Managing for a Moment

Check out the podcast on Managing for Ministry.

What is it that we go through the process for? Most of us would say, “To get to the end result.” We take the journey to reach our destination. As a parent, I don’t think I’m looking for my children to become grown ups, even though I know that I’m preparing them for adulthood. It is in the context of being a parent that I realize that we go through the process to make moments.

Moments connect on a spiritual and emotional level. It is the goal of travel agents, sales people, speakers, and writers to delivers moments that bring you to a decision- buy, sell, invest, hire, etc.

We’re wired for moments. Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and others provide moments- snippets, updates, captured points in time. I’ve heard the woe of shortened attention spans and the dumbing-down of our youth. I want my son to be able to appreciate a novel or a biography. But it’s hard to deny the power of presenting brief, powerful moments. We look for moments, we learn from moments.

20131103-220119.jpgWe created a moment over the weekend. As the weather is cooling down here in Tennessee, we decided on the spur of a moment to build a fire, just a small one, to roast hot dogs over, in the back pasture on the farm. There was no planned party, no guests, just me, my wife, the boys and a few hot dogs. It didn’t take long to do, and it wasn’t the first time we had done this. But it created a moment. Past moments are remembered in the present, and and new ones are only made in the present.

So how do you stay ready for the moments that will come your way? You have to manage for the moment. This includes:

Embracing the fact that relationships rely on quality of time, not quantity. And the tendency is toward efficiency in matters of time- time scheduled for this, blocked out for that, then there is time for something else. To make moments you have to build in flexibility. I shared in this video on organization how I have used the Franklin Covey system for years, and a key point of the system is to be efficient in managing tasks, but to build in flexibility for effectiveness when it comes to managing your relationships.

To be ready for moments, it isn’t enough to just be present. You have to be available and attentive. This is hard with all the very convenient ways we can distract ourselves. But we have to be ready to not just look at our loved ones, but to truly see them for who they are. Listen to every word and repeat them back, ask questions, or say, “Thanks for talking to me.” We can’t take for granted that our children always will talk to us, so attention to them is very important.

We have to manage such that we appreciate opportunity over order sometimes. Chances arise that we may not get back. Sometimes it is worth busting out of the norm in order to grasp these opportunities. I’m not saying to break commitments, but to prioritize opportunities to know, to grow, and to show. This is what our legacy to our loved ones is based on, passing down the best of what we have to offer.

The grind is always there…
I know that life requires planning and schedules and details. When you take a vacation, it doesn’t happen without planning. The old comedic dynamic about vacations is there is always someone who plans everything to death, and usually everyone else just wants to hang loose and have fun. Managing for a moment means making a space to experience opportunities, and then making the most of that space. Block out time, go somewhere, and build the boundaries well enough to say, “This is sacred ground,” then live it out with those that are significant.

What do you think? Are you allowing moments to happen, or squandering them away? How can this change? Let me know in the comments below.

Copyright (c) 2013 Glen Gaugh


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