I have become more sensitive to the passage of time as I have gotten older and as the Lord has called me to Him and His service. Only recently, however, have I really discovered time to be such a important resource, something that needs to be valued, guarded jealously, and used to its fullest. Without proper active management and focus, our precious time can easily be squandered by the distractions that surround us daily. I am personally desirous of accomplishing as much as the Lord will allow me to in this life and believe we will only be able to maximize our impact if we focus very heavily on managing our time as we would manage any other important resource.
Here are my top four aspects of effective time management:
Prioritization. We need to establish our priorities if we want to be effective in managing our time. It seems so simple, yet to be successful we must define and establish what is important to us and where we wish to focus. For me, it is God, family, career, ministry, and athletic training (in that order). Without establishing priorities we run the risk of being pulled into whatever situation is in front of us and being unable to advance our overall agenda (Matthew 6:33).
Optimization. Once we establish priorities, we can more effectively structure our day around them. Structure for me is tremendously important–even to the point of obsession (pray for me!). With a proper framework I can endeavor to not waste a minute of the day. That is the ideal. We may not succeed everyday as life does throw us curve balls, but with structure, we have a far greater chance of success in achieving our goals (John 9:4).
As examples: I travel to work on the railroad where I can read my Bible, pray, and study on the way in and write sermons, letters to inmates, or plan other aspects of ministry on the way out. When I am with my family, I make the most of our time together through concerts, skiing, sporting events, movies, and other activities. I plan ministry activities outside of my work hours and I get out of bed early to train, which does not interfere with anything else. Structure. Optimization.
Discipline. None of this works without discipline. We establish priorities, we optimize the structure of our day, and then we manage our schedule in a controlled manner. Stick to the program (2 Timothy 1:7)!
Passion. It is significantly easier to accomplish the above when you are passionate about what you are doing! Love who you serve, love who you love, love who you are, and love who you have been called to be (Colossians 3:23).
Let us seize the day and accomplish all that our Lord has for us to accomplish for His Kingdom.
Michael Luciano is the Chief Operating Officer for the alternative and real asset investment business within the Asset and Wealth Management division of Deutsche Bank. In addition to being a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God, Michael also serves as the Discipleship Director for Reach Out and Touch Prison Ministry and the Prison Ministry Leader at Bethpage Assembly of God.