Today, it is hard to open an e-mail newsletter, a website, or an offline magazine and not see someone talking up importance of time management.
The time management gurus are going out of their way to teach us how to set priorities in our work week, how to organize those priorities, and then finally stick to our priorities to get more done. I applaud their efforts.
Yet in all of dozens of articles that I have read that speak of importance and power of priorities in our work day, I have yet to see one person apply this principle to our lives outside of our jobs.
Let me show you how this is important. There are in fact 168 hours in a week. Of those 168 hours, we spend about 40 of them working, and we spend about 4 hours a week in transit to and from our jobs. As a result, we are spending just over one quarter of our lives taking care of business.
We spend approximately another 56 hours each week sleeping and another 7 hours grooming ourselves each week. Add to this 7 hours we spend eating, and we are left with 54 hours in our week that no one is talking about.
I find it truly startling that people fill volumes talking about how to manage just over 25% of our week, and completely ignore another 33% of our week that is left to our free time pursuits.
Most times when I count down these numbers for people, they are dumbfounded to realize that they have more free time available to them than they spend actually working! Work seems such a prevalent portion of our lives that we fail to realize that we have lives beyond work.
So let me ask you a question. One third of your life is devoted to non-work related activities. What priorities have you set for yourself during these 54 non-work hours available each week? Okay, now let me take that same question one step further. Are you acting on these priorities each day? If I asked your children what priorities you have set for your own life, how would THEY respond?
So many people recognize a need to set priorities on job. Yet most of these same people fail to place priorities on their lives. Why do people recognize need for one and not other? Some would say that problem is rooted in not having God in their lives. But, even that falls far short of truth.
Even Christians fall into this same rut. That seems to cancel out argument about a lack of God in our lives.
The only argument that bears out in fact is that we pay more attention to giving our priorities lip service, than we do to finding strength, determination, and integrity toward defining and then honoring any real priorities in our lives.