The Basic Essentials of Christian Leadership
Module 6 : Time Management
Getting Started          

The following story is told of a Roman Catholic priest and a politician.
I do not think it is a true story but it is a good story!

After twenty-five years in the same parish, Father O'Shaunessey was saying his farewells at his retirement dinner. An eminent member of the congregation - a leading politician - had been asked to make a presentation and a short speech, but was late arriving.

So the priest took it upon himself to fill the time, and stood up to the microphone:

"I remember the first confession I heard here twenty-five years ago and it worried me as to what sort of place I'd come to... The chap confessed that he'd stolen a TV set from a neighbour. He said that he'd stolen money from his employer and he had affairs with several women. You can imagine what I thought... However I'm pleased to say that as the days passed I soon realised that this sad fellow was a frightful exception and that this parish was indeed a wonderful place full of kind and decent people..."

At this point the politician arrived and apologised for being late, and keen to take the stage, he immediately stepped up to the microphone and pulled his speech from his pocket:

"I'll always remember when Father O'Shaunessey first came to our parish," said the politician, "In fact, I'm pretty certain that I was the first person in the parish that he heard in confession."


Time is one of the most valuable resources God has given us and each of us has exactly the same amount of time each day...
 ..... 86400 seconds  - or .....1440 minutes. 

We can make a difference with this time or we can waste this time.



Everything seems to work against us managing time

  • 'If anything can go wrong it will'
  • 'Nothing is as simple as it seems'
  • 'If you try to please everyone ,someone will not like it'
  • 'Whatever you want to do now, you have to do something else first'
  • 'If you explain something that no one can possibly misunderstand, someone will misunderstand!'

The only predictable thing about your day...
                                ..... is that it is unpredictable


The 'Important/Urgent' Matrix 6.4    

Most people will repond immediatley to the urgent even if it is not important.

However what we should spend our time on is the important.

Some issues will be both important and urgent.

                      Urgent             Not urgent      
     timetopray Important

Pressing problems

Deadline to project

Relationship building

Not Important

Some meetings

Time wasters



Whilst responding to crises and deadlines, we need to focus more time on the important. This includes prayer, bible study, planning, time with your family and rest.

Can you think of something important and not urgent that you have ignored this week? Have you wasted time on something not Important and not urgent today?


Hints on Managing Time 6.6    

Time management is not just worthwhile but essential.
God expects us to be good stewards of the time he has give us. 
The alternative is stress, frustration and the feeling of being out of control.



1. Plan your day the night before or first thing each day


List what you need to do

Estimate how long

Allow for something unexpected which is important and urgent - they do happen most days!

Decide priorities

  • God first
  • Relationships second; family, close good friends; work colleagues
  • Activities & tasks third
  2. Say 'No'      

It is not ungodly to say ’no’. You cannot do everything.

Beware of habitual time-wasting people.

Never say 'yes' to an opportunity simply to build up your self-importance.

  3. Block Out Time      

Block out a large uninterrupted chunks of time in your diary to tackle a big task that requires prayer, thought and planning.


  4. Go Where Your Energy Is      

If you are struggling with inspiration for one task, then tackle another task and later come back to original task.

  5. Use Prime Time Wisely      

It is said that 80% of our work is done during the 20% of the day when we work best.
People are different - some people work best early in morning while for others it is in evening.
Use this time wisely working on your important tasks.

  6. Eliminate What You Do Not Need To Do      

What am I doing that does not need to be done?
                                                                       Stop it

Which of my activities can be done at least as well by others?
                                                                       Delegate it


  7. 'A Stitch In Time saves Nine' 6.9    

Sort out a problem now before it grows and needs much more time.

  8. Be Tidy And Organised      

Have files and not piles

It is amazing how much time we waste trying to find things.

9. Keep A Diary      

This is important.

It will remind you of your commitments for the following day and therefore how much time you have for other tasks.

Always seek to be on time for the commitments you have in your diary.




Review the 9 points above once again, with absolute honesty.

Determine that you will make at least one change today!



Managing Time At Meetings


First you should ask if you really need the meeting.
Is there another way to handle the issue?

If you do need to call a meeting, here are some guidelines on chairing the meeting to ensure the meeting achieves its purposes without wasting time.


  • Send out the Agenda in advance with Background Notes on each agenda item so people arrive prepared for meeting.
    If the agenda is long, allocate estimated time in minutes to each agenda item
  • State the start and finish time of meeting
  • Always start on time
  • Ask that mobile phones are switched off
  • Allow everyone to have a say

  • Ensure that only one person speaks at a time
  • Keep to the point
  • Summarise conclusion after each agenda discussion point
  • Ensure decisions are made and recorded in minutes/memo of meeting
  • Put time limit on Any Other Business, so meeting does not drift

Some Quotes      

‘Lost time is never found again’
                 Benjamin Franklin 

‘We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time
 is always ripe to do right’
                  Nelson Mandela

‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
 Learn as if you were to live forever.'
                 Mahatma Gandhi (preeminent leader of Indian nationalism
                 in British-ruled India.)

‘Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.’ 
                 William Penn (Quaker and founder of the
                 Province of Pennsylvania in North America)

‘The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is’ 
                 CS Lewis  (Author)

   Observation :
                       You will not... 
                                find that Jesus...
                                          was ever in...
                                                        a hurry


Biblical Models and References                


  • Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
  • Ephesians 5: 15-17
  • Hebrews 12:1
  • Psalm 39: 4-5
  • James 4:13-15



  • Is there any time waster activity that you do on a regular basis?
    (For example, habits that you no longer need to do)
  • Are there things that you can say ‘no’ to?
  • Are you spending enough time with the people who are important in your life – family, good friends? …. 
    If no, what can you do about this?
  • Are you regularly late to meetings?
    If yes, why do you think this is and what can you do about it?
  • Is there a small thing you can do now that can save much time at a later date?
  • How do you manage a situation where you know someone is a habitual time waster? (For example, someone who constantly seeks your advice but never takes it)


You can now move onto Module 7:

                Managing Conflict