My life was overtaken by mail, email, texts, notifications, social posts, and the occasional fluttering slip of paper. It drove me to research what the experts say can best push back the tide, and even tame the surge of information that, left to itself, will take over our space and consume our time. This and the next posts will, if you will give it two minutes, help you manage your time and space.
Giving up ground to mediocrity isn’t an option. Letting another’s urgency rule my day isn’t either. Here is the first of ten ways to reclaim your time and space (you may already use some or all of these, but thanks for reading through:
#1 Write It Down – Seems obvious, but too many of us ignore this and let other’s agenda’s rule us!
Think about this – in leadership or ministry, people who bring us their tasks, ask our help with this or that, or “delegate up” as one leader puts it. When Jesus said we are to be “servants to all” I don’t think he had being “bondage to the urgent” in mind. When a new task, large or small, comes your way don’t let it take you off the agenda God has you on for the day (unless He definitely speaks “yes.”) Write it down. Have a To-Do list.
This one rule, by the way, is in the top three of all the lists I reviewed.
Making it Work:
- Figure out a “real time” way to capture the job, task, or idea for later. Then, list it.
- Invent a system that gives some items priority over the others. Number your list after you finish it, #1 will be the most important thing to do for the rest of that day, #2 is next, etc. Use stars, arrows, color coding, or smiley faces.
- Maxwell suggests four prioritizing categories:
- HI/HU – High Importance/High Urgency; these get your attention first. You are the one to do these.
- HI/LU – High Importance/Low Urgency; give these deadlines and make a part of your day-to-day work.
- LI/HU – Low Importance/High Urgency; since they are yours, find the quickest fix; if possible, delegate.
- LI/LU – Low Importance/Low Urgency; like filing or cleaning out email boxes; give only a certain block of time each week until it’s managed, delegate it, or reevaluate it.
- Move things to the next day when you feel you have run out of time. Leave no less than :15 at the end of the day for closure and breathing space. Leave nearby what you want to start with the next day.
- Combine this with your calendar and revisit it often each day.
- The thinnest line of ink is stronger than our best memory.
Time & Space Hack:
- Use a tool like FollowUp.cc and send yourself timely “consider this” or “tackle this” notes. Easy to use with your phone; send it and forget about it until followup.cc emails you.
- Carry a pocket sized notebook and pen. Write it down and forget it until later when you can engage it effectively.
I do both.