Time? What time? Um, maybe I’m not Breaking Busy yet!
That’s right, today we’re tackling Chapters 7 (time) and 8 (decisions) in our spring book club study of Breaking Busy.
Let’s jump right in with an all-too-close-to-home verdict on how often our life devolves into a tyranny of the urgent. Alli explains the phrase:
It describes a life of constant tension between the urgent (constantly putting out little fires and checking off the to-do lists) and the truly important (our relationship with God and the bigger priorities of life). The problem is that many important tasks (such as getting adequate sleep, spending quiet time with God every day, and working toward our big goals in life) don’t seem urgent enough to demand our immediate attention, while urgent tasks (like stopping the kids from bickering over who gets the toy first or answering that text) aren’t always important.
But urgency is not patient. Urgency has no boundaries. Urgency is demanding and controlling.
Urgency is a terrible tyrant. She demands that you give her 100 percent of your attention 100 percent of the time. (Chapter 7, p. 142)
This is absolutely us!
When the urgent drowns out the important, we are unable to achieve our dream. And months, years, heck decades, fly by in the face of all of life’s urgent demands. We have to stop and take our own time out. Schedule time for what is truly important and not allow the never-ending urgent tasks divert us from hearing God’s voice and doing what God has prepared for us.
Ephesians 3:20 reminds us God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” God has big plans for us and is at work in us, as Alli reminds us in Chapter 7, “when we steward our day-to-day lives well, we can live the life he has planned for us.”
How? There are some great tips at the end of the chapter:
Make a stop doing list – this can be as valuable, if not more, than a start doing list. What is sucking you dry right now? Find ways to stop (or scale back) those things.
Learn to say no to yourself and others – Boy can this be hard. That means turning down what sounds like fun opportunities sometime in order to create space for what is truly important as well as turning down requests for which you’ve long felt obligated or just felt obliged in order to keep people happy. I loved this tip, “Choose discomfort over resentment!” Amen!
Plus: Add in time to stay connected to God, time to connect to others, and time to take care of yourself.
If that wasn’t enough, Alli follows up with Chapter 8 and lots of insightful advice when approaching decisions in your quest to break busy.
One of the easy reminders for how to check your decisions to make sure they are being made based on the most important priorities is checking “the Five F’s: faith, family, future, fulfillment, and friends.”
Are you seeking God’s direction as you debate your yes and your no? Have you gut checked it with your family? Does the decision lead you down a path for the future you want to walk? If you embrace this choice, will you feel more fulfilled? And have those dear friends who have seen you through the ups and downs offered their perspective on what your decision means?
There are some other great short and sweet techniques in Chapter 8 you can consult as a go-to when you’re in a pinch or a pickle over a decision you can’t seem to make.
So sound off. What drowns the best use of your time and how do you make sure those priorities and dreams find time in your schedule? And what is one of the best techniques you use when you have to make a wise decision?
Share your insight here or on Facebook and read Chapters 9 and 10 in preparation for our final installment next week.