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04- Leadership and Time Management

Amy Sheppard


This week’s episode features Shauna Chung and Esther Louw in conversation with Amy Ratsara. Together, they discuss the relationship between being an effective leader and knowing how to effectively manage time. Amy shares a number of practical ideas that have benefitted her life and ministry both in the past, during her tenure on the GYC Executive Committee, and in the present as a busy wife, mom, and practicing lawyer. Listen in and don’t forget to keep a pen and paper nearby to note those ideas you may want to pursue.


  • February 26, 2018
    11:00 AM


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In science ninety of us twelve the Bible states the just number of days we may apply our hearts and it was dim time and Schmidt is a skill that God has a plan and this is demonstrated very beginning of creation in seven days died accomplished his task logically and progressively crowning his completed creations a period of time in which to rest because God created time and blessed it one can say that time and is next to godliness However it with the busy lives that so many of us live it can be a challenge to know how to fit everything into the time that is available to us in this episode in your words are joined in a conversation about time and how each of us can make the most of it as a wife and a practicing lawyer Amy is no stranger to stress time constraints and this one's ability join us as a mission as personal insights to you as a conference in Phoenix in twenty seven. Thank you for being here my first question so your mom pastor's wife you're a lawyer you're just everything everything how in the world do you do it and still stay sane. You know I think that's one of the things about time management it's never really anything that you achieve it's a life skill that you continue to develop throughout the course of your entire life and so yes we obviously have had a big life change for us this year our son was born about five months ago and it's definitely changed things so in terms of time I took three four months off of work when he was first born and so that was a different commitment but I did decide to go back to work full time and in doing that you have to learn how to do things like delegate and so you know we were very conscientious we prayed a lot to find the right kind of care for our child we didn't just want to send him to a large daycare center that we know sometimes that the only thing that's available for some people but for us we thought that there might be a different option that would be more appropriate so we now have a nanny that we share with another family and she watched. After our son while the two of us are at work one day a week Maurice will watch him and then I watch him the two days of the week and so that helps a lot but the other thing I do is I just really believe in setting defined times for completing different tasks so when I'm at work I do my best to and less of an emergency happens I'm focusing on the work so I get there at eight between eight and eight thirty I'm there till five o'clock sometimes a little earlier sometimes a little later and I am focused on doing my work and I want to do my best to not have to bring anything home with me and so I'm at work I'm at work but when they get home when I'm with my son I'm with my son until it's bedtime for him and then when he's in bed and my husband finally home we can just spend some time with each other and Tarkin catch up with each other and each other stay so those were skills I had started to develop early on in my life learning to give defined times through accomplishing defined tasks and that's what we're starting to put into practice but you know we're still mastering and my husband travels a lot with his ministry and just a couple weeks ago in fact he was traveling overseas and he was gone for about a week and so it was just me and the baby when I was not at work in the Thank goodness I had the help of than any that week but while I was able to keep the house clean and keep the baby alive and everything healthy that we needed to do things like cooking dinner fell by the wayside so we ended up eating a lot more takeout than I usually do that week but you know sometimes you really don't have the time to do it all but having in terms of specifically our current season of life having a good support system a supportive spouse are really helpful in the any and just that understanding between each other and then a dedication to accomplish things in their own time has been what's been making work so far. He pointed out something really interesting how you know it doesn't always work exactly the way you wanted to do so when it's time management doesn't mean that you can get every single task accomplished something a bit broader Yeah I think that time management again on the one hand it's a life skill but two it's really about how do you live your. Values time management is about living life a lot of people a lot of times people like to say I'm too busy but really that's just trying to cop out of the responsibility we can take for choosing how we use our own time you talk about the ultimate equalizer each of us are given twenty four hours a day so yes you know I don't want to dump of the fact that some people are in circumstances where they have to devote their time to things that they may not and then in the end have enough time for leisure or even for doing things for self-improvement to get into a different station of life so I don't want to be insensitive to that but really we all have twenty four hours that we can work with and so it's that decision of how do I spend that time is really how I think of time management and there's many different ways you can approach it but I think the most effective is taking a look at what is my life mission what's my life purpose what are the values that guide that and when I say mission and values I mean lower case and in lower case not like the mission of the church should the mission of this organisation or like the values they can attend commandments but you know what are what is my mission what why do I think I've been put here on this earth and what are my values that guide that and when I've been able to really hone in on those things that really helps me dedicate our dictate how I spend my time like OK I want to spend my time in improving my leadership skills and spend time with my family I want to spend time you know improving my mind in you know what maybe I don't have time to join like a roller derby club or something like that you know that's just like it doesn't line with where my life is going right now you know somewhere else that may be completely consistent with where it is but that's how you know those values help me dictate where to put those boundaries some time before we jump to the mission of the Capitol and then we can just continue to explore the personal aspect of everything and I think people are naturally prone to this progress a nation. There are a time in a place for progress a nation is is there such a thing is that healthy are necessary for the. Kind of aid. I think so but I think we just need to maybe think about procrastination a little differently and again how we just manage that time differently so the first thing I would do is Why am I I would ask myself why am I feeling inclined to procrastinate right now and kind of take a step back and get a bigger picture of you and I burned out with everything that's going on and I stressed is this something that even I need to be doing or it could be delegated to somebody else and I think if you can first kind of address that underlying issue it can help prevent this desire to procrastinate in the future but then the other thing is as different projects and tasks and responsibilities come up in life sitting down thinking and evaluating how much time does it accomplish does it take for me to accomplish this thing and is there a deadline I need to accomplish it by Wednesday I've been able to identify those two things and then put it in my calendar I'm going to start working on it this day and I'm going to do it then in this amount of time so it's and in time for the deadline when I do it that way it's not really procrastination anywhere it's being proactive about making sure that you're getting things done and so on you know giving yourself something that is sacred that's like secret a strong word but it's like a meeting you know like it's in my calendar that when I'm going to get this thing done I really think that it helps and so that helps get away from that mental burnout that leads to a Christian nation or that sense of being overwhelms that leads to burnout because it's in its specific place in the calendar to make sure that things get done so yes I think that if you are feeling burned out there might be a place for procrastination but be proactive about it about figuring out how to why not make it less in the future but then to having specific times to get things done rather than putting it off putting off we're like oh my goodness that thing is due tomorrow and it's not done. Yet so what I hear you saying is that incident procrastinating and blindly you choose a date and she's a time when you're going to allow yourself space so that you can then do it by focusing in on it with everything else history absolutely that's a great summary way. So it's really the one size fits all model for time management or is this something that everyone has had to do time management exactly the same way yet I don't think people need to do things exactly the same way but I think there are some tools that could be really helpful to people if they're willing to give them a try the one I'm personally a fan of is doing a time art it and sell what you do there's the other name is Lauren and a cam and she's written several different books some I like better than others the two that I liked are called What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and the other one is one hundred sixty hours you have more time than you think so she does she advocates two things one is a time lag in that she says to do it in half hour blocks but you could also do it in fifteen minute blocks and you just kind of take an idea of how do you spend all of your time in a day for a week and then you can start to see Man I was on Facebook for like forty five minutes three days I could probably manage my time better there and have more time to read that book I've been trying to read or looking to say like me and my commute takes so long you know maybe I could be listening to an audio book at that time to be able to make better use of my time and different things like that so you know it's most people it's a tedious write down everything that you do but you get so many insights of the kind of you know when someone struggling with their weight may tell them to write your food diary you really see where your calories are coming from in the same way when you do this you see where your time is going the other thing she advocates is instead of trying to figure out what to do in a day or that it's only twenty four hours rather that you look at your time in the chunk of all week and that's when you think of it that man I have a lot more time than I think because not many times can I get everything done on my To Do list in a day but if I think about what I need to get done in a week that's where you start to see the more pockets of times oh yeah I could squeeze in a work out there where I could spend a little bit more time you know with my son here because I don't have to be at work as early that day and so I just broadening that perspective and a Seventh Day Adventists I think that makes a lot of sense. Because we talk about the Sabbath we know the Sabbath commandment says sixty's you should labor and then the seventh day is the day for rest of it so even that commandment is a guide to us and how to keep our time like you think about the six days and then that seventh day is the day when you can step back you can take that rest. So I really like the fact that we're talking about models and different things and we're focusing on the personal aspect but I guess the question that we haven't really addressed yet is why do this at our time manage at all in the spirit of prophecy we are told that the time is the talent that we will be more strictly held accountable for subsequent types of clusters the chapter on towns I want to say it's Page three forty or somewhere around there four thirty I might be vexing the number seven but it's in that chapter and that we are held very strictly responsible for the way that we use your time you look at Ecclesiastes chapter three and it says how there's a time for everything under the sun and towards the remember towards the end I think it's first sixteen it talks about the fact that we're all be called to judgment to see if we used our time in the time but it's supposed to be and so time is life you know it's it really is it's the currency of life and you may not have a lot of money and I have a lot of other things but again we have those twenty four hours and we're going to be held responsible for how we use those and I don't mean that in a scary way and I want that to sound legal istic But even if you didn't believe in God even if you don't believe in and then time judgment or the soon coming of Jesus you're twenty four hours a day is still your life and how do you want to use it and I managing it you can get so much more life into the time that we do have and so I think that it is something important kind of no matter what walk of life you are in if you want to live an abundant life in a full life managing your time is something that's important now and one cabbie I would add to that is for people who are believers in James Chapter four it talks about the fact that you know all here's the person who says tomorrow we're going to go to such and such city and be for it there for a year and buy or sell and you don't know. Tomorrow's going to bring Instead you should see if the Lord worlds we will go and do this and then proverbs sixty nine talks about the fact that a man makes many plans but God directs his steps so for the christian time management it's a cooperation with God It's a submission to his well and where he might be directing us but there is a proactive partner us in making that decision that I want to use my time wisely but God will teach us. Ninety six I want to say there's not one hundred twelve says so T. just a number of days that we may gain a heart of wisdom you know that's encouraging for us God can teach us how to manage our time and in the process we're going to learn to be more wife. I guess a question that I have like as a person I like time for reflection and time to be lax as having a good time initially just that so many were things and then you're just going to be completely stressed out with all these tasks No I honestly think that if you're a person who gives in to time management you end up being more relaxed. And especially the more you practice at it the more it becomes second nature like I talked about doing the time Art it and I've talked about I don't know if I talked about some of these other things yet but there's different tricks that you can do to start to learn your time or how to manage your time I guess I talked about having those designated times to make sure you get everything done I used to be very intentional about writing a timeline regularly and about writing down in my calendar this is the time I'm going to do this and this is going to do that the time I'm going to do that I really only do that now when I have something new come up in life so I recently got in your same work that changed my schedule a little bit so I sat down and mapped out OK I'm going to get these tasks done and these days every week in these tasks done but I don't do that all the time anymore when I was a student I did it at the beginning of every semester but not necessarily every day it's starts to become second nature in being able to take it over so that takes some of the stress away I think that the more you focus on time it doesn't end there is time for reflection there's time for rest that's a very. The important thing so when you look at even the creation account Genesis chapter one you'd be shocked it's kind of a lesson in time management so you know you have days one two and three God is kind of setting the outline for the earth he creates light and he creates darkness and he separates them and then the sky and the earth and separates them and the land and the water and separates them and then he starts to fill these things so he had to get those first three things done before he could move on to the next three and then he adds the stars and the moon in the sun he adds birds and fish and he adds animals and man and at the end of every day he said that this was good except for at the end of the six day he says this was very good so God managed his time in breaking the task into six different days and making sure that he did it in an order that made sense so that things were ready for the animals to live in or for the star staying in all these different places and he took the time at the end of each day to look and see what was it that I had done how did this go and he was able to say that it was good so he made an evaluation of her also and I think that's really fitting for us you know at the end of every day you know just looking where did that time go even if I didn't keep a formal How did it go and can I say about what I did today it was good or even it was very good. So after we've kind of developed these models of time management for ourselves we apply that to ministry you know ministry can be all consuming How do those two things really yeah so that's a fantastic question I think that at the end of the day again talking about how we're going to be held accountable the use of our time should be for bringing glory to God and for bringing other people to Him Now that said when we're talking about time management in ministry some people might be tempted to say I need to learn to manage my time so I can have more room for ministry and yes there might be more so there might be an argument for that that's true you should be spending maybe more time involved in your local church or things like that but for a person who maybe is not a full time minister not a buyable worker not. Pastor not a teacher in an Christian school or something like that I think we need to broaden our idea of what ministry is as well and God calls us all to many different things many different walks of life but we're called to be ministers and missionaries in each of those areas as well and so I still think time management has a place in that as well and yes be involved with your local church make time for that but also make time to make sure you're learning how to be excellent at that thing God has called you to do and look for the opportunities to minister there and so yes I absolutely think that it's important but you know that could get us are off into a completely different topic as well that you know ministry is something that I think so much more broad than what we often give the definition or what people often think so we talked about a model of time measure in the Bible in Genesis and set out about that support for a mystery what are some very practical models and just apply those ideas to left share so we talked a little bit about doing time audits I think that's a great starting point for people to take a look another thing again it's just a tour I don't personally use this but some of my friends do they have ditched the day planner but they've also ditched the phone the calendar and the phone what they do is they have like a more skin journal you don't have to buy the most and spills can be expensive but they have you know that kind of journal and they do what's called Bullet journaling There's a website I think of bullet Journal dot com and it's just a system to help you look at how to organize your town and assigned tasks so you start with a blank book and you reassign it and it just really helps you get a big picture look at your time I like the idea of it I tried it once it didn't work for me but it's worked for some friends of mine very well and so definitely one thing other people they just really like they're all school planners and you know writing things down in and seeing how things go there alluded to this but one thing I like to do when I'm trying to structure my time I believed in that looking at a week even before I read the book about one hundred sixty eight hours but I believe in even more now so I. I'll go on the calendar on my Apple computer at work we have Outlook Helprin out just a week calendar kind of cross out the day I just want to think of this as a an average week and of course no week is going to be an average week but I just want to think of it in that way and look at the time that I have for each of those days and black out OK so I work as a lawyer so I have core and two things afternoons and Wednesday mornings even when I'm not in trial so I have to block those times out and I have a meeting every Friday afternoons have to block that time out and in order to be ready for Wednesday I have to review these reports and I get those on Friday afternoon I'm usually gone by the time they're meant mailbox I'm going to read them on Monday mornings and I just you know think through my May average week in that way and block those times off so any given Monday I know OK I need to read those reports and if it happens to be that my judge is out of town then fantastic that's actually time for me to start preparing her for my next trial that may be coming up you know I can use that time in a different way but I've dedicated that time for something you know my mom is one of these very very clearly people who in the untasted think only ness is next to godliness but I also think timeliness is next to godliness and she always used to say a place for everything and everything in its place and my motto when it comes a time measurement is a time for everything and everything and that's time and it's just to bring so much relief to hear my Into know Lake I'll It's Wednesday I don't need to worry about the reports I have to read next Monday because I can worry about that on Monday I'm done with everything you do for once a grip let's go for a walk home Lake let me use that time somewhere else now that I can have some relaxation are some time to reflect this has been so great. I'm glad I'm glad it's and again I just really want to encourage anyone who feels like me and I don't know if I'm using my time well it's kind of like anything that you want to improve on I think again take that time to just reflect how amazing with time and then from there just say what little improvements can I make everyone can develop the. Own system but at the end of the day just thinking about how do I want to live my life that's the thing that should be guiding the way that we manage our time we can live full lives we can squeeze of life in and it can all be for the glory of God. And he will guide us into doing being able to do many things and health help us multiply that time with not really the time but you learn to be efficient and just to be able to do so much and so it's I think it's exciting but the other thing doesn't closing yet one more question how do you know we talked a lot about putting things into your life yeah how do you know anything. So that's a fantastic question it's something I'm not always great about but I'm getting better it's interesting going back to the food analogy they see you should eat until you're like eighty percent full and then stop being there because you're going to get more for everything stressed adjusting time is kind of like that as well and if you look at the Sabbath commandment against sixty's you should do your labor in the seventh day of the Sabbath six sevenths is about eighty five percent and so I think that that's a fitting model that in general you should just look at your plate and say Can I keep it at about eighty five percent because emergencies come plague or cause late your kid gets sick you know school or Professor drops an extra paper on you or something extra fifteen percent gets filled in pretty easy and so I think that one is seeing in my art and my already eighty five percent of so I should probably start saying no to everything but the other thing is kind of what I was saying before talking about what's my current mission or purpose I remember when I was in a gap year between university and going to law school that they really felt that my purpose was I was a missionary and a secular university campus and I thought that I was there to help the student leaders learn how to be leaders and how to develop them and help them grow for the future and I was a bible basically doing Bible work as well so you know as I sat down and thought about my mission statement for that you're not a member of the top of my. But you know I defined these values I want to leave behind a legacy I was at the university I'd gone to as a college student I want to give Bible study you know I want to help train for leadership and I think I had one more thing on that thing so those were kind of like my four big values for that year and I just looked at everything I threw in my calendar did it one of those areas like knowledge not really going to help anybody develop as a leader it's really nice you know doing Bible study with anyone you know it's nothing about legacy as a fitting in any of these I have to say no to that for this year doesn't mean I'm forever you know but it's not an insult you know now that life is a little bit different and having to find new areas to see an old but I'm committed to you know serving on the boards for two nonprofits and I have this job I have my family and really anything outside of that you know extra curricular leave that I've been learning to say no because again eighty five percent is a life and life can continue to be a burden. So I think just really identify any Again what's the life I want to live in even if it's a good thing something someone asking you to do you know if it doesn't fit with that that life that you see yourself that God is calling you to right now is directing your steps towards right now it's OK to say no and it can be hard and people can be upset but you have to have that self-confidence then you know the Lord's dragging me otherwise for now and I'll be praying for you and another way that saying no is easier is if you can also maybe refer them to someone else like you know I really can't help with that anymore but my friend Shina you know she's actually been Rilya. You know she would be more than willing to help you I think she would have some extra time. Thank you so much. You've given so many practical tools that are political across a range of experiences and so a business which is take things and put it into their own lives and well it's a pleasure thank you for sharing your time with me for. Much appreciation. For taking part in this conversation I hope that you are able to draw ideas from these practical principles that can be.


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