Lewis’s Time Management Advice


Every day, each person is confronted with a kaleidoscope of choices: what to do, what not to do, how to fill the seconds and minutes and hours in a day. Interestingly enough, C.S. Lewis wrote about “time management” in this excerpt from a letter to his goddaughter:

“Oh—I’d nearly forgotten—I have one other piece of advice. Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has got to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing—but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day”

I for one have often been inclined to piddle away my time doing things that I ought not do, I haven’t got to do, and I don’t even like to do (when I stop to think). This is apt advice for young people in particular, but also for anyone in any walk of life!