“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise. Making the very most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:16-17 (AMPC)
Time management refers to strategies designed to enable people to get more done in less time with better results and reduced stress. Trying to juggle time and productivity happens every day. However, people do not realize how much time they waste until they examine the time used. When your life is topsy-turvy, it’s difficult to even think straight, yet alone trying to function on a schedule and actually get stuff done.
The key to managing your time wisely is learning how to allocate time effectively to your most important tasks of the day. However, some days, every minute counts! So, don’t try to squeeze everything in one day or you will burn out like a light bulb. Fizzle! Leave some wiggle room in your schedule. Understand what really matters to positively get the most urgent things accomplished.
Simplify your schedule
This is the first step of organizing your time wisely. This requires a daily list (journal) that tracks your activities and enables you to determine how your time is being used. What is the most important task of the day? On some days, reading all your personal emails can be a daunting task!
Keep track of your busy schedule will help you stay abreast of what’s going on in your life and draw conclusions on how much time you are spending on important tasks and identify areas of wasted time. Are you overwhelmed with your results? If you are overwhelmed, then maybe you have too much on your to-do-list.
Simplifying your schedule also includes being punctual. Whether it be at work, church, or any activity or event, if you know you are going to attend, make every effort to be on time. A person who is always late is disorganized. You can become stressed if you are always running late. If you start late, then the other tasks that you must do for the day will not go as smoothly as you desire. Go to bed early and try to get in at least six to eight hours of good sleep.
A priority is the preference given to one activity over other activities. Most of us prioritize badly and are disorganized. Learn to prioritize your goals; your tasks for the day. Identify what you want to get done and the order that it needs to get done. Learn how to plan and complete each task to accomplish your objectives. Stay on course; tasks that must get done should be placed on the to-do-list and then prioritized. Clarify your goals. You can’t set goals if you don’t know what they are.
“The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda. Successful people make the right priority decision early and manage those decisions daily” John C Maxwell
Set quality time for yourself
Plan a special time every day for yourself. Interruptions can happen at any time, so ignore distractions during your “quiet time” and stick with it. Turn off the television, flip down the laptop, and hide the phone. This is quality time for yourself and with God. If you love God, spending time with Him should be a top priority! This is the time to think about God’s purpose for your life, meditation, refreshers and restoration.
Respect my “NO”
Learn how to tell your family, co-workers and friends “NO”. The closest people in your life, if you let them, will take advantage of you and your time. They always got a story to tell and they want you to listen; friends want you to go out with them; co-worker need assistance or an ear to vent; a family member needs a huge favor (like you have no life), and then they will tell you all their problems, but don’t have time to listen to yours. This is wasted time for you because their needs are being met, but yours are being unfulfilled. Learning to say “no” sometimes can reduce stress and restore free time needed to do other things on your agenda. Just say it! NO!!
Last thought: Each of us get the same 24 hours in a day. The problem is not that we don’t have enough time, but it’s because we don’t know how to manage it. Make a list of your activities; tackle one task at a time; keep schedule flexible; prepare for unexpected events. De-stress and de-clutter! Make use of your quality time and get your thoughts together for the next day. God wants us to use our time wisely.
Take care of yourself – be inspired to breathe!!!