Bob Goff, best-selling author of Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, has five tips for how we can both live well and love others well.
“Jesus seemed like the less time He had on earth, the more availability He gave to people. So I thought, I’ll learn a ton by being available,” Goff says.
Based on Jesus’ example, Goff’s number one principle is, “Don’t let anyone go to voicemail.” It’s easy to feel like we’re so busy we don’t have time to take a phone call. But if we’re willing to slow down, we’ll see that we do have time–we just need to readjust our priorities.
In keeping with this idea, Goff’s second piece of advice is, “Don’t make appointments.” While this might sound counterintuitive, Goff says that if someone asks to schedule a time to meet with him, he does what he can to meet with them immediately. This frees him up so that when people call him with a crisis in their lives, he is available to meet with those people right then in their moment of need.
Goff’s third principle is to “Quit stuff,” and he doesn’t just mean bad stuff! Goff says that we should quit good activities that are making our lives so full that there isn’t room for us to breathe or for God to work.
Cutting out excess activities is good, of course, but what about what we actually choose to spend our time on? While we’ll always have responsibilities we don’t enjoy, we often have some freedom to make time for what we love. Goff’s fourth point is, “Do what you’re made to do.” He says, “What are the things you think are beautiful and you’re good at and you like and they, you know, they square away with what what seems to you to be the highest and best?”
Find out what those things are, and then do them! On the other hand, we all have areas of life that stress us out and where we lack skill. Goff advises that we do more of the former and less of the latter where we can.
His fifth and final point is, “Take the next step.” If there is something we know we need to do, but we’re overwhelmed by the entire process of meeting our goal, we should stop thinking about all the steps and simply take the next one.
By following Goff’s advice, we can take practical measures to counteract busyness, to avoid procrastinating on what is good, and most importantly, to prioritize God and others.