Have you ever had one of those days where you worked hard, yet didn’t seem to get much accomplished? Let me be real with you, I used to feel like that everyday.
I’d wake up early, work all day, yet not get anything finished. Between my phone ringing, handling unforeseen “emergencies” and lack of focus, I was extremely inefficient. I’d be so frustrated at the end of those days. I was tired, had worked all day, yet accomplished very little. Not only was I displeased with myself, but I was certain that God was displeased with me as well.
Even now, I feel like that from time to time, but certainly not as frequently as I used to. I’ve implemented five disciplines that immediately improved my ability to manage my time. These strategies improved my ability to focus, be more productive and finish each day with a sense of accomplishment.
Pray, Study and Read
This is the first thing I do every morning. I stole the idea from Michael Hyatt. It helps set the tone for the rest of my day and place my priorities into perspective.
I pray for 15 or 20 minutes when I wake up. I thank the Lord for the day, confess sin to Him, ask for forgiveness, pray for others and communicate any of my needs. Some of this time, I spend meditating and listening as well. The Lord has revealed many things to me during this period every day.
I then spend time reading His word. I’m currently doing the Historical Bible in a Year plan via The Bible App (youversion.com). The plan keeps me on track for reading the Bible every day. It also has allowed me to learn a great deal about God this year as I’m able to see the Bible from a big picture perspective.
I also read a book of some kind. Over this year, I’ve read “Steve Jobs“ by Walter Isaacson, “Platform“ by Michael Hyatt, “Crazy Love“ by Francis Chan, “City of Allegory“ by Brady Goodwin (Phanatik), “You Are a Writer“ by Jeff Goins, “Date Your Wife“ by Justin Buzzard, “The Good Life“ by Trip Lee and several others. I’m currently reading “Art and the Bible“ by Francis Schaeffer. (Affiliate Links)
These books have helped expand my worldview and given me a sense of accomplishment each day. Starting your day by checking off three things on your to-do list can be a huge morale boost (more on this later).
The Lord has given me a lot to do. A huge road block for me used to be I didn’t have a lot of energy. That changed once I began to exercise.
In theory it makes no sense. Work your body more and have more energy the rest of the day. Practically, its made all the difference in the world. Since I began walking and later running earlier this year, I’ve simply been more energetic and focused.
I Corinthians 6:19-20 says that our bodies are temples for the holy spirit. It only makes sense that if you physically take care of your temple, it will be able to “run” more efficiently.
Plan Each Week
This is the toughest for me to execute. Some weeks I do it, and I see a huge difference. Other weeks I don’t and I see that impact as well. Sunday Night’s or Monday Mornings, I try to make a list of everything I need to get done that week and then slot them into time slots on my calender. I include exercise, study and prayer, family time, meetings, interviews, church obligations and content creation (blogs, podcasts, etc.).
I’m rarely able to execute this to a “T”. That said though, the weeks I do plan, I get a lot more done as I start each week some what organized.
Plan Each Day
When the Bible speaks of stewardship, most of us think of finances and tangible resources. I know I used to. Time however, is just as important. It’s actually the resource that God has given us, that no matter what we do, we can’t get it back. No amount of money or good deads can buy us more time. Therefore, what we do with it is extremely important.
When I’ve planned my week, planning my day is much easier. I can simply create a to do list on a piece of legal paper and check things off as I get them done. I’m very task oriented, so physically crossing things off the list is a great feeling for me. It energizes me and gives me momentum to start the next task.
If you feel yourself struggling with time management big time, communicate some of your to-do’s with a close friend and ask them to keep you accountable. I’ve seen much fruit in this area when it comes to overcoming my pornography addiction. I don’t see why something like this would be any different. One of the biggest benefits of being a part of the church is the community and accountability that can come out of it. If you are really struggling with this, find someone who can help you stay on track. Don’t be too proud.
You Can Manage Your Time Better
There’s much more I could write on this subject, including things like how to prioritize, the importance of saying no, the importance of rest, how to be more efficient on social media, etc. But this foundation is important. Try them out and I gurantee that you’ll see results immediately. You can do this.
- What do you do to help manage your time efficiently?