Just One More Thing
by Jill Skalicky
Time management is my nemesis. It is not my archenemy, but it is a source of irritation, and yes, sometimes failure. Good time management must involve a realistic assessment of how long a particular task will take to complete. It involves setting priorities. What is really important? Completing all you would like to get done can be simple or daunting, depending on the list of desired accomplishments you just composed for the day. How much time will each task take? Is there a balance in the day’s activities? Are my expectations realistic? This is where I stumble. Perhaps you do, as well.
It has been said that “clock time” and “real time” are two different things. Clock time is just that: what the clock tells you. Real time is what you DO with that minute or hour that is ticking away. That would seem reasonable. However, my mother would have looked at that definition a little differently. Mother was an accomplished hair-stylist (Back in the day, she was called a “beauty operator”) and a wonderful homemaker. She juggled a lot of schedules, working outside our home, and yet, was always ready for company on the weekends. Our kitchen clock was the source of her one idiosyncrasy. She always set that clock 10 minutes fast. This “trick” worked for her, but always begged a second question. So, of course, when any family member asked what time it was, the answer was, “Do you want the ‘clock time’ or the ‘real time’?” For mother, the clock time WAS the real time, and even though it seemed to be a mental game, it gave her a cushion of time to do one more thing before she left for work, or to promptly arrive at an appointment.
The lady with whom I worked in the principal’s office at the Senior High School many years ago, was so efficient and focused, that I truly wanted to learn from her. She knew what time management was all about by paying attention to the “Important Stuff.” Too often, she would tell me at the end of the day, “It’s time to go,” and I would regretfully respond, “But I have one more thing to do.” Sometimes, we can think that we are overworked, and that is why things don’t get finished. Maybe we’re just not as organized as we should be. The question remains, “Are the significant things getting done?”
Spiritual growth, involving prayer, Bible study, and sharing its truth, should come under the “Important Stuff” heading. Sadly, for some, it may come last, under the “Just one more thing to do” banner, and time will have run out before it gets done! Consider the rich man in Luke 16. His pleas for mercy came too late. Can’t you just imagine him thinking, “If only…if only…” On the other hand, the Ethiopian described in Acts 8 couldn’t embrace the important things quickly enough. He was a surrendered soul. No torment for him!
It is prudent to regularly examine priorities. Make adjustments as needed. Remember the “Important Stuff,” when you’re planning your day. You will be glad you did.