first things first

7 time management principles from the wisest man who ever lived

“There is a time for everything.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

That is quite a statement. Why is it sometimes that does not appear to be true? Too often it seems like there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we feel we should do. Solomon, considered to be the wisest man who ever lived, penned those words. As the most productive king in Israel’s history he obviously knew something about time management.

Time management experts tell us that time management at its core is really life management. That is an important distinction and makes sense when we consider that Solomon’s book of Ecclesiastes is essentially a book about life management. Wasted time produces wasted lives. And as the Solomon, continually reminds us, wasting time in meaningless pursuits produces meaningless lives. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (1:2)

Since this extremely wise and accomplished man knew both the profit and pitfalls of life management we would do well to glean as many nuggets of truth as we can from his writings. A careful study of his book reveals what I would consider to be seven of the greatest time management principles ever written. Here they are.

The best way to start a day

“Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening.” Ecclesiastes 11:6 (NAS) The mother of all time management principles is summed up in this verse. It was penned nearly 3000 years ago by King Solomon, one of the wisest and most accomplished men who ever lived. History has confirmed the wisdom of these words and many similar sayings have worked their way into our everyday vocabulary since that time. “Make hay while the sun shines.” – John Heywood 1546. “The early bird gets the worm.” – John Ray 1670. “He who hesitates is lost.” – Joseph Addison 1713. And last but not least “Big rocks first!” popularized most recently by Steven Covey’s “first things first” principle.

What all these sayings have in common is this. Each new day dawns streaming with bright potential through windows of opportunity, but we must use it or we’ll lose it.

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