“The character and career of a young person depends on how he or she spends spare time.  The way we employ the surplus hours . . . will determine if we develop into mediocre or powerful people.”
– J. Oswald Sanders

According to Nielsen, adults between the ages of 18 and 49 watch 25-35 hours of TV per week. And that doesn’t include computer/mobile phone time for social media and other online activities, which exceeds TV time for many. Even if we spend less than the average amount of time engaged in these activities, its drain on our relationships, personal growth and leadership development time is staggering.

Think of what leaders (that’s you and me) could accomplish if we just cut our media time in half and dedicated the remaining time to personal development and service. The impact on our family and community would be remarkable.

Sanders said, “If we are careful about the days, the years will take care of themselves.” For most of us (excluding those in very busy seasons of life of course) the problem is not too little time, but efficiently making the most of the time we have.

As an example, on my non-hospital weeks, when I take the 168 hours in a week and subtract sleep, time at and travel to work, church on Sunday morning and Life Group on Tuesday night, meals and exercise, I have over 35 hours left. Of course a balanced life includes additional time with family and friends, but even after that, there is a considerable amount of time remaining. What I do with that time will largely determine the impact of my life. Sanders said it best, “Certainly those hours determine whether life is commonplace or extraordinary.”

What has the most value for the hours that remain? I can’t answer for you, but I’ll give you some questions to ponder:

  1. How could you develop your leadership skills to better serve those you lead? (Ideas at: AnEternalImpact.com/Leadership)
  2. How could you better spend your time to be a better spouse or parent? (Ideas at: AnEternalImpact.com/Life)
  3. What can you do to transform yourself spiritually to have an eternal impact with those around you? (Ideas at: AnEternalImpact.com/Faith or contact me)
  4. What could you do to serve those in need in your community? (Service opportunities are everywhere – let me know if you’d like some ideas.)

Leaders have a responsibility to lead well, and how we use our time determines our effectiveness. Those we lead are too important to receive the left-overs after our TV time. Take a close look at your hours, so your years will leave a lasting legacy.

Image: Teen Resource Center