Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Procrastination and Time Management

Hi Mr. Lawyer,

I came across your blog and was wondering if I could ask you a pastoral question. I am struggling with time management, procrastination, etc.

My question for you is if you know of any aid (i.e., planning software) that might help me to live a more disciplined and goal-oriented life. I would like to know how to plan my days, and weeks with biblical goals in mind etc. Do you know of anything practical that would help me do this (i.e., Covey planning software).

Many blessings in Christ,
Bob Smith

Hi Bob,

Procrastination and time management can be pretty frustrating, especially if it is leading you to sin. I do a number of different things to arrange my days. Over the years I've noticed that the busier I am the more I get done. Coinciding with this is that sometimes I can't get things done unless there is a certain level of pressure or stress involved. With this in mind I try to be as busy as I can be. I make a lot of lists and try to arrange them so that I do the least desired one first. This way the pressure is high, because of the huge pile of stuff I have to do, and I get the ugly task finished early in the day.

Another thing I do with my lists is to put the most enjoyable tasks to the end of the work day. I've found over the years that the last thing I do before I go home often taints or colors how the whole day appears to have gone. If I have a nasty counseling appointment at the end of the day, my evening is not as nice as when I have a cheerful counseling appointment. This order helps me look forward to the upcoming events.

It is good, in all of this, to remember that God is sovereign and he has you where he wants you for a reason. He has also commanded you to love him and serve him with all your mind, which means that you must work hard, and be diligent with the time he's given you to work and study and to live before him.

I don't know of any Christian time management software. I use the organizing stuff in Microsoft Outlook to organize my schedule. I use a program called Stickies ( to make lists of things to do and people to pray for (It's free and very helpful).

One thing I've done that has helped me be more busy is to go back to school. It is a subject that will help me in my job, so I can do it at work as I work (DMin at Westminster Theological Seminary).

I hope this helps,

Pastor Lawyer

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