2 things I learned from scheduling my life

Just recently Hyatt unveiled his ‘ideal week’ schedule.  Boy, oh boy.  That guy really gives new meaning to the word ‘intentional.’

Once we’ve formed our life plans we have to actually implement them.   The schedule is a tool to that end.  It helps us figure out if our lives even have room for our priorities.

Below is Hyatt’s schedule, and you can download a template here.

My Ideal Week

So far, people have had pretty much the same response when they’ve seen this schedule.   There is generally some dropped jaws and some eye rolling involved and then a dismissive shrug.  No one feels like they would ever be able to stick to something like that.  When I explain that I wouldn’t either, they ask: what’s the point of making a schedule you won’t stick to?

Great question.  Creating a crazy weird ideal week schedule accomplished two things for me:

1. It forced me to face some hard realities. It forced me to face the reality that some of my ‘priorities’ currently have no role in my life.  The reason ‘mission’ and ‘community’ haven’t happened organically in my week is because I have zero time for them.  I spend most of my days doing ministry for and with the Church.  I wake up in the morning and go to work at a church.  I interact with my co-workers (who also work at my church).  I go home to roommates who go to my church.  Most nights I go to things like our teacher development group or grab dinner with women from our church.  My weekend rolls around and I work on curriculum or personal ministry and then Sunday comes and I wake up and…go to church.

I miss being around people who don’t share my world-view.  I want to wake up to a life that intersects with people outside the church.

I don’t say this as a victim.  My schedule is what it is because I made choices.  I serve idols.  Regardless of what I would say or even what I believe, all you have to do is look at my schedule to know that my heart has a tendency to love ministry more than God.

I encourage you to make a schedule that accurately reflects how you really spend your days because I think it will tell you a little bit about where your heart’s treasure truly is; I think it will reveal the practical priorities in your life.

I want my schedule to look a little different.  Which leads me to the number two benefit of the schedule:

2. It helps me be more intentional. I’m not going to pull out my schedule every day.  I’m not going to stick to it.  In fact, I may not even look at it ever again (except to admire my color coding or mock my dorkiness).

Already though, without even using the schedule, it has forced me to be more intentional with my time.

On Saturday, I ran some errands, got home, threw some clothes in the washer and then collapsed on the couch, hoping to finally catch up on the American Idol in the 30 minutes between laundry loads.  Sitting there on the couch though I was reminded of my life plan and my schedule.  I have other priorities in my life that come before American Idol.  It just so happened that I had scheduled a block of time on Saturday afternoons to be used to proactively serve my community.

What normally would have been a self-indulgent 30 minutes was cannibalized by the conviction that I could be using my time differently.  Faith, not guilt, motivated me to turn off the TV and spend some time serving my community.  When I wrote my ‘life plan’ I reflected on some verses that have really convinced me that serving others will increase my joy in the Lord.   I want that.  And He showed up.  On Saturday afternoon as I bustled around the apartment seeking to bless others I felt closer to Jesus than I have in a long while.

I hear a lot that because I’m single I’m in a season of life where I have ‘more time’.  I think though, that if I was really exploiting my singleness for the glory of God, that wouldn’t be the case.  I think every minute of my day would be utilized and spent so that there is literally no time in my schedule for a family.  I think that’s biblical. I  don’t think there should be room in my schedule for a family until I have a family.  God doesn’t need me to hold open ‘time slots’ for things that aren’t mine.  He calls me to spend myself for His kingdom.

I know a lot of you might counsel me differently.  Here’s the way I see it though: if I use every drop of my time for God’s kingdom and because of that I end up ‘missing out’ on the potential for a relationship, than the worst thing that happens is that I lose an earthly relationship.  If I carve out space for a relationship that doesn’t exist at the expense of time that could have been spent on God’s kingdom, I risk missing out on a whole lot more than that.

And the same is true for you, whatever stage of life you’re in.  What are you afraid of missing out on if you cut some things out of your life to make room for God-given priorities?   You are no fool if you give up what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

How do you make sure your time is spent on the important and not the urgent?

 

 

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