There are 10,080 minutes in a week. That comes out to 168 hours. One of my favorite things to complain about is that I don’t have enough time. When you calculate it all out, that statement is ludicrous. I am in class 13 hours a week. I work 10 hours a week. It would be ideal if I slept 56 hours a week. So far, I have only used 79/168 hours. That’s not even half. Even if I spend 20 hours a week on homework, I still have 79 hours left to use. And even if I spent 10 hours a week working on each of the student organizations I am in, I would still have 59 hours. 59 hours! What am I going to do with that much time?!
I spent my entire Saturday afternoon and evening watching the last seven or eight episodes of Lost. I love Lost. I would probably write a blog post about it, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone because I think it is that sacred. But anyway, I spent roughly ten hours watching the end of Lost. And I’m not about to say that it was a waste of time because it wasn’t. That television show is part of the reason I began to reconsider my faith, but I have this horrible feeling that my Saturday could have been better spent.
I don’t think I am quite alone in this. I live in a college town. I go to school. Most of my friends are my age and in school and almost everyone has the same problem. We are binge responsible. There’s this lie out there that we can be good stewards of our time only four or five days out of the week, and we will still be successful.
I think this lie comes from years of dishonoring good stewards. People who manage their time well are rare specimen. They don’t come around very often, but when they do, the rest of us try to bring them back into the muck that is the rest of the world. “Why don’t you come out with us?” we ask them. “Why don’t you watch television?” “You don’t take enough time for yourself.” “You should do something fun.” The really good steward of time, though, doesn’t need to go out because she likes the work she does and finds it fun. But peer pressure is a strong thing. And so instead of admiring and emulating these rare stewards, we make them more like us.
Being a good steward of your time means doing it seven days of the week, 52 weeks a year. The train of life doesn’t stop moving, and every time we jump off after one of our binge responsibility periods, we are missing out on achieving the things we want to do. This doesn’t mean that we all have to be corporately or politically successful or some such thing.
In the nonprofit sector, organizations are advised to pick one mission statement, even if they want to do a lot of other things. Then, if something needs to be cut, they know that they can go after the things that aren’t directly related to their mission statement. I think we should treat our lives similarly. We should pick one, two, maybe three things that we are really passionate about, and then we should pursue them seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. And then we can start using our time, even our free time, in such a way to bring us closer and closer to our goals.
Are you a good steward of time? What’s your secret?