturbed)

2. Compare how you really spend your time against your stated priorities.

3. Determine why the gaps exist between your stated priorities and how you use your time.

4. Develop a strategy to close the gaps and to start investing your time according to your true priorities.

Remember, it is not about how many tasks you accomplish, it is about how effective you are in accomplishing the truly important goals in your life.

Quit managing your time and start investing it!!!

Have a great week!

Are you Squandering Your Most Productive Time of Day?

Good morning from a snowy southwest Michigan!  Our family had a fun time this weekend at the Ice Festival in our little town.  Did not have many of those down South!!

An Ice Elephant

Question for you – how are you spending the first part of the day at work?  What is your focus?  For most of us, the first part of the day is typically the most important as we are freshest, we are more creative, we have more energy, more focus and so on.  So do you use that time to plan, to begin work on an important project that requires sustained thought, to create?  Or do you spend your morning checking out the news, responding to e-mail, checking your social media for posts and so on.  Essentially, you are squandering your most valuable and creative time simply responding to others and allowing the “news” to set your attitude for the day.

Try something different – protect the first part of your day.  Block off the time and don’t allow meetings during that time.  Don’t automatically go first to your email, don’t surf the news site on the web (it’s depressing anyway), don’t go to Facebook or Twitter.  Instead, create something outstanding – use your best time for your most important work!

Blessings on your week!

Too Much Going On?

Good Monday Morning!

Question – did you wake up with a slight feeling of dread possibly thinking of your “To Do” list?  Do you feel like it is “one step forward, two steps back”?

Try these questions to see if they provide you any clarity as to what you should be working on – and what you shouldn’t be doing:

 – What are the things only I can do?

 – What are things I can delegate that will help someone else grow (even if they don’t do it like you – be ready for a surprise when they do it better!)

 – What are things that seem urgent due to the “noise” being generated, but really don’t matter?

 – What can (should) I simply stop doing as they are non-productive activities? What are my “time-wasters”?

Hope you have a highly productive week serving our Lord!


The “Art” of Filing – Some Great Tips

Filing is a pretty mundane topic.  Yet, for many of us, our filing systems are one of our biggest challenges.  The sheer volume of information that we now receive and must process demands that we have a good filing system (electronic & manual), but most people I encounter don’t have a good system.

MindTools has a good article that may be of a help to you.  Click here to read some of their suggestions on how to get a handle on your filing.

Blessings on your day!


Time Management – An Assessment Tool

If you struggle some with time management or just want to get a little better – click here for  a MindTools.com assessment of how you are doing and then some suggestions on how to get better.

Your time is a precious resource – steward it well.


10 Common Time Management Mistakes – Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Time management – actually I prefer the term “stewardship” as our time is a precious resource that we should approach with a stewardship attitude.

MindTools.com is a great resource for a wide range of leadership and management tools.

They have a good article on time-management (stewardship) that I would recommend to you.  Following are the highlights:

Mistake #1. Failing to Keep a To-Do List

Mistake #2. Not Setting Personal Goals

Mistake #3. Not Prioritizing

Mistake #4. Failing to Manage Distractions

Mistake #5. Procrastination

Mistake #6. Taking on too Much

Mistake #7. Thriving on “Busy”

Mistake #8. Multitasking

Mistake #9. Not Taking Breaks

Mistake #10. Ineffectively Scheduling Tasks

Hope you have a fruitful day today!