There are over 5 Billion Google searches for time management on any given day.
Our modern day society has us spinning our wheels to find more time. And in our quest for living a lifestyle within the priorities of God, we’ve discovered 2 truths about time management.
Effective time management comes down to learning how to… MANAGE TIME AND PRIORITIZE TASKS.
Time Management Truth #1: Manage Time
We don’t manage tasks, we manage time!
When we live with an awareness that we are the keepers of our time, our subconscious will guard it, like our life depends on it.
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it’s called the present.” ~ Bill Keane
God has given each of us the same 24 hours to spend everyday. Once we spend hours, minutes and seconds, we don’t get them back. So we must spend our time wisely.
Think about the people you know who are what you consider a “doer,” they just get stuff done.
Well, It’s not because they have less to do than you. They have the same 24 hours you have—but they’ve learned how to manage it more effectively.
We all get the same 24 hours, however we all don’t get the same results. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-17 to use our time wisely. He encourages us to analyze our life (verse 15) utilize the present – don’t waste our time (verse 16) and focus on what’s important (verse 17).
Ephesians 5: 15-17 (AMPC); Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),16Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil 17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
Living a balanced lifestyle in our fast-paced society begins with managing our time. You don’t have to be a super organized person to do it. Becoming a good manager of your time can be accomplished by applying time – blocking.
Time-blocking allows you to intentionally manage time for the things that matter most.
Simply decide how each of your 24 hours will be used, by time-blocking hour by hour how you choose to spend it.
A financial budget tells your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went. Likewise, a time-block schedule tells you where to spend your time instead of wondering where the time went.
Remember we each get the same 24 hours. How you spend them will effect your relationship with God and others, and your productivity.
Time Management Truth #2: Prioritize Tasks
Let’s face it, our to do list will never go away. There will always be something that needs to get done. And once we realize this truth, we can release the struggle within ourselves of letting our to do list have any power over our day.
When we make our to-do list our priority, relationships suffer, we’re less productive, and we skip spending time with God just to get things “done.”
However, we can become good managers (or stewards) of our time by prioritizing our tasks.
To help us discern our to-do list there are four questions we usually ask ourselves.
Discerning Your To-Do List
What do I NEED to do?
Will it really matter if I get this done today? If this doesn’t effect my day today, it should not be a priority task.
What can I delay?
Does this really need to be done today? If not, this is something that can be scheduled later in the week.
What can I delegate?
Can someone else do this task? Delegating tasks doesn’t mean not taking ownership for our responsibilities. It means delegating what others can and should do, so that you have time for what God has called you to.
What can I delete?
Is this task really necessary? A long to-do list does not make one productive. Fruits from your labors make you productive and if your day is filled with meaningless tasks, you will limit the harvest of your fruit!
When we manage our time well we won’t spend precious hours, minutes or seconds on things that can be delayed, delegated or deleted.
Are you starting to see how these two principles – managing time and prioritizing task work together?
Now let’s take what we’ve learned and apply it.
How To Manage Time And Prioritize Tasks
The best way to practice these two principles is to plan your day every day. This can seem overwhelming, especially for those who have never tried to manage their day before.
Have you ever started using a planner and after a week or two you stopped using it?
A planner by itself isn’t going to keep you organized and productive. A planner is only as good as the user. And if you’re not sure how to implement using a planner, or any time management system, we can help you with that.
Today we are going to help you manage your time and prioritize your task one day at a time.
Time Management Worksheet
We created a One Day Planner Worksheet to help you implement these principles NOW!
It would be best to do this the night before, so that each morning you have a road map for the day.
So the night before, take a few minutes to plan your day. Identify your “wake” hours then establish your time-blocks. Allocate time for devotions / meditation with God, exercise, work, family obligations, etc.
For example, if you sleep between 9pm -7am, your awake hours will be from 7am -8pm. And it will be those hours you need to time-block so that you have time for what matters most.
It’s one thing to say I need to spend time with God, it’s another to actually allocate time for God and do it.
When you time – block what’s important first, then you will actually do it.
If your time is filled with other people’s problems, you will continue to be frustrated with your productivity. To get something different in life, you have to DO something DIFFERENT.
After you have allocated your time, make a list of tasks that need to get done. These can be errands, calls, etc. As you work through your day, prioritize your tasks by doing only what needs to get done. If you have completed those tasks and have extra time, you can work on the others or delay them for the following day.
This is how you strive to live a balanced life in the everyday chaos of life.
Finding The Balance
It will be okay if everything on your to-do list doesn’t get done. When you sit down to plan for the next day roll over any uncompleted tasks to the next day.
You will notice a notes section on the One Day Planner Worksheet that can be used to make notes for yourself or prayer requests.
Once you get the hang of this, apply these principles to any planner or time management system you choose to use.
If you’re not used to time-blocking, use this One Day Planner Worksheet until you get the hang of it. Then find a planner or time management system that allows you to schedule time.
A regular calendar with no time-blocks is good for a to-do list. However, without a way to allocate or schedule your time, it will be difficult to intentionally use the hours God has given you.
We use the better planner because it allows us to time-block by the hour. Some prefer an electronic time management system, whatever you choose the principles are the same.
The point is to just do it. You can download this One Day Planner Worksheet from our community library or by completing the form below.
In The End
If you feel overwhelmed or frustrated with life, that’s usually a sign that your priorities are out of order. However, you can eliminate overwhelm when you intentionally manage your time, and prioritize tasks.
Now you might be wondering, what do I do if I seriously can’t take anything off my to do list? Well, in those instances we have prayed and asked God to give us a stronger back!
God will not call you to do something you cannot handle. If what He has called you to is overwhelming ask Him for His grace to fulfill His purpose in your life!
“If you are not in control of your time, then you can’t be in control of your results.” ~ 12 Week Year Brian P Moran & Michael Lennington
In closing, we want to encourage you to take control of your time today.
And remember, the time to make time is always right now!
~ Andre and Timberley Gray