Making time for what’s important

“I just don’t have time to do it all!”  How often have you said that?  I think we all utter that far too often, but then usually continue on about our days without changing anything.

Think about your day today.  It might have looked something like mine.  There were a handful of tasks I had to accomplish.  I had a few tasks that would be nice to accomplish.  And then there were some nagging ones that should be accomplished (or at least worked on…like laundry!).

But if I’m honest, that isn’t how my time was used.  Yes, I did finish the “have to” tasks.  And I spent a little time on the “would be nice” activities.  However, I also spent a considerable amount of time on activities that were neither important, nor urgent.  They contributed very little to anything meaningful.   And for every minute spent on those activities, one less minute was available for what was truly important.

I had a wake-up call tonight about my use of time.  My youngest daughter from Haiti has been saying she wants her hair cut short.  I finally took the time to talk to her about why.  Her reason had nothing to do with her hairstyle – it had everything to do with me.  Her sisters have been braiding her hair, but she shared that she missed me doing it.  Oh the daggers!  I quickly reviewed all the meaningless things I had filled my day with, realizing I did indeed have time to do her hair, if only I made different choices.  As we talked, I glanced at my other Haitian daughter and realized she too was missing “hair time with mom”.

So although it was bedtime, we looked through some pictures and videos of hairstyles, and I promised my girls tomorrow would be hair day.  I’m not going to lie – doing their hair is a big job.  And Wednesdays are my absolute busiest day preparing for preaching at The Bridge.  But when it comes right down to it, I do have the time for what’s important.  I just need to choose to spend each minute more carefully.

So just to be accountable – tomorrow’s post will include pictures of the girls’ hairstyles.  Seeing and hearing the joy and excitement about tomorrow’s hair day from my precious daughters was such a great reminder about time management.  Sure, I’m busy.  We’re all busy.  But sometimes we get so busy doing meaningless tasks we miss what’s really important.

President Eisenhower once said, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”  What important things have gotten pushed aside in your busyness?  How have urgent unimportant tasks filled your day?