Wrestling an Alligator

My work has been getting busier the past few months and I seem to find myself on an airplane much more often these days than I think I even planned. I say that my calendar is more like an alligator and that I’m constantly wrestling with 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 this thing is but I’m already planned out through May. 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 achieve success. A recent study has shown that it takes the average worker 25 minutes to recover from an interruption caused by e-mail. Think of the number of e-mails that you get during the work day that you stopped working to address immediately. 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 work day; 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.

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

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” God is continuously at work in your life. He is executing a plan right now! We have all been bombarded with so much 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 mean time, take care of today because tomorrow is taking care of it self.

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Mercy

The old classic management book: “Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburgers” contains a chapter on time management or as it is referred to – Sacred Time. I’m reminded that when we work too fast or on too many things at once, that none of them are being done well or on time. The authors suggest three – “10 minute time outs” a day that are just for you. Most people will say that their best ideas come to them in the shower or in the bathroom. Do you know why? They are alone without interruptions – no phone, no e-mail, no people.

By now we all know about the game rooms at Google Inc. and the freedoms that come with working in Silicon Valley. Some companies are even letting their employees take off as much time as they feel they deserve or need, but they have to produce results. We have so many things vying for our attention today that we are becoming a society with zero attention span. If you complain that a movie is too long because it’s two hours, you are already on your way to joining the rank and file. Be merciful to yourself and build in some free time on your calendar. Look at your to do list and see what really needs to be done by you and what can be done by someone else. If you reduce your stress, you will extend not only your attention span but your life span as well.

“Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:36

Mercy has a lot of definitions. If we look at our own sin and our inability to follow God’s commands, we deserve the punishment of death. Our Father however, showing mercy and love and tells us, “believe in Me and My Son and you will be set free”. If He can forgive us for all that we do, how can we not show mercy to those around us?

“I forgive you”, three powerful words that are the opening to mercy. Christ taught us about compassion and love but it was the Father that taught us about mercy. God wants to be close to us despite our failings, so He sent Jesus to take all of our sins with Him in death on the cross. He then bought eternal life for us all by rising to heaven to sit with the Father. “God so loved the world…” the ultimate show of mercy. No one asked for your son but Luke suggests we be merciful to each other like our Father is toward us.

Oh Mercy!

I just read a chapter from and old classic management book “Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburgers”. The chapter on sacred time reminded me that when you work too fast or on too many things, they aren’t really getting done right or on time. The authors suggest three – “10 minute time outs” a day just for you. Most people say that their best ideas come to them in the shower or in the bathroom. Do you know why? They are alone without interruptions – no phone, no e-mail, no people. Google Inc. has shown us all how taking a break fuels greater productivity and creativity by putting video games and ping pong tables in their offices. We have so many things vying for our attention that we are becoming a scatter-brained society with no attention span. If you complain that a movie is too long because it’s two hours, you are already on your way. Be merciful to yourself. Build in free time on your calendar. Look at your to do list and see what really needs to be done by you and what can be done by someone else. If you reduce your stress, you will extend not only your attention span but your life span as well.

“Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:36

Mercy has a lot of definitions. If we look at our own sin and inability to follow God’s commands, we deserve the punishment of death. Our Father however, showing mercy and love, says “believe in Me and My Son and you will be set free”. If He can forgive us for all that we do, how can we not show mercy to those around us? “I forgive you”, three powerful words that are an opening to mercy. Christ taught us about compassion and love but it was the Father that taught us about mercy. Jesus took upon himself all of our sins and bought for us eternal life by rising to heaven to sit with the Father. “God so loved the world…” the ultimate show of mercy. No one asked for your son but Luke suggests we be merciful to each other like our Father is toward us.