One of the Best Time Management Pieces I’ve Read

This piece on time management by Jamie Rohrbaugh gets a lot right:

“This is the list of priorities I came up with for my life: Bristlecone_pine_Pinus_longaeva

    1. One-on-one time with God in prayer and personal study.
    2. My health and my husband. (I wasn’t married yet, but I was thinking long-term and couldn’t choose between health and husband.)
    3. My family.
    4. My job.
    5. Church work.
    6. My social life.

“When I drafted this list, I realized that my choices were way out of order. I was spending time on low priorities and neglecting high priorities. My life was topsy-turvy, and I hadn’t even realized it.

“So I started changing things. For example, I stopped volunteering for things at church that I wasn’t gifted to do. It was hard to say “no” to enthusiastic recruiters, but it really helped my stress level. I also had to stop going out with friends so much, and I used that time to hit the gym after work instead.”

I’m an atheist, so obviously am not endorsing the “God” part. But still, the purpose of time management is to align your actions, as much as possible, with your values, so it’s what Jamie thinks that counts. Beyond that, I emphatically agree that you should start your time management process by visualizing your “ideal” life. Time management systems that begin by having you track your current time use only tie you to existing habits that aren’t serving you well.

Jamie’s four tips for uncovering your actual priorities are also good:

1. Separate yourself from your current reality
2. Let yourself dream
3. Based on your ideal world what do your priorities need to be? And,
4. Look at your schedule, and revise your calendar to match your new priorities.

Read her article for more details.

This article reminds me of why, although (as noted) I’m a staunch atheist, I get along with many sincerely religious people. I live and teach what I call “values-based time management,” and many sincerely religious people also strive to live their values. In some ways, even though our values may be different, I have more in common with them than I do with people who aren’t religious but are also not particularly values-driven.

Photo: Bristlecone Pine, from

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