Work Smarter, Not Harder

In just 9 days I will be 40. The past few months of approach have been interesting and I have vacillated between panic and disbelief, and the promise and power of what is to come. Finally, I have settled into the promise side and I am ready to embrace the beginning of a new decade.  

The approach to this milestone causes great reflection and somehow life focuses into proper perspective. It seems that the one way I can sum it up is, to work smarter, not harder. We’ve all heard this, but it seems like we don’t actually do it. I think it applies to life in general.  

I am happy to oblige you with an amusing example: 

Every summer I put up a small pool in my back yard to help beat the heat of the southern summer and to give my little doggie a place to get exercise. Lacey and I, and occasionally a friend or two, really enjoy that little oasis.  

Of course I have lounge rafts to float on. Lie back, relax, soak up some sun, enjoy a cool drink. AHHH. Lacey even has her very own float.  

When the end of summer rolls around, it is always sad to tear down the pool. Once it is down, I am left with all these floats to deflate and pack away for the season.  

Normally I use my manual pump, reverse the valve, and work myself to death to get all the air sucked out of those pool toys. This is a lot of work, it is frustrating, and it is a time suck.  

This year it finally occurred to me that I should just open the valves and let them sit there a few days. Sure enough (DUH) they deflated almost completely on their own, and all I had to do was give it time and let it happen naturally. It then only took a small effort and a few minutes to deflate the floats enough to fold them and properly pack them away.  

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Why had I spent all that time in frustration all those years working harder when I could have just worked smarter to accomplish the same goal?  

Time is an asset, but we seem to let it control us.

Perhaps rather than scheduling ourselves to death, we should leave some time for spontaneity, creativity and progress. Perhaps our list of tasks really aren’t as important as we think they are, and some of them should be treated with less stress and more patience.  

So, let’s stop working ourselves up into a manic frenzy trying to force things that should be cultivated and left to grow or dissolve organically. In this day of instant access to everything, let us remember that good things take time. That good things deserve time. Let’s remember that the most important part of life is that we don’t waste time, but use it to our advantage to strengthen ourselves, others and our relationships with God and one another.  

The challenge: To keep that “To Do” list but to make sure it doesn’t control you. Let your love for yourself and others take the wheel.

Take back your life and let time work for you rather than against you. 

You are only promised right now! Make the most of it!  

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 KJV

 

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