Key Vulnerabilities When Using Your Time
Many of us also have one or more innate personality traits that make the struggle to take control of our time even worse. Many of these traits have positive flip sides, but they also create blind spots that keep us from making wise decisions with our time. Examine your own personality traits as you read the following list of key vulnerabilities that challenge our use of time.
· Tidoptimism: This form of optimism thinks you can cram more into your day than you can possibly accomplish, resulting in guilt and disappointment. An overloaded lifestyle can cloud your view of reality and cause false urgencies to take your time instead of using your time for what is meaningful.
· Perfectionism: Procrastination is often fueled by perfectionism, which is rooted in the fear that you won’t get it right so you hesitate to start. Perfectionism wants to make sure there are no flaws. You often make things more difficult or complicated and time-consuming than is necessary in your attempt to get it right.
· Overachieving: You almost always do more than is required and are driven by external accolades and praise. You are rarely satisfied that you have enough. The problem may be that you have higher expectations about what you should be able to accomplish and the time line by which you should accomplish it.
· Over-responsibility: You consistently do for others what they can do for themselves. You stress about whether people in your life will hold up their end of the bargain, so you step in to take on tasks that aren’t yours.
· Approval addiction: Saying no to people makes you very anxious because you don’t want to disappoint or upset anyone by turning down their requests. You want to measure up and gain the approval of others by your luxuries, and your standard of living rises. Any happiness this brings is short-lived and creates a cycle that becomes a race with no finish line.
· Excessive guilt: You feel guilty about others’ choices and things you have not actually done wrong. As a result, you overcompensate and overcommit in ways you do not have time for. Manipulative people in your life can use it to get you to choose the false urgencies they want you to focus on rather than the meaningful choices that will bring peace, purpose, and happiness.
Philippians 4:4–7 gives great advice for guarding our vulnerabilities. As we turn to God and seek His perspective on how to handle our challenges, we get a clearer vision of what choices will bring meaning and reduce our stresss and discontent. As we make the decision to choose what is meaningful over what feels urgent just because it is the norm around us, we will see personal habits and traits that we need to address. Bringing our choices to God and acquiring His peace will protect our hearts and minds, helping us set healthy priorities such as building strong relationships, a sense of community, faith, connection, and financial comfort.
Which of the traits listed do you see in yourself the most? How do these traits impact your use of time?
Identify one time challenge you have. How might using the attitudes and actions outlined in Philippians 4:4–7 change how you choose to address this time challenge?
How can God’s peace in your heart and mind protect you from being pulled away from what brings meaning and happiness to your life?