How to Manage Your Time in a 24/7 World
- Thursday, February 28, 2013
A day holds a lot of time: 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. Yet for most of us, our daily cry is “If only I had more time!” We all feel so busy—overwhelmed by our lengthy and never-ending to-do lists.
Busyness has become a status symbol in the United States. Even Christians fall into the trap of over-scheduling, over-doing and over-committing our time and resources.
“Time is our most treasured possession,” says Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro and author of Simplify Your Time: Stop Running and Start Living. “But we often act as if it’s not.”
Start With Jesus
Jesus is the ultimate example of rest. Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”—is such a text for any age, but if it ever had resonance and poignancy, it is our age because heaviness and weariness defines most people in our day and age.
In the midst of our extreme busyness, we can forget that being too busy can be a sin, too. In the Middle Ages, the sin of sloth had two forms: paralysis, or not being able to do anything, and busyness, running around frantically all the time.
When thinking of how we view time and time management, we should start with Jesus. “We try to help people view time in light of eternity,” says Rick Grubbs with LifeChanging Seminars and host of the radio show, “Redeeming the Time.” “We need to make the connection between how we spend our time today and what the result of that time spent will be in eternity. Once we have that as a frame of reference—that life is short and eternity is not—we realize how important our time is, since what we do in this short period of time in this world will have results for all of eternity.”
Why Manage Time?
As Christians, we should be managing our time because it is not ours. Just as we should think of our possessions and money as on loan to us from God, so is our time. “Time management is important because God calls us to be good stewards of all that he has entrusted to us,” says Ginny Hamlin, a writer who lives in California.
“Some people have the mistaken idea that time management is all about cramming more stuff into an already overloaded schedule,” adds Grubbs. “That’s not good time management. Good time management is all about finding the right balance in all the different areas of life.”
We also need to remember that our time is limited. We have been given a certain amount of time here on earth for our lifetime. “We are all limited to 168 hours a week,” says Ramsland. “From the janitor at the grocery store to the president of the United States, we all have a certain amount of hours to accomplish our tasks.”
Our most valuable possession is our time. “Queen Elizabeth I was the richest person in the world in her day. Yet when it came time for her to die, her last words were, ‘I would give all my kingdom for one more moment of time,’” relates Grubbs.
When we rightly view all time as belonging to God, then we see how we fill that time in a different light. Grubbs recommends asking two simple questions when thinking about committing your time to any activity.
1. What will be the result of this activity in five years?
2. What will be the result of this activity in eternity?
“Thankfully, God has already given us the answer to how we should prioritize our commitments,” says Hamlin. “Matthew 6:33 says, ‘But see you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’”
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