We would all prefer to get everything we wanted. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work out that way, as most of us find out very early in life and some privileged few remain in denial about well into their adulthood. Some of us, without any native interest in matters of resources and logistics, nevertheless feel ourselves compelled to study the matter closely because of the circumstances of our lives and may find ourselves to be reasonably proficient despite lacking the genius for stewarding and marshaling resources . Even those of us who have had to acquire little knowledge of being a quartermaster of limited resources or limited budgets have to deal with the budget of our time. It is our time that all of us have the same amount of and all of us have to budget.
This budget can be more onerous or less onerous depending on the lives that we have. Childhood, for example, has often traditionally been viewed as a time of great freedom, to the extent where some schools in the United States have eliminated homework in the expectation that children are supposed to play during their time off of school. Other cultures treat the time of children differently, and even within the United States there are particularly ambitious parents who send their children to cram schools like the Saturday Academy that shares the building where I work. At times time that some might view as wasted ends up being more useful than we might originally think. As a college freshman, for example, my next door neighbors in the Honor dorm one relatively lazy weekday afternoon queried if I had ever seen Monty Python: The Search For The Holy Grail. I had not, and as I had a couple of hours to kill, I watched the film and gained an appreciation of a particularly funny movie that has a lot to say about history in subtly humorous ways. For others, the movie would not have been that useful and possibly maybe not even as funny as it was for me.
The problem of being a good steward of our time is especially important when it comes to work. For a period of several years between 2006 and 2009, I worked 40 hours a week while simultaneously going to graduate school full time for two master’s degrees, averaging three nights a week of classes from 6 to 10 PM. Considering I worked from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday and drove an hour without stopping for food between work and class, this did not leave a great deal of time for eating or sleeping. They were difficult years, made more difficult by a host of other personal issues I was dealing with. It was at that time when I became particularly aware of the immense shortage I was struggling with in terms of my logistical resources. In more ways that one, during those years I was at the end of my tether, dealing with the demands of work, school, family, church, my mental and physical health, and so on. And yet somehow I managed to cope with all of the demands and achieve my goals, even if I would be paying for those goals for a long time. I often find myself somewhat torn between a sense of wonder that I was able to pull it off and a sense of frustration at my difficulties in being gentle with myself. At any rate, my struggles during those times and later on with effectively managing the complex demands on my time gave me a great deal of appreciation for what can be done, and what are the limits of what can be done, given the time that we have on this earth.
The reason I mention this is that at least some of my time at work is often taken up dealing with the frequent question of dealing with a set of vexing demands. On the one hand, I am frequently daily asked to do various special reports with, I would hope, a great deal of competence. I am also equally often asked to manage my time effectively so as to not exceed 40 hours a week. Depending on the week and who is making demands on my time, different constraints of these are easier to handle at some times than others. At times both constraints can be met, at times one or the other can be met, and at times neither the constraints of what is asked of me or what sort of time they want me to spend on the task can be met. There are fairly easy and obvious solutions I would think of as to how these constraints should be either eased or met, but no one asks my opinion and so I do not give it to those who do not welcome it. In my own mind, perhaps, I am a logistical genius on the order of Ulysses Grant , but in the eyes of others I am simply someone who is supposed to do a job and keep my mouth shut. Oh, that this was possible.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: