Use Your Calendar to Unbusy Yourself

Here’s an excerpt from this coming Sunday’s sermon at The Donelson Fellowship in our series Managing Your Time, Managing Your Life.

We have to provide a visual roadmap of our time usage—a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual calendar, putting in the scheduled items over which we have no control, inserting the important items in a deliberate way, and letting everything else take up the remainder. Eugene H. Peterson in his book, The Contemplative Pastor, he wrote a simple sentence I’ve never forgotten. “The appointment calendar is the tool with which to get unbusy.

The way to escape some of the barrenness of busyness is with the judicious use of a personal calendar. “The trick, of course,” wrote Peterson, “is to get to the calendar before anyone else does.” We have to block out time in our calendars in advance for the important, and then let the urgent fill in the gaps. Most people do the opposite, a way of life that’s been dubbed “the tyranny of the urgent.”

What’s important in life? Time for prayer, Bible study, reading, thinking, and soul-refreshment; time with our spouse; time with our children; time to rest; time working on those major projects that will establish our legacy. Each morning as we review our calendar, we simply have to make sure those items are in place before the rush of the day floods our schedule. Block off time for the truly important, and learn to control your schedule instead of letting your schedule control you.