Stealing time


How we use time says a lot about what we value. Sometimes, a time problem is really more of a value problem.

Read this from Slow Leadership:

Lack of time is an attractive excuse, because it implies that you’re blameless—a helpless victim of stress, overwork, and external circumstances. Of course, you may object that you truly do have far too much to do and something had to be left out. But who decided what you did in the time available? Either you set those priorities yourself, or you’re the helpless slave of some all-consuming power that decides how you spend every moment of your time.

I’m much less interested in what people don’t have time for than what they do.

When someone says they don’t have time for family, or friends, or hobbies, or recreation, because they have so much work, what I hear is someone telling me that work is the most important aspect of their life. It comes first. Let’s be honest, it must do, or they wouldn’t accept living the way they do. If they choose to be at their desk by 5:00 a.m. and stay until 9:00 p.m., they are making success at work the only true goal of their life.

Just about everyone goes to great lengths to make time for whatever they believe is most important. We all have the same amount of time available to us, so how we use it nearly always shows what we value most.

It’s not a new lesson, but it’s an important one (for me, at least) to remember. What matters most? Does the way we spend our time reflect that? Is work stealing time away from relationships that matter? What about little things like TV or the internet?

[HT: Kevin Cawley]

One response to “Stealing time”

  1. You know, I’ve given this topic some thought recently…I think that the real issue isn’t what we do reflecting what we value, but really, the bigger issue is what we value.

    Sometimes, the thought you present is a dichotomy of sorts. To say that a workaholic doesn’t value their family isn’t necessarily true. The workaholic, even a Christ-follower, might say that because they value their family they are working hard to provide the best financial and material opportunities. So I value my family and life should be good… I think that many ‘values’ are this way. Hard work, integrity, loving others, giving etc. — we can strive hard after these, and while good, are not the point in life; they may be a means to the point, but they are not the end point.

    I’ve been thinking that, for me, the core of the issue are my values. I really only need one value, and if that value was geniuely focused on knowing Christ and making Him known then I think the rest would flow out naturally. But I cheat that in many ways, which only causes everything else to be out of wack.

    Maybe we try to value too many “good things” and wind up frustrated, using excuses like “not enough time” instead of just focusing on valuing the One.

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