How does one maximize their schedule and still make time for Christ? Isn’t that the ultimate question we are all wanting to know? Time is the opportunity to invest in that which will last forever. However, most only make time for what they value most. In fact, some go as far as saying "whatever controls our time, controls your life.”
Gut check! Where are you spending majority of your time? What is your focus or top priorities daily? Are you creating a huge to do list and confusing motion with progress? Jesus uniquely maintained a balance between worship, prayer, family, friends, work, and rest. To do this, he kept an intimate relationship with God, and had a clear view of the task at hand. He is the perfect mentor and model to follow in all things. The more he worked, the more he prayed. He recognized that he needed to spend time communing with God to refresh himself. I think that God often creates delays and stopping points in our busy lives; the red lights and traffic jams, so that we might turn to him and ask for help.
The key word to make this all possible is BALANCE. Not everything can be done in one day and even if it could, there would still be more for tomorrow. We must create habits that will lead to new behaviors and a lifestyle change. While change is not always fun, it doesn’t mean it’s not necessary. In fact, it could be quite exciting and a worthwhile process.
Let’s dive into the four D’s of time management – Do, Decide, Delegate and Delete. The goal of these is to not only grow closer in scripture but to make more time for yourself and loved ones too. The Eisenhower Matrix is brilliant because it makes decisions simple by breaking down what is important and what is not. A great starting point indeed!
1. ‘Important’ and ‘Urgent’ tasks. These receive the highest priority level and should be your primary focus to DO as soon as possible.
2. ‘Important’, but ‘Not Urgent’ tasks. These are the long-term goals and tasks that are important but don’t have a firm deadline yet. You should DECIDE and schedule them in a timely manner.
3. ‘Not Important’, but ‘Urgent’ tasks. These tasks are the ones you can DELEGATE to other professionals or appoint to complete yourself if you must.
4. ‘Not Important’ and ‘Not Urgent’ tasks. The tasks are placed in the DELETE quadrant because you should eliminate doing them.
To make wise planning a habit, you must devote a place where you can write down your tasks on a regular basis. In most planners, there is a dedicated spot to jot down important tasks and even break them into actionable steps. Once you have a plan in place and can visualize it, the goal becomes more obtainable, so you can achieve it. Trust me, you will run into obstacles frequently and have days where you feel like you got nothing done. BUT, if you are consistent and stick to the plan it will pay off. It takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to make it an adopted behavior.
Try using the Pomodoro Technique when you have a lot to accomplish in one day and need to be laser focused. This technique consists of setting a timer for 25 minutes with no interruptions and focusing on one task at a time. When the timer goes off, take a five-minute break, and do something entirely different. This method works perfect when conducting a
Bible study, praying, or reading scripture. It can also be used for selfcare like working out, meditation or reading a book.
Time management when used properly can alleviate stress and improve your overall spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing. You are worth the effort it takes to master this skill so don’t put off for tomorrow what you can accomplish today. “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Quote by Paul J. Meyer