4 Tips On How To Manage Your Time
Fall is my absolute favorite season and yes, I am embracing it as early as possible—bring on all the PSLs (or even better, a PCCB) and fall attire, I love everything about this season! Although the fall season will always be the most busiest one for me, my most favorite things take place in this little pocket of time and it goes by sooo fast, therefore managing my time rightly has always been key. Whether you’re going back to school or you see that there are a ton of responsibilities on your plate, here are four tips on how to better manage your time, I hope they help!
Prioritize the important stuff.
Carve out some time to sit down and write out all that is going to be on your plate for the season. Really take a step back and recognize where your time is going and what your life is going to be spent on. What are you saying “yes” to and what might you need to say “no” to in this season? Is it school, family, friends, work, a relationship, ministry, a project? Forecast realistically the time needed for these priorities and if you’ll need to step back from something to give more attention to a greater priority in this season. God calls us to be good stewards of all that He gives us and that includes our time (Colossians 3:23). Where our time is spent will point to what we love, what we care about, what we worship. I pray that our time spent on this earth points others to Christ and not ourselves. With this being said, as we look to intentionally prioritize the responsibilities on our plate, let’s not forget to do this alongside prayer.
Do we actually come to the Lord and seek His guidance over the time He has given us here on earth? Are we eager to submit ourselves to His agenda instead of our own? Or are we choosing priorities over what will please man instead of what pleases the Lord? As you think through priorities for the season ahead, ask the Lord for direction. As we seek Him first and are led by Him to organize our priorities (instead of us saying God, this is what I want to do now just “bless” it) we will see everything else fall into place rightly (Matthew 6:33). It is important that we continue to seek the Lord’s input and simply ask Him, God, does this please you? To check in from time to time with Him on our goals, hopes, dreams— that they are in line with His will. And if they are not, be bold enough to ask the Lord to change us to be inline with His. See, as we get away with the Lord and are reminded of how GOOD He is, an eager response to pour out all of our time on what pleases the Lord should ultimately follow. We may not have all of the details revealed to us but His Word does point us to the important practical priorities; time with Him in prayer and the Word, being part of your local church, fellowship with Christians, just to name a few. No matter what our season looks like responsibility wise, keeping the Lord first will be the ultimate priority. As we are depending upon the Holy Spirit in prayer to help manage our time we can ask and receive the grace, endurance, and strength needed for all that we are called to in this time. May we steward all that He has for us out of our love for Christ, not to prove ourselves in our own strength. May God bless our obedience and deepen our trust in Him as He continues to reveal His faithfulness.
Get Some practical tools.
Yes, there are some practical tools out there you may have heard of to help manage your time. Like a physical agenda. Some people love to take advantage of their phone calendars and set up reminders, some of us prefer a physical agenda where you can flip through and see where your time will go weekly and monthly. Whatever works best for you, take those priorities we talked about in the first suggestion and literally block out times on your calendar, times for sleep, work, exercise, church, studying, etc. This will be so beneficial in making decisions to cut some things out of your schedule if there is no room and it will help avoid a lot of unneeded potential stress of being overwhelmed from piling on too much. I like to block out those times as far in advance as possible, double check the month ahead as I change my calendars to the next month and definitely know what my week ahead looks like in case something random comes up last minute and I need to re-arrange my time.
Keep your accountability in the loop.
If you are really struggling to manage your time talk to that one person who holds you accountable and speaks Godly wisdom into your life. As they keep you accountable in the stewarding of your time for the Lord, have them hold you accountable to not just be a productive workaholic but one that finds Godly rest. In order to handle the things God has called us to steward we must find down time to rest and be refreshed in the Lord. Your accountability partner is a great person who can ask you if you’ve been going to bed early, rising early, keeping that precious time with the Lord, eating well or exercising for example. So many of us get so overwhelmed with the priorities and business that we become bad stewards of our rest and find ourselves binging way too much Netflix and giving up when we’re burnt out— therefore totally throwing off how we manage the rest of our time. It can become a nasty cycle hard to come back out of without some help. That accountability mentor is a great person you can talk through not just the practical priorities of managing your time on a calendar but also how your heart is feeling with the responsibilities and changes you may be experiencing in this season. God is always looking to change us to look more and more like Christ, He will finish the good work He started in you (Philippians 1:6). Keep your accountability in the loop so they can encourage you and stir you on in Godly truth as you seek to finish the race. May the time we’ve been given to manage point others to the goodness of the Lord, for He alone is worthy.