“While I was busy doing something else.” 1 Kings 20:40 NLT

“Busy is good unless it is a distraction from what you should be doing.”

My thoughts today are about “distractions.”

There always seems so much to do and so little time to do it. The difference is life is often how you choose to spend your time. Ever thought about that expression – “spending time?” Some people spend time more wisely than others. It is never really the issue of having enough time; it is the matter of using well the time you have. Everyone begins each day with exactly the same amount of time. There are some time management tips to make the most of your time by reducing the amount of wasted time. Every minute counts because each minute can have the same potential and opportunity to be productive and beneficial. You can “spend” time, or invest it productively and reap its rich dividends for a lifetime.

A simple thing is this: prepare for the next day by listing the things you have to do and the allotment of time you have to accomplish that, then the things that you should do, and finally the things that you would really like to do if you have enough time. The problem comes when you reverse that order. A great time waster is the temptation of taking too much time doing what you like to do first, and then trying to squeeze in the rest, unsuccessful usually.

In an article, 10 Time-management Tips That Work, the authors propose: “Time is defined as ‘the point or period in which things occur’ . . there are only three ways to spend time: in thoughts, conversations and actions.” Among their suggestions are these: spend the first minutes of your day to plan the day. Schedule time for interruptions; they will occur. When time is of the essence do not allow yourself to be disturbed. Block out time-wasters. Remember, it is impossible to get everything done; do what’s important.

Approximately 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and actions produce 80 percent of your results; apply yourself there. The real question is this: is the time you spend invested in thoughts, conversations and actions that are most productive? Today’s verse could describe a fairly common problem; “While I was busy doing something else . .” 1 Kings 20:40 NLT. Is that ever the reason you are less productive than you could be?

Solomon shares the Shulamite’s self-description as, “They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but I have not taken care of my own vineyard.” She was busy but became distracted, allowing others’ expectations to displace her prior responsibility – the urgent crowding out the important. It has happened to me more times than I wish; ever happened to you? All distractions do not necessarily involve bad things; they can just be good things that keep you from better things, or your own things that keep you from God’s things.

Busy is a good thing if it is purposeful and productive – not so good if busyness distracts from what you should be doing. Let Jesus be your example. “I must be about My Father’s business . . I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do!” Luke 2:49 NKJV/John 17:4 NIV. Jesus’ focus was clear and undistracted; He could say, “The Father who sent Me is with Me . . for I always do what pleases Him.” John 8:29 NIV. Your life’s goal is doing God’s work rather than your own or others’ and hearing His “Well done!”

My prayer for you today is that you are clear about things that matter eternally.