I write this post for two main reasons. One- I want to encourage you and two- I need to remind myself to take this advice because I slip here often. There’s a big push for improving productivity right now, especially with all the apps and programs we can use. Doing more in less time seems to be a growing theme. Our drive to cram more into the day has grown rapidly in recent years. I personally love productivity and efficiency a lot. To a fault, even. But for myself, and so many others, the issue is that it consistently takes time away from things that really matter in our lives. Let’s flex some intentionality today. I want to take you through some questions that will hopefully help you as much as they do me.
What do I want on my tombstone when I kick the bucket?
What am I doing every day to earn those words? Things that I can think of are along the lines of “faithful, loving, caring, generous, and intentional husband and father”. Those traits are developed and earned over the years. If I spend time relentlessly chasing that next promotion at work, my stone might read “dedicated to the next raise”. Write those words down and start living in ways that will earn them. To be remembered as a Godly man, I need to actually live as a Godly man. It doesn’t come from just talking about it.
What do I love most?
The answer to this does not come from your words. The answer comes from an honest log of where you spend your time and efforts. If you think the answer is family, then your schedule and habits should reflect it. Most of us are completely out of whack, favoring work and money over faith and family. Our culture tells us that’s an OK way to live and we justify it like champs. But, when it all comes down to it, I don’t want to look back and realize I traded family memories for a promotion or two at work.
If I spent as much time improving myself as I do watching TV and surfing social media, where would I be?
Imagine dedicating a whole month to replacing TV and social media time with exercise. Imagine doing that for a whole year. It’s an extreme example but think about the results of just replacing 10% of the time we waste staring down at our phone for something valuable like family game time. One thing that has changed me is that I started listening to informative and constructive podcasts and audiobooks whenever I drive. The time that I used to lose is now equaling about two books a week, for free! Imagine growing your communication skills to be as sharp as your knowledge of football stats. The compound interest of this kind of consistent input is staggering!
Like I said at the beginning, this post is a reminder to myself just as much as it is an encouragement to you. Take some time to journal your time this week and be brutally honest with yourself. Once you see the reality of your time spent and how different it is from your priorities, please don’t ignore it! Make the changes you need to so you don’t lose any more time. You’ve got about 28,000 days on Earth – are you spending them wisely?