Page 1

I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come. Abraham Lincoln Intro slide

Time t n e m e g a n a M e g e l l o C r fo s t n e Stud

l e a h Mic in Gow

I’m Michael Gowin. I teach in the Bus Admin program here, and Brian has asked me to talk with you about time management today. This is an important topic that we need to talk about... Photo:

Time t n e m e g a n a M e g e l l o C r fo s t n e Stud

l e a h Mic in Gow

But there’s a lot more to this than just managing your time. I want to talk about something bigger than that.

You I want to talk about you...

You And I want to talk about something besides you. Because, ultimately, what you contribute in life is not about you.

Love It’s a lot about, strangely enough, love...

Great And doing something great with your life

So we’ll talk a little about managing your time and your tasks and your self. But it’s also just as important to talk about... Photo:

why this matters. You see, if you’re motivated, these suggestions will help; but, frankly, you’d probably get things done anyway. That’s what motivated people do. Photo:

Did you watch the Olympics this summer? Did you see the American men’s 4x100 relay team which beat the French team by 8 onehundredths of a second? On paper, the French were supposed to win, but the Americans were motivated--motivated to do something extraordinary. Photo:

On the other hand, if you’re NOT motivated, the rest of what we’ll discuss today won’t matter. You will be as useless as a deserted gas station: you’ll have nothing to offer anyone. So let’s talk about motivation first. Before we do that... Photo:

Please? I need to ask for your help. This presentation needs a title. Image:

Time t n e m e g a n a M e g e l l o C r fo s t n e Stud

l e a h Mic in Gow

We already know we’re not doing this. So... think about what this presentation is about, and we’ll try to figure this out together. Now-let’s get on with it.



Let’s talk about two things that are true. First, remember when you were a child...

If you were a boy, you probably wanted to be a superhero when you grew up. You wanted to leap tall buildings, spin webs and climb on walls, race around in a super secret car or fly in the air, and defeat all the bad guys. Photo:

If you were a girl, you probably dreamed of being a princess, marrying a handsome prince, and living happily ever after in an enchanted castle. As children, we were limited only by our imaginations. As we got older, though, we began to learn about limits and constraints. Gravity brought us out of the sky and time caught up with us. Photo:

So while we thought we were headed for this, more truthfully... Photo:

We may have ended up like this. This is not all bad because we learn an important lesson from this. The lesson is this: Photo: unknown from flickr


You can’t do everything

You can’t do everything. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I’m sorry to break the news. This is truth number one. You are limited. There’s not enough time, not enough money, not enough resources to do everything you want to do. You can only do so much. As a result,

you have to make choices. You have to choose. Sometimes the choices are easy: brush my teeth or be friendless? Sometimes the choices are hard: what should I do with my life? But you have to make a choice. If you don’t and you try to be good at everything, you will excel at nothing. Photo:

In 2001, Jim Collins published the findings of a five-year research project intended to discover what factors made a few select companies outperform everyone else. The opening line of the book?

Good is the enemy of great Good is the enemy of great. Collins found that the most successful companies discovered what they could do better than anyone else and focused on doing that one thing over and over and over. These companies became great--and they were a tiny minority. The rest? Well, they typically do a few things well but never focus. As a result, they might do alright--or they might not. But they never become great. I’d suggest that there’s an application here for us personally.

Another example: a fellow by the name of Richard St. John was on a flight. He was sitting next a young teenage girl and they struck up a conversation. He’d been a successful businessman for years; she came from a rather poor background but wanted to improve herself so she asked, “How do you become successful?” He said he didn’t know but the question stuck with him and he wanted to find out. So he began a research project that lasted several years. He interviewed successful people and read biographies of successful people. Athletes and actors and TV personalities and business people and political figures and musicians and artists--anyone who would take the time to talk with him. He analyzed 500 different interviews and sorted out 8 factors that lead to success. One of those factors?

Focus Focus. Like the companies Jim Collins explored, the successful people who Richard St. John interviewed were able to focus on developing their core strengths.

How do you make good choices? It depends in part on who you are and setting goals that get you where you want to go. I know that these are topics that are being explored in the other aspects of your AIM course, so I won’t belabor them here. But it’s important to remember that... Photo:


You can’t do everything

You can’t do everything, you can only do some things. So you have to make choices if you’re going to be effective. That’s truth number one. Now, let’s go back to childhood.

Birthdays, Christmas. Who doesn’t love getting gifts? One of the best gifts I ever received--if not the best--was an engagement present from my wife. Guitar. I enjoy it but others get to enjoy it as well (for example, if I play in chapel or in Sunday worship or just at home with the kids). This leads us to a second truth: Photo:


Your gifts are for others

Your gifts are for others. This sounds a little strange at first but it’s true. God has gifted each of you for service. You all have things to offer the world.

serving teaching encouraging leading knowledge wisdom Scripture mentions numerous gifts, a few of which are listed here. (cf. Rom 12, 1 Cor 12)

build write money cook music people In addition to these, you all have other skills and abilities that can be used to help others.

God has built a world that only works when we exercise our gifts for one another. I need Brian Mills and his gifts, and he needs me and mine. I need Candra Landers and her gifts and she needs me and mine. In this room, we need one another. We are interdependent--we depend upon one another. Photo:

So here’s the deal--if you have gifts... Photo:

and you don’t use them... Photo:

Your neighbor loses. I’ll say that again. If you have gifts and you don’t use them, your neighbor loses. What did Jesus say were the two greatest commandments? (Matt 22) Photo:

Love Love...


Love the Lord your God


Love neighbor and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the issue: one way that I love my neighbor is to use my gifts on his behalf.


Your gifts are for others

Your gifts are for others.

Let’s summarize So, let’s summarize


You can’t do everything

First: Because you can’t do everything...

you have to make choices. Photo:


Your gifts are for others

Second: Because your gifts are for others...

You have to make good choices so that you love your neighbor. That’s really why we’re talking about “time management” today--to help you make good choices that enable you to show your love for one another. You are now laying the foundation for what we hope is a lifetime of service. If you fail to use your time well now, your ministry will suffer. This is not so much about getting homework done as it is being responsible for your life and loving the people you are with now as well as those whom you will serve in the future. Photo:

Because I love my neighbor, I will make good choices It is because I love my neighbor, that I will make good choices. Repeat that with me.

Please? Are you still thinking about a title for this presentation? Image:

Time t n e m e g a n a M e g e l l o C r fo s t n e Stud

l e a h Mic in Gow

Now, even though I said this really wasn’t about time management, I want to give you some practical suggestions.

Where the rubber meets the road (so to speak). Here they are. Photo:

10 Ideas

Here are 10 ideas to work with. Frankly, you’ll be well-served if just one of these resonates with you and helps you become more effective at what God wants from you.


Flow = 15 minutes

Researchers describe “flow” as a state of highly productive concentration. It takes around 15 minutes of concentration to reach flow and during that time you’re really not doing work. If you are interrupted, the clock resets--it will take another 15 minutes to get going. Find places to avoid interruptions. Put a do not disturb sign on your door and turn off your phone. Go to the library. Get off campus. Whatever it takes for you to avoid interruptions.


Multitasking is a myth

You’re trying to write a 10-page paper. The radio is on. You’re chatting in facebook every so often. You answer your cell when it rings or respond to a text message. You can’t reach flow if you’re being interrupted. Multitasking will make you less productive.


Eliminate time wasters

facebook, video games, youtube, the internets, movies--they’re all good. They’re also good places to waste time. Yes, you need some down time and you need time for recreation. When your downtime exceeds your uptime, however, you need to reevaluate. Again, productivity and effectiveness are the keys to determining how you should spend your time. Does playing this game help me love my neighbor?


Get a system

Systems are all around us and help us navigate the world. God created an ecosystem that governs the planet--night and day, seasons, planting and harvesting. Your school schedule is a system or routine--we don’t meet for classes on random days every week. Keeping yourself productive requires a system as well. Any system you use must work for you--I can’t recommend a one-size-fits-all-approach, but the following few items are part of any good productivity system.


Write stuff down

Your system must have a “capture” method. Don’t trust your memory. If you need to remember something, write it down. I carry a pack of Post-It notes and pen almost all the time. If a student wants to make an appointment and I don’t have something to write with, I always ask them to send me an e-mail--I don’t trust my memory. Keep 3x5 cards and a paper clip. You can fold up a piece of paper and carry it in your pocket--whatever. Just write it down.


Use a calendar

After you write things down--or when you write them down--put them in a calendar. The goal here is to make sure things don’t fall out of your system. You can use the planner you received at the beginning of the year. You can use a PDA or your phone. I use the calendar on my computer and sync it with my cell phone. Again, find something that works for you.


Start with a plan

Before the week begins, review your calendar on Sunday night. Keep in mind any papers, exams, assignments, or appointments you have coming up. Review your calendar at the start of each day as well to ensure you’re on top of everything.



As you look at your tasks for the day, sort through them and ask this question: If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day? Aside from the little things we need to get done daily, you can really only give yourself to one or two significant tasks per day.


Create useful land mines

“Useful land mines” are reminders we know we won’t miss. For example, I always put my keys in the same spot at home. If I need to remember something in the morning, I put it near my keys. Or I’ll stick a post-it note with a reminder on top of my computer before I put it in my bag for the night. Put your backpack in front of the door, go out to your car and put that paper on the driver’s seat--again whatever works for you.

10 There is no 10; just thought you might like to have a nice, round number for this. blog

Maybe this is #10: go to my website and you’ll find some links to resources on all this stuff.

Please? So we’re near the end. Have you come up with a title? If so, let me know. Image:

Remember why you’re here: someday you will graduate and move on to serve somewhere. Teaching third graders, counseling a teen struggling with loneliness, preaching to a congregation that needs a word of comfort and a word of challenge, bringing the gospel to people who have never heard the name of Jesus, helping employees in an organization do their work better. If you use your time well now, focus now, make good choices now, plan to love those people now, you will do well. As Mr. Teoro and I emphasize with our business majors, there’s nothing magical that happens when you cross that stage at commencement and receive your diploma. Today you are becoming the person you will be. Photo:

Today you are becoming the person you will be Today you are becoming the person you will be.


Love neighbor So love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself

Because I love my neighbor, I will make good choices

Time Management (For College Students)  
Time Management (For College Students)  

PDF of time management skills for today's college students