BE YOUR OWN MANAGER
The thing about time management is you have to do just that—manage! Remember that you are your own manager of your life and time, so if you feel too busy, then it is nobody’s fault except… well I think you know who I’m talking about. We each must make the decision to take control of our lives and not just become victims to circumstances. Successful time management requires intentionality. You make the conscious choice to manage your life and time. Some of us actually get comfortable in our misery and our busy-ness. Change is scary even when it’s good change. Taking the first step is the most difficult, but it is also the most important. So just begin the journey!
SCHEDULE TIME TO SCHEDULE TIME
In college, one of my professors used to always tell us, “You gotta schedule time to schedule time!” And it is so true. Having a calendar doesn’t do any good unless you take the time to manage the calendar and plan out your weeks and months. I recommend setting aside some time at least once a week (preferably at the beginning of the week) to schedule out those next seven days. Then, do the same thing at the start of each month and the start of each year. Write it all down and you’ll find that each day becomes much more manageable. You’ll even see that you had more time than you realized at first!
LEARN TO FOCUS
Prioritization is the point here. When we don’t manage our time, time simply seems to slip us by. Little things that don’t seem like a big deal add up in the end—television, social networking, video games, web surfing, etc. Research states that the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (28 hours a week, 2 months a year). By this statistic, a 65-year-old person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube! Now don’t pretend that you are the one “exception.” We all have lost track of time with idle things such as TV. So, as they say, the first step to solving a problem is realizing that you have a problem. Learn to focus on the things that really matter. Invest your time and energy into those things that you truly love to do; those things which are world impacting.
LEARN TO SAY “NO”
In slight contrast to the last tip, this point is for those who just can’t seem to say “no” to others. People and things are always going to demand more time of you then is available. It’s ok to be realistic and tell them that you just don’t have the time. Don’t overbook and overwork your life. You only have so much to give, and everything you commit to will inevitably take away from something else. Set a limit for yourself on how many commitments you are willing to take in any given week. If nothing else, tell the person that you can reschedule with them for another day.
I know this seems crazy amidst our hectic lives, but trust me, it is essential. And if you don’t trust me then at least trust God! He actually commands us to take a rest day (Sabbath) once a week. Seriously though, from experience I can say that you can actually get more done in six days then you can in seven. The math might not add up in your head but the reality is true nonetheless. We need to recharge and re-energize. Without taking the time to rest, we end up exhausted and ineffective. We work slower and duller. But when we take a Sabbath we optimize our work for the rest of the week. We were given this example to follow, not merely as a suggestion.
Feel like there is just not enough time in the day?
Too much on your plate?
Juggling too many things?
Wearing too many different hats?
If you feel like you are too busy then welcome to the human race.
We feel like we could use a little time management in our lives. Consider a few tips for “redeeming the time” of your life.