Too Busy?

I subscribe to Catalyst Monthly. Today I came across a great article about time management.

Can you relate to being busy morning until night, only to get up the next day and do the same thing all over again?  Moses had the heart of a servant, but in Exodus 18, it is clear that he was doing too much:

The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” … “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” – Exodus 18:13-18

Serving God means being a good steward of your time.  And that means wisely engaging the resources and people in your life who can help you maximize your gifts and talents.  By doing so, you are also helping others to be more productive.  Notice in verse 14 that Jethro said, “Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”  In other words, it wasn’t just about Moses doing too much.  It was also about the talents of those standing around that were also underutilized!  You may think you are doing others a favor by not taxing them with responsibilities, but you are often denying them an opportunity to learn and contribute in a meaningful way.  This includes your children, family, employees, and colleagues.

You must first get clear about the priorities of your life, and then assess whether your schedule is aligned with what God says is most important – time with Him, your spouse, family, as well as your health and pursuit of your life’s purpose.  Remember that when you say “yes” to one activity, you are in essence saying “no” to other opportunities.  Be sure you say “yes” to your priorities first, and allow everything else to follow.  By freeing up time, Moses created more time for the things only he could do.  There are some things taking up your time that could be delegated.  God has given you enough time to do everything He has called you to do.  However, you don’t have time to do all the things everyone else is called to do.  The key is getting clear about what He has anointed you to do at this stage of your life.  Ask for the wisdom of discernment (see James 1:5) to get this clarity.

There are several reasons that you can find yourself in the type of rut illustrated by Moses in Exodus 18:

You are afraid that others will not do the tasks as well as you, so you’d rather do everything yourself.
Perfectionism is based in fear.  It is important to be honest with yourself when you refuse to allow others to help you.  Perhaps it is time to allow others to contribute.  Carve out to time to show them how to do it.  Jethro tells Moses to “select capable men.”  When you delegate, choose those who are truly capable of helping and learning.  He explained the importance of teaching and showing them to proper way things were to be done.  If you sow into others by taking the time to teach well, you will reap rewards well into the future.

It simply has not occurred to you explore a more efficient way of handling your responsibilities.
When you feel overwhelmed by activity, it is important to take a moment to ask, “What could be a better way of handling the tasks and projects before me?”

You do not currently have anyone to help lighten your load.
There are times when we don’t have others to help.  It is during these times that it is critical to ask God to guide you so that you can make important decisions about what activities are priorities right now, and which ones can be put on hold.  Simultaneously, it is important to ask for help when you need it.  You will be surprised to see how resources can show up when you ask!

Self-Coaching Questions
Probing question:

In what instances are you handling tasks that keep you from your true priorities?

Expansive Questions:
Who or what could help you with one of the tasks that overloads your schedule?

Action Question:
What step could you take be a better steward of your time?  Is there a conversation that needs to take place?  If so, when will you have that conversation?

Valorie Burton has helped thousands find the courage, clarity and tools to make meaningful life changes. A sought-after life coach, she is the author of five books, including her latest How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most.  She has coached clients in over 30 states and seven countries, and appeared widely in the media, including CNN, NPR, and the Los Angeles Times.  Subscribe to her weekly newsletter online at www.valorieburton.com

Serving God Does Not Mean Doing Everything

By Valorie Burton
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