Time management principles
We are already 23 days into 2022, and if you weren’t paying attention, it could all seem like a blur. When we look at Jesus’ life, we see that He was never out of step with God’s timing and will. Once, His brothers were trying to get Him to go to a feast to do some great miracle so that people would notice Him, and Jesus said, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.” John 7:6 (NIV). For some of us, our time is just slipping by and passing through our fingers like sand.
God made us to live in balance, and there are some key things that must be included in this balance. In addition to work, school, and the other important things that we use our time for, we must also include these five:
1.Social time: We need social connection to live healthy lives
2.Fun/Leisure time: For our mental health
3.Solo-time: Improves self-esteem and happiness
4.Family time: Our family is our responsibility
Do a time audit and ask the Lord to help you to complete it. As you are doing your audit, here are a few guidelines to note:
THINK LONG TERM
Often, we get short-sighted when we think of balancing our lives. True balance is actually seen over a period of time, perhaps six months to a year. It is perfectly natural to invest more time in something for a while, like getting a business off the ground, or caring for a new born, but these energies should even out over time. Don’t stress out over the short-term imbalances. Try instead to focus on the bigger picture.
CONSIDER WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE
We are notoriously bad at miscalculating how much time and energy we spend on certain activities, so it is helpful to write things down. It may help to take an inventory of your life by journalling what an average week looks like. This can give a helpful overview, and over a month or two, it can help to clarify the things that need to change.
MAKE A COMMITMENT TO CHANGE
Changing old habits is hard. Even harder is giving up society’s expectations of us that have been ingrained for years! But we need to do it. Make a commitment to do things differently and stick to it.
God will give us wisdom to prioritise each day, week, month, and year. We need to manage our time as He leads. Mark 1:36-37 (NASB) tells us that “Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”” In a parallel passage in Luke 4:42 (NIV), it says, “The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them”.
The pressures and demands were huge, and Jesus had to know what was important at what time. The people were coming to Him because they were in genuine need, but Jesus didn’t give in to the pressures and demands of people who just wanted Him to do what they wanted Him to do. As God gave Him clarity, He was able to prioritise His life, and we need to do the same. Jesus instead said, “Let us go somewhere else — to the nearby villages — so I can preach there also. That is why I have come”Luke 4:43 (NIV).
There are always going to be urgent things arounds us, but we need to put the most important things first and trust God to give us wisdom.