How to (not) Do It All

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

I was meeting with a younger colleague who flat out asked, “I don’t know how you do it all. What’s your secret?” Blushing, the question caught me off guard. I changed the subject, because my initial internal reaction was, I don’t know. 

But, once I slowed down enough to think about it, I do know. It’s a mix of a few things.

First, let’s get one thing straight; There is no such thing as time management. Time is inflexible–I can’t make one second longer than another. However, what I can manage is my priorities that fill up my time. Also, I don’t have children, so my priorities and demands on how I use my time wisely are different than many others. 

Second, it’s the people around me that make things happen. I can give us a plan, but it takes us all to make it happen because I’m not the expert in everything.

Third, I lean into Ephesians 2:8-10 as much as possible. Whatever time I have is a gift. Whatever I do to honor God with my time is an act of grace. I can’t boast about what I do, I can only walk through the doors that God called me to step through. God has prepared much for me to do, all I do is rely on the fact that God created me to do it. And, then to let others do what God has created them to do, too.

It’s this logic that led me to a sticky note that used to hang on my computer, and now is in my journal: What can only I do for my organization? It’s easy to do things because I know how to do them, or because I know I can get them done quickly. Yet, sometimes there are others who can handle that job, or needs practice, or can gain valuable experience to put on their resume. What is more gracious is for me to do is “stay in my lane” and do what I can to make other’s jobs easier, usually by removing roadblocks. At this point in my career, that means I’m here to make sure my supervisor has what he needs and my staff have my support. And, that staff know they can ask me to get out of the way if I’m the roadblock. 

If someone I know needs me to pave the way for a project by having a conversation with another department, I’m there to do it. If they need a decision or a budget approval, that’s me–no one else can do it. But when it comes to filling out forms, forget it–I don’t even know where to find the form let alone who to submit it to. The things the teams I’m part of are incredible and beyond my knowledge. I don’t have to do it all. And so, I’m able to do it all–all the things only I can do that God created me to do.

Order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles. And, if you are avoiding the book title on your statement, order a signed copy through PayPal here.

© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

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