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Leadership Lessons – How To Manage Your Most Precious Resource

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it” – Rick Warren

I do not know about you, but I have to admit that I need to do a tune-up on my time management skills. As much as I like to brand myself as a planner and a “get things done” type of guy, I have seen that I have not been hitting my goals lately.

This Sunday, I had the good fortune to hear the sermon of Jeff Henderson, Lead Pastor of Gwinnett Church. Jeff’s sermon, called Halftime, called on everyone to look at what they did during the first half of this year and ask themselves what they want to do differently in the second six months. Your classic halftime adjustment.

7,670 Days

Jeff made the not so startling announcement that”

“Five out of five doctors agree that you will someday die.”

This proclamation was not said to be morbid, but it was necessary to drive home that we all have a finite time on this planet and we need always to challenge ourselves if we are using our time well.

What are 7,670 days? This is the number of days I have between today and when I term eight-five years old. Why does this matter? Both of my parents died at that age, and one can reasonably assume that my final date maybe sometime around then.

Life sure seems different when you begin to think of it in the finite rather than the infinite.

No Promises

Jeff then moved to challenge all of us to think about what midyear course corrections we need to make the second half of the year better than the first half. To add some urgency to his message, Jeff reminded all of us that:

“You are not promised 162 days. In fact, you are not promised tomorrow.”

This “carpe diem” call pushed me to think about what I need to do now, what can I do to improve my personal and professional life today rather than next week (let alone next year).

Of course, we can’t live every day like it is our last. However, we can embrace a sense of joy that each day brings and devote ourselves not to let distraction (my current one is binge-watching The Americans on Amazon Prime) take us away from accomplishing what matters.

A Great Day Begins the Night Before

Jeff referenced a scripture passage that one of his mentors shared with him about time management:

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” Genesis 1:5 NIV

When I read the passage, I am not sure what the message is. I am in good company because Jeff Henderson also said he was confused. His mentor broke it down simply that a great day begins the night before.

Do you plan for what you will accomplish the following day? Do you get enough sleep? All of these matters. I have been a lifelong lover of the Franklin Planner. I still start my morning ritual with the first action item being “Planning & Solitude.” This simple step recognizes the importance of reflection. It has been the start of my morning ritual for more than twenty years

The immortal Seasons of Love lyrics from the musical Rents sum it up well:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love