I’ve read a bunch of time management books over the years. I even took a class on time management way back when. By far and away, though, the best time management book I’ve ever read is First Things First by Stephen R. Covey.
A while back my men’s Bible study group discussed BIG decisions, including a little sharing about all of the “leadership books” we’ve read. I shared Principle Centered Leadership and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, both written by Covey.
I also mentioned First Things First.
What I like about Covey’s approach to time management is the concept of “aligning the clock with the compass.” He asks, “What is your ‘true north?'” By “true north” Covey means what is most important in your life.
As Christ-followers, obviously, our most important thing is our “role” as a follower. From there it goes to your spouse, family, etc. Right?
So, Covey’s suggestion is that, from a time management point of view, we should identify the “roles” we have in life, establish “goals” in each role, and schedule our time accordingly. In fact, we should go through this process weekly, scheduling time to accomplish at least the top goal in each role.
For example, if my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, in my role as a “husband” I will make it a goal to buy a gift and make dinner reservations. No matter what I do next week, I will make sure this happens.
I know this is a simple example, but I think it’s a good one. Covey says, and I’m paraphrasing, “How many people, when on their death bed, say, ‘Man! I wish I would have spent more time at work!'”
It’s a good read. You should check it out!