I got into a conversation this weekend about time management. I was asked whether productive people are born that way or if I thought it was more like a discipline that someone could intentionally choose. While I hadn’t necessarily thought through all of this before, I found it to be an interesting conversation.
My answer is that I think we’re all born with a default setting when it comes to our time management. Beyond that it depends on how we intentionally choose to spend our time. Personally, I budget my time each day in my mind. Like a financial budget, this allows me to tell my hours how to be spent before I get to them.
In our conversation, I also thought of a scene from the movie Troy that has always stuck with me. In the scene, a boy is summoned to get Achilles to fight one on one with the best fighter from a different army. I’ve only seen the movie once, but I’ve never forgotten the following dialogue:
Messenger Boy: Are the stories true? They say your mother was an immortal godess. They say you can’t be killed.
Achilles: I wouldn’t be bothering with the shield then, would I?
Messenger Boy: The Thesselonian you’re fighting… he’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t want to fight him.
Achilles: That’s why no one will remember your name.
The reality is that we are all faced with things that we’d rather not do each day. When it came to writing a book, the idea of writing it sounded much more glamorous than continually working on it day after day. That’s true for all of us. It’s far easier to settle into the background and take the easy way out. But as Achilles said, “no one will remember your name.”
It’s a good reminder for us to spend our time on what truly matters. Try out the “time budget” and see if you notice a difference in what you are able to get done in a day. You’ll probably spend a lot less time watching TV and instead doing those things that God has uniquely designed you to do.