What’s your favorite type of music? Rock, Indie, Pop, R & B, Country? Growing up, I listened to a smorgasbord of music. My Pioneer 6 x 9’s pounded to classic rock, hard rock, rap, and even some country tunes. My cassette collection (remember those relics) was a buffet fed by my parent’s records, MTV and Casey Kasem. One genre I had no connection with was Christian music, so I wasn’t raised with Carmen (that’s a dude) and Michael W. Smith. You may be wondering about those last people, and you may be better off by not knowing. In my opinion, the '80s weren't the shining examples of quality Christian music.
Even with my deep-seated lyrical issues, there was a song lyric that I do remember from the last century. “Fly Like an Eagle,” by The Steve Miller Band, struck the auditory nerve in such a way that I still have a loop swirling in my mind even today. I can still hear, “Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'… Into the future." Okay, Steve Miller's psychedelic sound may lead your mind to wonder about his state of mind. Putting that aside, look more closely, "Time keeps on slipping…" That's true. True. It sounds like bad news, but that's not my intention at all. We have no control over time. However, we have power over what we do with our time.
This topic connects with me because I have a condition known as "wasting time syndrome." You may have heard of it. I haven’t gotten a diagnosis from a doctor, but it’s a thing. Trust me on that. What can be done about it? We have work, healthy habits, families, and deadlines. All worth pursuing.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Did you get that? You’re the pilot. You have agency over what you do with your time. Time isn’t the issue. The issues are what you have in that container of time. Like J.F.K. said, "We must use time as a tool, not as a couch." You are not what you do, but what you do reflects who you are.
So let’s create a ‘pre-flight checklist’ to stay focused:
- Set goals for yourself and your time
- Use time management tools like Rescue Time, Dropbox, Evernote, Trello, or Notion.
- Leave a bit of margin for the unknowns. For example, leave a 15-minute buffer between commitments. John Eldredge talked about this in a podcast I recorded last year. You can find the podcast with John HERE.
- Develop routines to protect boundaries on your time.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
- Make time for family and fun.
These principles have a cumulative effect. Protect time. Prioritize well. Pursue mastery.
Be a new man.