Interruptions

Compared to last year, I’ve had it pretty easy this year from a traveling perspective. Unfortunately, I’m getting on a plane tomorrow for another work assignment. My brother once warned me that I should never complain about being too busy. Despite less traveling, my calendar seems full of meetings, activities and appointments. I’ve said in the past that my calendar is an alligator that I’m constantly wrestling it. An alligator’s strength is in its tail and its ability to fling itself around to avoid a predator. I still haven’t figured out where the tail of my calendar actual is but I’m pretty busy until May 8th. The things that are designed to make us more productive – cell phones, emails, text messages and calendars are actually slowing us down. We are too busy worrying about today that we seldom worry about tomorrow.

Time management techniques are vitally important for everyone, no matter your position, to be successful. A number of studies show that it takes the average worker 25 minutes to recover from an interruption caused by e-mail or text message. Think of the number of e-mails and texts that you received during the workday which interrupted you – how much time does that add up to? If you save just 10 minutes every hour of your day, you will add 80 minutes of productivity back to your workday; that kind of productivity gets noticed. Invest in learning good techniques to manage your time like preparing for the next workday and limiting interruptions; you’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel about your work.

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” Matthew 6:34

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” God is at work in your life. He is executing a plan right now – without interruption! We are being bombarded with self-help information and pressure to maintain a work-life balance that we don’t let God in to do His work in our lives. We have to remember that it’s God’s plan and His timeline.

We shouldn’t be so worried about tomorrow that we forget what is important. Right now, is a good time to focus on today and the gifts you possess to have a great day. So, don’t worry about tomorrow; let God do that, he can handle it. Give praise to God for each day and be patient – His plan for you will be revealed on His timeline. In the meantime, take care of today because tomorrow is taking care of itself.

Peace, Joy and Hope

A couple of weeks ago, someone I haven’t seen in a while told me that they saw my wife at the gym one morning (4:30am). Whenever anyone asks her “how you are you today?” her immediate response is “blessed”. He told me that when he heard her say it, he thought it was an awesome response and it made him think about it that morning. She is such a cheerful person – even at 4:30 in the morning. The rest of us in the family are absolutely not morning people. She wants to tell us about all the things that she’s gotten done and read about while we are still wiping the sleep from our eyes. She is filled with joy and peace and everyone knows it. What do people see when they speak to you or watch you work? I certainly wouldn’t suggest that you be “on” at the wee hours of the morning but it is important to know what time you function best at. There have been a number of studies that show that early risers are more productive. Again, I’m not suggesting that you change your peak performance time. My peak usually hits around 2pm and lasts until 5pm but I can also have a second peak about 9:30pm until after midnight. Knowing your optimum time can be important so that you don’t tie it up in meetings or traveling between locations. This should be your time to focus on high-level work or your strategic/creative thinking time. Your peak time is when you turn off your email and phone so you can concentrate. This will allow you to achieve more at work while expending less mental energy since you are working when your mind and body are most ready. Back to the question of what do people see when they speak to you? If you are in peak time, they should see the best you have to offer and when you are in off-peak times, they should see a person of joy and hope who knows the best is yet to come.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

If you’ve been following the news lately, you have seen a story out of Sudan about a woman who is pregnant but has been sentenced to death, by stoning, for becoming a Christian and failing to renounce her new faith. I can’t help thinking about her and how strong she is. This is a new Christian, someone who believes so strongly in what she was taught that she is willing to be persecuted. It’s a modern day story of St. Paul or John the Baptist. She is not only filled with joy but has peace to trust in Him that the power of the Holy Spirit will be with her. It is unimaginable to me what she must be going through. It was rumored that one of the Columbine shooters asked a girl if she believed in Jesus as he held a gun to her head. When she answered yes, he moved on sparing her life. When my daughter was younger she was asking questions about faith when this came up. I reminded her that it would be better to die knowing that you kept your faith to the end than it would be to deny it and spend eternity without Him. Please join me in praying for this unknown woman; asking that her faith remains strong and that she be filled with joy and peace to trust in God and the power of the Holy Spirit. You can also take this time to pray for yourself; that you will be filled with joy and peace so that you too can overflow with the hope and power of the Holy Spirit so everyone will see that you are blessed.