3 Tips for Time Management

is there any way in my busy life to do everything I need to do?

I’ve never been busier — church, family, work, children, grandchildren, and other things coming up. I just don’t have enough time.”

How does a busy person exhibit excellence when there’re so many choices and chores? Is it possible?

Here is the thesis of my post:

If a job, ministry, task, or project is something I need to do, there’s enough time.

We may discuss in another blog post about doing things others need to be doing. That is challenging. But in this post, we’re looking at having time to do something I believe God has given me the ability, opportunity and responsibility to do. Now where do I find time?

1. If God has called me to a task, He’ll provide the time.

How do I know? The Bible tells me so.

Read Paul’s promise:

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19, NKJV).

After a study of time in God’s word and preaching seven sermons in the series, I came to the conclusion: according to Philippians 4:19 and the rest of the Bible: God will give me all the time I need, all the people I need, all the wisdom I need, and all the money I need to do all He wants and expects me to do.

Consider Alexander Strauch’s observation:

Some people say, “You can’t expect laymen to raise their families, work all day, and shepherd a local church.” But that is simply not true. Many people raise families, work, and give substantial hours of time to community service, clubs, athletic activities, and/or religious institutions. The cults have built up large lay movements that survive primarily because of the volunteer time of their members. We Bible-believing Christians are becoming a lazy, soft, pay-for-it-to-be-done group of Christians. It is positively amazing how much people can accomplish when they are motivated to work for something they love. I’ve seen people build and remodel houses in their spare time. I’ve also seen men discipline themselves to gain a phenomenal knowledge of the Scriptures (Biblical Eldership, by Alexander Strauch, Lewis and Roth Publishers, © 1995 by Alexander Strauch, page 28).

You and I have the same amount of time each day, month, and year as Jesus had when He was on earth, the President of the United States, or Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc. One or two of those examples have more things on their to-do list than I have on mine.

[tweetthis]God will give me all the time, people, wisdom, and money I need to do all He wants and expects me to do.[/tweetthis]

2. Learn a plan to do what you need to do with the time God’s given you.

The best plan I’ve read is in David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

He lists five steps:

  • Collect. Get everything out of my head, my inbox, notes (on my desk, car, and coat): scraps of paper, notebooks, electronic lists. There’ll be stress as long as I’m putting pressure on myself to be sure not to forget something important. I’ll be reviewing, listing in my mind, and wondering if I have forgotten what I need to remember to do.
  • Process. After everything is emptied, I need to have a collecting place where everything is assembled I need to do.to-do-lists
  • Organize. Now it’s time to put everything in the lists on the calendar and into a time management app to appear at the time it needs to be done. Years ago, I wrote everything in a DayTimer book. Now I use OmniFocus, an app on my iPhone. It’s a way to get everything out of my mind, stored in something that’ll be there when I need it, and backed up in case one of the lists is corrupted or lost.
  • Review. I need to read what I’ve written. Some recommend weekly reviews. I like to start every morning with nothing in the PAST list. If it was due yesterday, I want to delete it if it’s no longer needed or transferred to a day when I plan to do it. Now, all I have to do is look at today, which I have arranged according to schedule and importance.
  • Do. Getting into motion, accomplishing something is the last part of time management.

3. Do what you’ve planned to do.

Action is the key to getting the most from my time. Planning is good — essential. But only what I do counts.

What happens when I’m overwhelmed with so many things I don’t see a way to get accomplished? A “mustard seed” I picked up from a blog or podcast recently:

[tweetthis]Do the next right thing.[/tweetthis]

That’s all we can do — the next right thing. If I’ve assembled, organized, and evaluated all I need to do, what I need to do next is the next right thing, regardless of the number of things I have to do.

What has helped you manage time better?
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4 thoughts on “3 Tips for Time Management

  1. A great tip I learned years ago from a Franklin/Covey Time Management class was to only maintain ONE calendar. We often have a calendar in each of our “offices”, i.e. church office, school office, work, family, etc. The problem is obvious, when you need to plan something, you cannot be in all of these places at once to check all these calendars for conflicts, so we inevitably set up impossible schedules.

    I’ve read David Allen’s book, it is great! Thanks for your insights here, Jerrie. Keep up the good work.

    • Wade, You made a good point. We only have 24 hours in each day. Since we cannot schedule two events in the same hour, it’s good to have everything together. One thing I’m still working on is allowing travel and recovery time. Occasionally I schedule something on a day that looks open. Upon further investigation, I find I need to be traveling to another appointment on the open day I have just scheduled.