Managing your time wisely
As we head back to work, school and daily responsibilities, we hear—“time flies,” “time marches on,” “watch your time,” and my favorite – “I don’t have enough time.” These clichés are not very accurate and by the way – we all have the same amount of time! The point is, we have a very poor understanding of how to manage time wisely. Thankfully, the answer is found in the Bible. This timeless book has many principles on how to manage time wisely. Here are some:
1. Recognize that time is limited and it doesn’t belong to us. Moses prayed in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Many of us are wasting precious time on frivolous things. Time is a gift from God to each of us. When we waste time, remember: we are on God’s clock. He wants us to “redeem the time” (Col. 4:5).
2. Make a list everyday and tackle the most difficult task first. After Jesus called His disciples, He gave them a list of things to do as they went from place to place: “preach…heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons…freely give…” (Matt. 10). Zig Ziglar would often give the following challenge: make a list as if you were leaving on a vacation tomorrow and start with the most difficult task first. Without specific goals, our days simply fritter away. We do what we want to do and not what we need to do. Many people never start on the important things because they are too afraid of making mistakes. The key is excellence and not perfection.
3. Picture what success looks like in one-year, five-years, ten-years and so on. Solomon—the wisest man who ever lived—gave the example of the ant which “provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” (Prov. 6:6-8) Even the ant pictures its success in the future! For a student, picture yourself making the honor roll; for the housewife, picture yourself saving up to go on a vacation; for others, picture yourself going back to school or starting a business or celebrating an anniversary or finishing the Bible. If we can’t see it, we won’t reach it. But be reasonable. As Ted Engstrom wisely remarked, “We terribly overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in five.”
4. Don’t be so “time bound” that you forget to smell the roses along the way. The roses are our spouses, children, family, friends, and people in general. Those children will not be little forever; our spouse will not be by our side forever. God commanded in Deut. 5:12, “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.” He gave us a day of rest to rest our body, restore our relationships and refocus on Him. Learn to enjoy the abundant life. Remember, the journey is also the destination.
5. Give God the best of your time and He will help you make the most of your time. Even Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, “in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35) A day that begins on our knees will always end in victory. God promises that He will even “restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.…” (Joel 2:25)
Most importantly, it is always the right time to receive Christ. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (I Cor. 6:2) You will be amazed how this decision will change your perspective on time!