Goals and Time
This is my favorite part! I apologize in advance for such a big lesson! I can't say enough here, there's just sooo much groovy stuff about time! I'm going to go into some spiritual things and then a whole bunch of practicals and try to make this as actionable as I can. As you read, take down some "takeaway" notes that seem like viable tweaks for the way you currently do things.
We live in a society where the prevailing belief system is one of scarcity, especially where time is concerned. What I need you to get through your head, is that this is false. You have enough time. You have enough time to do absolutely everything you're called to do. Where we get into trouble is in the area of accepting the false responsibilities, and other time sinks that distract and derail.
This is why getting clear on your vision is essential. If you do not have a clear and compelling reason to be moving forward, you are vulnerable to distraction. You'll move in whatever direction seems like a good idea in the moment. Eyes on the prize.
"Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained." Prov 29:11. Without vision, we lack purpose and direction which leads to a loss of productivity. You may want to revisit your written vision periodically for a dose of clarity and to get re-enthused.
This would be in the spiritual sense. I'll try to tell you what I have on this so far... A few years ago, when I was speaking in tongues a lot, and by a lot I mean 1, 2, 3 hours a day, I was having some interesting experiences with time.
At my job, you had to be certain places at certain times and scan a barcode to prove it. My scans were too close. I've been investigated numerous times because of it. I have driven all over the place and had one minute pass.
I was out walking one day when a guy came flying out of his house yelling at me. "How are you faster than me when I'm faster than you?" I walk back puzzled. He elaborated that I can be out for a casual stroll while he power walks or runs and I always beat him. I hadn't realized I was in a race. Things like that make me a little nervous that I'm being noticed. Evidently I don't look like The Flash, since he was commenting on how slow I seem.
Some say this is supernatural transport. I don't think so. I don't believe I've ever had that happen, although I'm certainly wanting that. I don't think it's that, because I'm cognizant of everywhere I go. I don't have the "skip" that transporters have. I seriously think time changes for me. I also know that I know how to function efficiently in the natural and I'm sure that factors as well.
How To Bend Time
I can somewhat lean into this, and "do it" on purpose, but haven't really got the formula to give out. I will tell you what I've got on it scripturally below. I can say that you can't do it if you're in a hurry. You can't do it if you're in a rough place mentally/spiritually, and you can't do it with scarcity mentality.
I believe it's very much a factor of entering into rest. One day I was coming home absolutely confused and feeling like I could no longer stomach normalcy. It seems to be a side effect of spiritual jet lag. The only thing I could figure out to do was download some Ian Clayton and listen to him for a bit. Not having any idea what I'll encounter in any of his teachings, I randomly picked one which I will link you. It explained so much of how I was feeling and how this all works. Seat of Rest.
Here are some additional thoughts on time.
1. Pray in the Spirit
As I said earlier, I really believe this is where it started for me. While I think it was more of a catalyst to get me into a proper mind frame than the actual activity itself, it did the job. I'm not going to tell you you need to put in the time that I did, because this is certainly not a "works" thing, but for me the 2 hrs a day blew the lid off in several ways.
2. Mind frame.
You can't step out of time in anything less than a full peace. Being at rest even in the midst of activity is key. Having scarcity mentality in the area of time will stop you up. So will offense or any other negative dwelling place.
3. No time excuses
"I don't have time" can no longer be a valid reason. This doesn't mean you say yes to everything, it means it can't be your go-to excuse for why you say no to someone.
4. One with God
Get a revelation that you are one with a God who is outside of time, therefore you are too. He's in you, you're in Him, head knowledge doesn't cut it. Ask Him to show you this personally.
5. Ask that you would walk in wisdom.
Something I have been turning over in my head for a couple years, is the verse "walk in wisdom towards those outside, redeeming the time." It continues, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how to answer every man." Then in Ephesians 5 we have "redeeming the time, because the days are evil." That chapter is all about having your act together on an inner level and walking in wisdom. I'd recommend a review of that whole chapter since it does address being filled with the Spirit, and speaking and singing in tongues.
So if you're going to redeem time, wisdom is the common denominator. Wisdom, we are told, is available to anyone who asks.
Kairos Vs Chronos
Redeem means to take the power from another. The gist is Chronos is the Greek god of time. This is where we get "Father Time" and chronological time. We need to not empower that dude. So we're clear, other gods = demons. Kairos of course by the New Testament is an appointed time in the purpose of God.
Wikipedia says Kairos "signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens." I quite like that definition. Kairos is smack dab in the middle of where we want to be. Redeeming the time, I believe is stepping out of chronological time and into Kairos.
Note: I don't believe that chronological time in and of itself is evil, only that we aren't to be subject to it. God uses it, and so should we. It should serve us, not the other way around.
Can't get on a time subject without some Einstein. He of course said that time is relative. "The perception of past, present and future is a stubbornly persistent illusion." Take that Chronos. We are made to have eternity in our hearts.
If you're in Him and He's in you, then you're outside of time. Actually, it's a dual thing according to what you choose to engage. When you prophesy, you are pulling from the future. When you observe something in the past, you change it. Google the observer effect in quantum physics. You are always moving in and out of chronos time.
God uses chronos time, because it helps us engage and savor moments. Otherwise everything would happen all at once. But we are not meant to be limited or controlled by chronos time.
Time Change Is Linked to the Battle Between Good and Evil
Time changed at the fall in Eden, again in the days of Noah, then again at the cross where the curse became null and void. This verse from Daniel's end times vision is interesting. 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
This "wearing out the Saints" thing gives validity to my thinking that a posture of rest is crucial. It's yet another Kingdom paradox, to go faster, you get out of your hurry and rest. To be clear, rest in this case does not mean inactivity, rather finding your rhythm and being at peace in your work.
"I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." - Solomon
What if under the sun meant under the suns rulership? I had a dream where I was watching a documentary about Ra the other night. Ecclesiastes was supposedly written late in life, after he had been led away to follow other gods. Solomon has written quite a bit beyond what bible readers know about. He has left the occult world some pretty juicy trouble-making stuff. All of that wisdom got channeled another direction there for awhile.
Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”
I found it useful at one point to draft myself up a prayer. I tend to think better on paper, and I'm not a verbal processor whatsoever. Here's mine to borrow.
I repent of any areas I have not been walking in wisdom. I forgive those who have been careless with time; mine, theirs, those that I care about... I ask forgiveness for judgements about time; mine, theirs... I repent for wasting time, not understanding time or my relationship with it. I repent of every time I have used it as an excuse, or believed that I don't have enough. I repent of coming into agreement with Chronos, and toiling under the sun. Any place where the sun, moon and stars or seasons have had a right to speak into my life, I declare that the blood of Jesus speaks louder. I declare that I am free from their influence! Show me a better way! I repent of clock watching and schedule sticking. I declare those things serve me rather than me serving them. I am not a victim of a 24 hour day.
I want unlimited time, not just is business, but in relationships, at home, in the garden/secret place. I want enough to go around. I ask for a repayment of time that's been lost. That it would be supernaturally made up.
No more running out of time, I declare that I am one with a God who is outside of time and space, therefore I am too. I am not under the sun, but the Son. I have all the time I need. Show me what to do with my time, teach me to steward it well, but also set my mind at ease so that I'm not worried that I'm doing the wrong thing with my gift of time. I repent of thinking that I have to do big things with the surplus. And may there always be a surplus...
Some practical stuff...
The 80/20 rule.
This rule that experts applies to everything says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. The problem is that most people spend 80% of their time on things that get them 20% of their results. If you can identify and prioritize those 20% actions you can take, you will get better results faster.
If you've ever seen one of those grids adapted from the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, daily time suckers are separated into 4 quadrants.
1. Urgent and Important
2. Not urgent but important
3. Urgent and not important
4. Not urgent and not important
Most people spend their time working on tasks from sections 1, 3, and 4 and neglecting #2. This is where you are spinning your tires. You're very busy but not getting anywhere. You need to make a deliberate effort to schedule your #2 activities, that will get you your 80% results. When you spend time doing #2's, you have less issues, less fires to put out, life goes along better.
When all your time is spent on categories 1,3 and 4 of the grid, you set up this lifestyle of being reactionary.
"I don't know how I get stuff done, I just wing it and hope for the best." Said no productive person ever. You need to write stuff down.
Here's the problem with to do lists. You've got way too much crap on em (for one day), you have projects instead of tasks on them, and you're not prioritizing well. You do need a to do list though, and you need to be adding to it as you think of things. Keeping it all in your head is not good because you only have so much RAM and your head will come up with something random for you to accomplish rather than the thing that really needs to occupy that time slot. I use todoist.com because the one thing I can manage to keep track of is my phone and the app syncs with my computer, tablet and email. Oh and it's free. It's also a list app that lets you put a project and then group tasks under it and assign priority levels and due dates. 5 mins of planning at the end of your day for what you need to do tomorrow allows a clear mind and closure for the day. It also means that when you have a few minutes free, you have at your fingertips, some jobs that will fit the slot. You're welcome to use pen and paper, but if you don't have it with you everywhere you go, it's not effective.
You can have a massive to do list, but you need to chunk it down into what you can handle in one day. I suggest picking 1-3 things per day of the not urgent, but important sort depending of course on how much time each thing will take. (This is not that you only do 1-3 things per day, but that you will prioritize important but not urgent tasks rather than making a practice of only treading water.)
Projects vs Tasks
Think about this; if you had a list with several items on it like
◦ mail thank you cards,
◦ publish ebook,
◦ schedule Facebook posts,
◦ spell check blog post,
the thing that will not get done is "publish ebook." That would have been the most important job that would have moved your career forward, yet it would have been the dreaded last thing. If you had put a task on it that is the logical next step to that project, such as "get an account with Draft2Digital" you'd be on your way already.
Don't put projects on your lists. Break them down into actionable steps.
Establish a morning routine. Have the first hour/hour and a half of your day vary very little. Kick ass and take names, and if you're at it early, you can be effective before other people wake up and start throwing wild cards and pseudo emergencies into your day.
Work with your natural rhythms. What time of day are you the most physically energetic? What time are you most intuitive? When are you a deep thinker or more creative? Structure your day's activities around these cycles. If you get tired, rest or shift what you're doing. I frequently rest by changing activity. It's as much energy management as it is time management.
In a perfect day, I can have everything I need done by noon and then I can knock off. Past that time, I can give myself tasks that a trained monkey could do, but am really better off socializing, napping or reading. After dinner I start to ramp back up and am good at writing, dream work and the prophetic.
I also tend to group right and left brain activities because I recognize it takes time for me to shift. I cannot write code for a website and then go give a prophetic reading without losing time in the shift. But I can code in the morning, and do other tech stuff, financial stuff, then run some errands to get into my happy middle of using both sides and later go hard to the right.
Practice basic self-care. Sleep if you're tired, eat when you're hungry, go to bed at a decent time and feed yourself properly. If your work is physical, get some rest. If your work is sedentary, get some exercise. Set phone reminders if you have to. Phone reminders are the bomb! I don't have a wakeup alarm, I have a bedtime alarm. This is to tell me to power down, get into jammies, wash face, brush teeth and quit for the night. No more looking at screens. Other wise I'll work too late and sleep poorly. Alarms in the morning mean no dream recall.
Working on your Sabbath is counterproductive. This is one type of rest many of us have to labor to enter into. It's not as easy as it sounds, to push off all obligations. It involves trust, that as you keep a Sabbath, you won't fall behind, and things will get taken care of. By the way, I refer to this as a "crash day" because the word "Sabbath" has a connotation of church, eating out and being anything but a good rest. I suggest that if you go to church, you pick a different day to allocate as a crash day. This takes some preplanning. You might need to gather twice as much manna the day before to ensure that you have a nice down day. This might be the only thing I am legalistic about.
What's driving you?
I got some strategy for this in a dream last night. I'm supposed to do vehicle inspections to make sure you don't have boa constrictors functioning as backseat drivers and that you have lights and can see out the windshield.
I believe this is very related to time management, because if we are in need of better time management, it may be for the wrong reasons. You see, your forward vision is supposed to be compelling you, not the things that creep up and squeeze the life out of you. Be driven by excitement and passion, not pressure. Do you need to do a vision review?
Make a list of things that suck your time and energy. What would you consider letting go of, or delegating? Are you doing things that aren't in line with either your lifestyle or your business vision? What is the motivation behind these actions? Are you making somebody else happy at your expense? The best way you can serve others is to fully step into your call. That doesn't happen by making umpteen batches of cupcakes for the bake sale.
"No" is a magic word. It creates all kinds of freedom. How you say no matters. Your subconscious hears the things that come out of your mouth and if you feel the need to explain your "no" with "I don't have time," you're feeding yourself the same line of crap that you're telling them.
Every time you say yes to an activity, consider what you are saying no to by doing so. Are you ok with that?
There's a test out there that is different from personality or IQ testing. It's called the Kolbe A and it's purpose is to point out to you your MO or how you instinctively function. It tells you how to play to your strengths and what situations to stay away from. Here's a link to mine so you can see what it's like. Here's my Kolbe career one. Another great one is the Marketing DNA test from Perry Marshall. While it's selling point is marketing, it's really about making sure you're not wasting time and energy doing the wrong kinds of things for who you are. It's like $37 just to go buy it on his site, but if you get the 80/20 book on kindle, it's free with it.
Reasons for overwhelm
◦ Underestimating how much time things will take you, and taking on too much.
◦ Conversely, seeing a mountain when it's really more of a molehill if you'd just get going.
◦ Lacking a plan to reach objectives, which leads to lack of confidence
◦ Not recording everything you need to do into a system to remind you, but keeping it in your head and mentally going over it.
◦ Lack of focus
◦ Not clarifying priorities
◦ Perfectionism, taking too much time to do something right, when good enough will work
When you start to feel overwhelmed;
◦ Reevaluate what is most important
◦ Make a list
◦ Get the list down into baby steps
◦ Take action immediately.
Something I do with overwhelming unfun tasks are to make a deal with myself to set some limits on it. I will only work on ________ for X amount of time. The amount of time needs to be shorter than you think you can accomplish anything significant in. 10-30 minutes. "I will only clean the kitchen for 15 mins." Then I set a timer and go. When the timer goes off you stop. That's important. Many other goo-roos tell you to do this and say you'll probably feel good enough to keep going. Nope. Do not sucker yourself. Keep your word. "I am only going to pre-schedule Facebook posts for 20 mins." You'll be more willing to get started when there's a definite end in sight.
If a kitchen timer isn't handy, just use your smart phone. "Ok google. Set timer for 15 minutes."
You might not have completion when the time's up, but you'll feel better and knowing you have a short time to work will keep you super focused on the job. You'll see what you're capable of when you set a firm intention and you'll learn to gage time better. We'll get into this on a larger scale in a couple weeks.
Predetermine the worth
Many times I will predetermine the worth of a project. "_______ is only worth an hour of my time. If I can't get this done in an hour, this is not a good use of time for me." I will go on to something worthwhile. If I think I can do it in the amount of time I think it's worth, I go for it and do as good a job as I can with that time. Done is better than perfect in most cases. How many things have you put way too much time into for no more important than it wound up being?
There are also things that you just shouldn't be doing. There are $10 an hr jobs and $100 dollar an hr jobs. You do the stuff that brings in the major revenue that only you can do, and hire out some of the other stuff. This might not be possible in the beginning, but as soon as you can, start looking for what things you can hand off to someone cheaply. You can outsource many online things to India or Africa, be able to pay less and help someone who really needs to make a living.
I have learned that you don't wait until you're drowning to hire some help. If you do, you'll still be drowning and you'll have to train people on top of everything else.
Download and complete the 80/20 worksheet to determine your high priority actions. This will be a bit of guesswork, trial and error, but the goal is to get you thinking in this direction out of habit from now on. If you would like outside input on which actions have the most promise, post your list below.
Get a system for a to do list whether it's on paper or the todoist app and close out your day by scheduling 1-3 of your important tasks for tomorrow. Spend time once a week planning goals and projects for the week and breaking the projects down into tasks. Hint - you'll probably need to schedule this so you remember to do it. (phone reminder)
Get a "Not doing now" list going. You've got to keep all your backburner ideas somewhere besides your head. I have a "not doing now" folder in my email and a document list. These need periodic review to be effective.
Check yourself periodically throughout the day. "Am I being productive, or just busy?"
Post below what strategies you plan to implement this week to improve your time management.
Ian Clayton's Seat of Rest mp3
Here's an optional mp3 that I have listened to over and over again. Let's just say that if you submit to Lordship, get focused on doing what you're supposed to be doing, are "in" a God who exists outside of time and space, all of heaven and earth will conspire to move you forward.
Ian is not a preacher, he is a businessman who runs several companies, yet takes half the year off to travel and speak. This is where we need to be.
HEAD TRASH REMOVAL (Alice)
Head trash can really get in the way of setting and achieving your goals and the activities needed to get to those goals. Self-limiting beliefs sabotage you and reinforce themselves with that failure.
It’s time to stop that!
When you make your action list on the 80/20 worksheet, I want you to make note of the actions - or even the bigger goals - that you have negative feelings towards or resistance. Maybe even resistance to writing them down at all. Sometimes that feeling and/or resistance is because others have set the goals for us, or are things we feel we “should” be doing.
Don’t should on yourself…
Maybe these are goals that you don’t need to be worried about right now or ever. This is a great time to work through the Head Trash worksheet with those and gain some clarity. Are these real goals that will help you get where God wants you to go? That hesitation could be God’s “Not now.”
But, if it’s because you don’t feel worthy or capable or whatever else, that needs to be dealt with. But it can be difficult to sort it out if the fears are yelling at you too strongly. Work through the healing strategies I’ve taught you, or any other tools you’ve used in the past that work well so you can gain the clarity you need to make the right choice for where you are right now.
In my artwork, I’ve been pushing myself to paint bigger. When I outgrew my old set up, I needed to build a wall easel to handle the larger boards. I just froze. I kept making excuses why I wasn’t going in there and getting that simple task done. I’m in a few accountability groups, and after a while it hit me that my “reasons” weren’t really valid and I needed to sit myself down and get to the bottom of the resistance. Mine was fear of success, and I’m still working through some of that. But, once I identified it, I was able to get in there and get the easel built and the board prepped.
And it didn’t take near the time I thought it would.
Resistance often distorts the time something will take you to make you quit and give up before you even start. And maybe it’s a device of the enemy to keep you from entering into rest and experiencing all the effects that entails. The time will pass anyway, so you might as well get going on things that matter to you!
After you’ve dealt with the resistance, do a gross generalization of how much time you think it will take. If you’re good at this, the next step is easier, but I’m not, so don’t worry if you have no idea.
I work my goals by quarters, which are 13 weeks long. I choose 3-4 goals, depending on how much there is to do in them, for each quarter. I keep all the goals and actions on a list at the front of my planner for future reference. I then assign the goals to weeks, with the subset of action steps under them. I’ll assign more or less of those depending on how long I think they’ll take.
I always leave 1-2 weeks free. I’ll err on more free weeks than less. This allows me to move things around if I need to, or if an action takes more time than I thought, I have built in extra time to accommodate that without getting off track for the quarter. If an action takes less time, I’ll back fill with something from my list.
It doesn’t always work, and if not, then I’ll carry over something into the next quarter and use my increased knowledge and experience to adjust the time I think it will require.
This system is a tool. It is NOT something cast in concrete. If I get really off because of illness or an unexpected turn of events, I’ll reassess as I need to.
Because I have several businesses that fluctuate, I don’t always know how much time I’ll have each week, so this adds to the complexity of scheduling. Before God helped me work out this system, it was too easy for me to be frustrated and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I should be doing.
By having a specific project for the week, rather than a day, then I know what to do when I have free time in my schedule from clients and projects. And, because it hasn’t been a long time since I’ve worked on something, then it’s fresh in my mind, and I can pick right up where I left off. Often, my subconscious has been working on the project while I was busy elsewhere and it flows really well. For this reason, if I think something will take 2 weeks, I will typically schedule those back to back to take advantage of that process of not needing to figure out what I was doing before I can continue on.
I’ve given you two other PDFs that you can use for this process. Assign the time by weeks or days or however will help you plug those tasks into your schedule. I work out my weekly projects on separate paper to my planner, so I can start over if I need to. When I’m done, I typically write the project on the Sundays of the months for that quarter, since that’s my day of rest so I don’t have things written on that day. Church is every week, most years!, so goes without writing down!
The other important thing for successful goal achievement is to celebrate all your successes. Determine a reward proportional with the difficulty of the goal/action and follow through when you achieve it. Not just completion, but also time spent on working towards it, if you’re having difficulty getting started.
You see what you’re looking at and for, so if you’re looking for failure you’re likely to see it. But, if you’re looking for success, you’ll see it, and it’s highly motivating for most people. Positive reinforcements are much more motivating than negative.
For example, if your goal is to exercise 5 times a week, and you’re currently not at all, then every day you exercise is one more than you had done, right? Celebrate that, even if it’s just 1x/week. If you do, then once will become twice, etc. If you beat yourself up over it, you probably won’t try again.
This is also a great reason to gather supportive people around you. They can celebrate with you and help you overcome resistance so you can achieve all your God dreams!
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