Covey presents some interesting thoughts in his “First Things First.” I find myself mainly in generation one, which is to use reminders and list to keep track of what’s going on and go with the flow. Though I do sometimes prioritize things. I really do appreciate his attempt to create a fourth generation that flows from met needs and inner fire.
Covey says, “Fulfilling the four needs in an integrated way is like combining elements in chemistry. When we reach a “critical mass” of integration, we experience spontaneous combustion-an explosion of inner synergy that ignites the fire within and gives vision passion, and a spirit of adventure to life.”
This week has been a good example of what my time management can be like. Monday we unexpectedly needed to take a friend to another town so I couldn’t do my normal Monday office duties. Tuesday we had friends over in the afternoon. Wednesday I made it to the office. Thursday we had our grueling ordination exam. When I came home all I wanted to do was sleep. I woke up very frustrated and irritated with myself. Especially when I read my assignment for my masters. It was on time management!
There is a song by Jim's Big Ego that we ran across on a new computer, I quickly fell in love because it so appropriately described my life.
Any time I have a lot of irons in the fire I can manage things pretty well because some of my needs are being met. I feel like I am accomplishing goals and must be doing something worthwhile. When I don’t have things going on I feel like I am failing myself and God and I languish until I find some new activity to fill the void.
I just finished a summer play, “The Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist.” I was musical director and played the roll of Fagin. Practices were nights four days a week all summer. It was a long haul and I am relieved to have it over, but I miss the activity and this week shows what happens. I lose my rhythm and everything falls apart. I become frustrated, irritable and unproductive.
Last night, about 10 I went to the church to get some milk that I had left in the fridge (I was craving a bowl of cereal). When I got outside, I was greeted with crisp fall air, and a starry night sky and bright moon. I went to the labyrinth I have mowed into the church lawn and walked it in the dark. The moon light struck the tall grass and made the path a dark furrow. When I couldn’t see the path I could feel the tall grass with my feet. It was a whole body prayer, each step deliberately moving me to the center with God, and then back out to minister in the world. The time of meditation and prayer was the perfect cure for my time management slough of despond. It took me back to the fire within.