The Importance of Planning (Z.T. Fomum)
You have a clear goal. You know it is from the Lord. You are anxious to accomplish it. Your problem now is how to use the time you have to accomplish your goal. The first thing should be some praying. Ask the Lord to show you how much time you need to accomplish the call of God on your life.
Let us take for example, that the Lord shows you that you need 100,000 hours to accomplish His call on your life. Let us also take that He has shown you that you should complete the goal of your life in thirty years. What you must now find out is how many hours you need to invest every day into your goal in order to accomplish it. This is obtained by dividing the total number of hours that need to be invested into your goal, each year, by 30. If this is again divided by 365, then the number of hours that are needed daily in order to accomplish the goal will be known. In this case it is 100.000/ 365 X 30 = 9.13242 hrs.
It means that if you work every day without failing for 9.13242 hours, in thirty years, you will accomplish your goal. It is best to consider that for about 25% of the time you may be disturbed by circumstances beyond your control from working or from making progress. This means that you should increase your daily period of working by 25%, so that you can come through successfully and on time, even if there is interference or delays. This will bring the number of hours that you must invest into it every day to 11.415525. You should now turn to your timetable and give the best 11.42 hours of each day to your goal. You will select the hours depending on what your peculiar job is. The only thing that matters is that you should give the best hours possible to your goal.
After you have done that, you should consider that the rest of the time is for you to prepare for those hours at your goal. You would:
- seek God,
- read the word,
- build relationships,
- make money,
- exercise your body,
- get rid of all bad habits,
- and so on.
That will help you to accomplish the call of God on your life. (Throughout this book, when we write of work, we are writing about extreme hard work. To fully understand this, read our book, “The Art of Working Hard.” It is the 9th book in this series.) In addition, you will plan ways of improving your performance. If, for example, you are making blocks for a building at the rate of 10 per hour, you need to find out how you can improve on your speed. You may need to take a course of study, but by all means, plan to improve. You may need to ask more experienced people, please do. You may need to hire additional help. Why not? Do every God-approved thing that will help you to succeed, but ensure that you have indeed sorted it out with God.
Things you should try to avoid and some that you must do.
- Do not change the timetable too often.
- Have a temporary timetable and see how it works.
- If it is not satisfactory, change it. Remember that the goal is to use time to accomplish the call of God on your life. The call of God is constant but how time is used is variable. Do not be a slave to your timetable. Be a slave to your God and be radically committed to the timetable.
- When you have found a timetable that fits well, keep to it and refuse the tendency to want to change it for experimentation’s sake. Every change in a timetable is costly. It takes time.
- Fix time limits by which jobs have to have been done. This will put you under pressure and help you to use time more effectively. I remember once when I set the limit for finishing the writing of a certain book. One month before, I invited the brethren to come for the dedication of the book to the Lord. Then I fell ill but there was no way in which I could cancel the dedication service. When I recovered, I set out to work like a madman. I slept a total of six hours during the last three days. I wrote for 19-21 hours each day. The Lord gave me super-abundant energy and revelation. I pressed on and on and fifteen minutes before the dedication service was scheduled to start, I finished, jumped into the car, and was thanking the Lord as we drove to the service. It is quite obvious that the best in us comes out under pressure. Let us constantly put ourselves under pressure and then we shall find out that we have done great things for the Lord in the time He has given us.
- Be accountable. It will help you exceedingly if you have someone to instill more discipline into your way of working. We have already written detailly about this in our book, “Deliverance from the Sin of Laziness” which is the eighth book in this series.
- Watch out and ensure that you start on time. If you are to start at 9.00, start then. Do not start at 9.05 or 9.10. You know what the overall effect of this will be. If you planned to work for three hours and started at 9.00 and took two breaks of fifteen minutes each, you will of course work up to 12.30 in order that the three hours are covered. If you stop at 12.00, you will only have worked for two and a half hours. If you lose thirty minutes in every three hours you will need 36 years instead of 30 to accomplish your life’s goal.
- Bear in mind that little acts of dishonesty destroy your relationship with God. They also will show up in the goal. You cannot cheat God. You cannot cheat with a task that must be done. You can only deceive yourself. Do not do so.
- Have a clear system of evaluation. If after ten years you have not accomplished 15-30% of your goal, you are unlikely to finish without serious readjustments. I know that progress is often slower at the beginning: but if you have really not started in ten years, you may be heading for failure.
- You should have a faithful record of how all your time is being used. This will enable you to see how to modify things more readily. I have enclosed some time records of my friend Henriette Mbarga.
- You should have a list of priorities. When you start on anything, first carry out the activity that is priority number one. It is often the most difficult and the most important. Keep at it and ensure that it is finished, so that even if only one thing has been done, the most important thing will have been done. When you have finished with priority number one, move on to priority number two, and so on. I know that it requires much discipline not to jump to the easy but low-priority jobs, but discipline is indispensable to success. Be disciplined with time. Be disciplined with priorities.
- Above all, pray. Pray about your time. Pray about its use. Pray to protect it. Prayer is the priority of priorities. I have enclosed some prayer topics by the man of prayer, Donald Ngonge. I have also enclosed samples of prayer topics by brethren who pray for my time.
- Finally, be filled with the Spirit. Love the Lord. Use your time for His Use it only for His glory. Labour to have His “Well done good and faithful servant” on that day. God bless you!
- 14. Amen