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TIME MANAGEMENT Issue 24 - April 2014

Dr. Jack Smith
The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Men’s Ministry that seeks to provide an avenue where men can share knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences, encourage one another as the older men also perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the younger men. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through these publications.

1. When not at church, what keeps you busy? I teach at Makerere University (main campus and faculty of medicine) in 8 different courses. I am a research supervisor. I also work at Luzira prison - Butabika hospital and also have a counselling practice. 2. How does your normal day look like? There is not really a “normal day”. But generally, I am at campus at 6:00am where I meet some people for Bible study till 8:00am. At 8:00am I start my classes at Makerere main campus. In the afternoon I am at Mulago hospital counselling and also teaching till 7:00pm. 3. This concept of “African Time”, is it one that Christians in Africa should embrace? There are a number of African contexts: village Africa, deep village Africa, urban Kampala, University, so you have many different contexts. However, how people treat time depends on what they want to do in life. If they want to be very successful, work with big NGOs, move into the academic area, they will have to change. And a lot of Ugandans are going to leave the country and go into western culture - and even some areas of India are now more time conscious - so they will have to change. But like I said, it depends on what they want in life. If they want to relax and enjoy life, they do not need to change. If they want to move into a highly professional, high paying job, they will have to change. 4. How can Christians make the most of their time in light of God’s view of time? This concept has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years and it is very effective; it is called “Giving your time list a priority”. So what you do is you make a daily list, a weekly list, monthly list, a yearly list of important things to do and if you can, even to 5 or 10 years. Then you put a priority on each area. What is the highest priority, what is the second highest priority, lowest priority? Then you can start working on the most important first. If you can do that, you will accomplish great things. And people have been using this for a long time – hundreds of years. Even some philosophers use this concept for prioritising their use of time. But there is a problem about being too efficient. People who become too efficient, too time conscious, often do not know how to relax and enjoy life. They are under an amazing servitude of stress! They try to accomplish all these things, get a lot done but they do not enjoy it. I personally believe that God has given us life to not only serve Him but also enjoy it. And quite often professional people get caught up in the work that they forget how to relax. And as a result, they die of early heart attacks, they have ulcers, terrible headaches, all kinds of diseases and I visit them in their wards. So that is the problem; you can become too efficient, you can turn into a machine! And then often, even marriages have split up because of that. The husband is gone all the time, many times trying to accomplish things at the office and that is where his time goes and he doesn’t really give time to his wife.

how people treat time depends on what they want to do in life

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