Archives For time management

If you’re like me, there are never enough hours in a day, days in a week or weeks in a year to accomplish all that you want to accomplish. Time is scarce and valuable. Who doesn’t wish they had more time. No, this isn’t another post on how to spend your time more wisely. I’m writing this to remind us to celebrate, because this year your wish has come true. In 2012, we all get an extra 24 hours added to our lives:)

That right, an extra day to take your kids out of the house and do something…anything. An extra night to spend an evening on the town with your spouse. A few more hours to finish that project or accomplish that task you have been putting off. February 29th may seem like just another day, but don’t be fooled, it is a gift. So, spend it wisely.

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My Dirty Little Secret

Eric Baumann  —  January 16, 2012 — 1 Comment

Over the past ten years, people have always asked how I can get so much done. They wonder how do I find the time & energy to run multiple ministries at the same time, lead hundreds of volunteers, focus on my creative work, be a dad and husband, read lots of books and find time for myself. Well, I’ll let you in on my little secret. I write it down and plan for it. I call it, “My Personal Growth Plan”.

There is something special about writing your priorities and goals, both short-term and long-term. They give you a score card to evaluate if you are accomplishing what it is you need, and want, to accomplish. BUT it is not good enough to just write them down, create a plan and then forget about it…you have to be methodically looking it over and adjusting it. Your growth plan doesn’t have to be complex or filled with huge goals and dreams, it just needs to be attainable and organic.

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One of the joys of the Christmas season is giving. I love to watch as my loved ones open a gift that I picked especially for them. It can warm the heart. I think I am a giver by nature. I love to offer what I can to people, whether it’s time, advice, encouragement, an extra hand to carry the load or a simple gift. It’s just in my DNA…but…sometimes I give, give, give and my tank runs low and I have to stop and just receive.

Let’s be honest. We like to give, but sometimes it’s better, if not necessary, to receive. If we are not careful, we can run our emotional, physical or relational tanks so low that we don’t have anything left to give. So, my Christmas challenge to you is this…

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I believe leadership is influence and here’s a twist – time is influence. Time spent is money in the bank. As a parent, I am learning this lesson with my kids. The longer you are with someone, the more impact you have in shaping who they are…especially if you start when they are young.

Now, the type of impact you have will vary based on your on-going interactions with that individual and the motives you have for creating influence in their lives. It can breed loyalty, followers, fans or even disciples. The outcome is based on strategy. So what can we learn from Jersey Shore (MTV) and Mickey Mouse (Disney)? They have a strategy for impacting those around them…and knowing that time is influence…they are more successful at getting the outcomes they desire if they begin influencing those individuals when they are young.

So who is “they”?¬†What are “their” motives? How can we learn from “them”?…

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The holidays are a perfect time to begin new traditions. It gives us parents the opportunity to be a little more intentional with our kids with the extra time we get to spend with them. Whether you have vacation time that needs to be taken, or your kids are on…what do they call it now…Winter Break [if you’re wondering whatever happened to Christmas Break, that’s a topic for another time]. This time of year brings with it extra hours that can be capitalized on to strengthen relationships if we choose to be wise in how we spend it. If we choose to just slow down and stop trying to catch the next best thing [or uh gingerbread man…I had to tie in the title somehow].

Three years ago I started a tradition that with my oldest son. Every Christmas we buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits from the store, and we try our best to make the coolest and slickest house on the market. We lay out all the candy, trying hard not to eat it so there is some left for house, and we piece together the walls and roof with icing that makes it all stick. It is one of the highlights of the year…for both of us.

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As a huge OSU fan, I rejoiced yesterday as the news was “made official” that Urban Meyer was hired as the next head football coach for the Buckeyes. As a former high school football coach, I know the importance of having a man at the helm that can motivate and inspire young men to greatness…and as a current stay at home dad, I learned a valuable life lesson from Coach Urban Meyer’s press interviews and chats yesterday in regards to his new commitments to both OSU and his family. If you are listening closely, and brush aside the football noise, and hear what this “refreshed” dad and coach is saying…there is great wisdom for any parent on what to say “yes” and “no” to in this life.

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One of the best things I can do for myself, my family and those I influence is to “Just Say No!” I know, I know…it sounds cliche…BUT when it comes to prioritizing your life and maximizing on the time and influence you have with others around you…learning to say, “No,” is crucial.

Some may argue that following this advice seems negative. It’s actually a matter of perspective. Every time you say “No” to something, you are in reality saying “Yes” to something else. Think about it…if I say “No” to a guy’s night out, I am saying “Yes” to dinner with my family. If I look at my son and say, “No” almost every time he asks me to buy him a candy bar or video game when we are at the store…I am saying “Yes” to investing that money in something he actually needs. When we say “No” to that temptation that stares us down daily or weekly, we are saying “Yes” to building character, discipline and integrity in our lives. In a world that is constantly screaming at us to say “Yes” to doing this or consuming that…I say no…and I am trying to teach my sons to do the same…BUT…they know it’s okay to say “Yes” as long as doing so is saying “No” to the right stuff. Are you confused yet?

 

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One of the keys to clock management in any game, is the proper use of time-outs. They can be used to stop the clock in the final seconds to set-up a winning score, or to just pause for a moment to talk to a player or team about the next play or series. Sometimes you’ll see a coach or fan go crazy because a player wastes a time-out. Time-outs are valuable, and you only get so many in the game.

I’ve learned this to be true in being a dad, and trying to “manage the clock” in the game of life with my boys. I find at times, I need to just call a time-out and spend some one-on-one time with one of my kids. I need to just stop whatever I’m doing and just listen to whatever it is they want to talk about. Now sometimes I need to call a time-out because one of them just dropped kick the other…BUT that’s a story for another time.

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