Twenty-Five Hours In A Day

by Pastor Jack Hyles

(Chapter 02 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Strength And Beauty)


Everyone has the same amount of time-the learned and unlearned, the old and young, the rich and poor, the big and little, the high and low, the president and peasant, the rich man and poor man, the beggar man and the thief. We all have 1440 minutes to spend each day.

The important thing is how we spend that 1440 minutes.

People often ask me, "Pastor, how do you get so much done? Pastoring over 14,000 members, presenting a daily radio broadcast, conducting a weekly broadcast on over 60 stations, writing fifteen books, traveling across the country and around the world, how do you get everything done?"

I decided to share with my people some secrets to getting more done in my 1440 minutes a day so it could seem that I have "twenty-five hours in a day." I share these now with you, dear reader.

1. Do two things at one time. One can read while eating or while getting a haircut. A housewife can iron and listen to the radio. She can also do the dishes while she listens to good music or a record. Such things as driving, eating, ironing, washing dishes, bathing, etc. should never be done so as to occupy one's complete attention. Much of this book has been dictated while I was driving on the highway. I have for years kept a Dictaphone machine in my car. Much of my mail is answered in this manner.

2. Always have a paper and pencil or pen handy. A thought can come through one's mind one time, never to return; it should be jotted down. One should never trust his memory.

3. Avoid people who are time wasters. Everyone has in his sphere of activity people who are time wasters. They love to sit and talk about nothing in general. Much care should be taken so as to not spend too much time with this type. Someone has said, "Great minds talk about ideas; good minds talk about things; and weak minds talk about people." Seek those who have great minds. Flee those who have weak minds unless there is an opportunity to help them

4. Use the early morning and late evening hours. The man who gets ahead is the man who works while others sleep. He is up before others are up and is awake working after others have retired. The most quiet and uninterrupted hours of the day are those in the early morning and late evening.

5. Work the hardest when you are the most alert. Everyone has his best hours. Maybe one person is a bit sluggish after lunch. Perhaps another finds it hard to work late in the evening. Find the hours when work comes the easiest and when most can be done. By all means, utilize those times to their limit.

6. Use travel time wisely. When on a train, car, bus, or airplane and when at an airport, depot, or train station, do not just sit idly. Use that time. Always have a good book with you that you can read during idle hours. Perhaps there is some project on which you can work, but plan to use your travel time wisely.

7. Plan your day at its beginning. It has been my policy for many years to lie in bed about five to ten minutes in the morning after I awaken and plan the activities of the day. What I do today I must do on purpose. I must not let external circumstances control my schedule. I must let my schedule control my external circumstances. This is not to say that an emergency or two will completely ruin my day; it is to say that I must have goals for the day and I must work to reach them.

8. Use waiting time. This is much like the travel time. Take your reading material to the doctor's office. Don't let what he chooses govern your thoughts while you wait. That 1932 magazine that you are reading in 1970 will do little to enrich your life. Decide what you are going to read in the doctor's office; take it with you.

9. Do not do what would be better for another to do. A man who could make $5 an hour at work would be better off paying a boy $1.50 an hour for mowing his yard than to tie himself up and thereby lose $3.50 an hour. Don't be timid to get help. Spend your time on your specialty. When there is someone who can do the job far better and far quicker than you, get help.

10. Eat right. This is very vital. No car can run its best without proper fuel and no person can work his best without proper food. Take extra care to eat properly. Also exercise properly; keep a healthy body.

11. Fellowship only with a purpose. If YOU need some time off, if you need to sit and chat awhile, if you need to relax your mind, do it on purpose; plan it. Don't just be a member of the "Spit and Whittle Club" unless you need to spit and whittle. So many millions of hours are wasted every day by people who have no purpose in life but to "chew the fat" with whoever walks by. Have an organized life. Do what you do on purpose.

12. Sleep on purpose. Don't be a sluggard and fall asleep. Decide when you are going to sleep. Decide how much sleep you need; go to sleep by a schedule and wake up by a schedule. Intemperance concerning sleep can ruin one's effectiveness and usefulness.

13. Plan your worry time. When you think of something that worries you, write it down and vow that you will worry about it at "worry time." This will keep you from worrying while you are busy. Make a list of your worries; set a certain time regularly when you worry. This will concentrate your worry time into one little area of life and will not render you ineffective for the rest of your schedule. You will find by the time worry time comes that not worrying while you are working has eliminated your worries, for most of our worries can be worked out by a strong body, a disciplined personality, and a planned life.

14. Don't dwell on minor decisions. Do not make a big production out of small jobs and minor decisions. Some people use a lot of energy about the small things and never get to the big ones.

There are many other things that can help one in his daily activity. Things that I have found helpful are having a daily schedule, not worrying about a decision that has been made after careful deliberation, using of of the fastest transportation available, making a list before shopping, deciding at night what clothes I will wear the next day, etc.

One of the most important things of all, however, is this: DO ONLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW. Don't worry about what you did awhile ago, or what you are going to do after awhile; hide yourself in your present activity.

If you are prepared for the day, that which you are going to do after awhile will care for itself after awhile. This is one reason I can get so many different things done. If I am to broadcast in ten minutes, I will broadcast in ten minutes, but not now. I have prepared myself for this broadcast and I need not worry about it. My mind must be on the activity of the present. When the broadcast comes, I must not worry about the appointment that follows, or I will not be my best now. I must center my attention on what I am doing; I must lose myself in the present task, not wondering about my effectiveness of the previous one, nor worrying about the effectiveness of the one to follow. I have prepared myself for the day; I must not render myself ineffective for the present because I am worried about the failures of the past or the schedule of the future.

Using the aforementioned ideas and many others, there are many times when I feel that I have been able to spend "twenty-five hours in a day."

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