Time to Say ‘No’

Keeping a balance between work, home, children, husband, church, family, and friends can be a daunting task. Time management includes saying no. “We only have 24 hours in a day,” reminds Hamlin. “As such, I believe we must decline some things to do those things that God calls us to do.”

Before taking on any projects, stop, pray, and wait to say either yes or no. Remember, just because someone asks doesn’t mean you have to accept or even answer right away. Discuss each opportunity with your spouse, pray before taking on a new task at church or with the children, and always weigh the opportunity against your family’s needs and with what God has called you to do. Keep in mind that every opportunity—no matter how good or helpful it may be to others—is not necessarily right for you at this moment.

“Saying no is very important, especially when things are out of control,” says Ramsland. “You need to give yourself an emotional break at times.” She recommends each time you add something to your calendar, you take something out to keep your life balanced and yourself from feeling overwhelmed.

Cultivate a Day of Rest 

Time management also means scheduling a day off. Jesus demonstrated rest and restoration cannot be separated. “When it comes to finding the right balance between work and rest, God has already established what the proper ratio should be,” says Grubbs. “He did it through the principle of the Sabbath day when he prescribed six days of work to one day of rest.”

By resting on the Sabbath, we show that we believe that God will give us the energy, the time and the provisions to provide what we need the other six days. “God finished his work and then rested,” says Ramsland. “Our problem is, we never finish. We need to take a Sabbath rest in order to be more productive on the other six days.”

Maximizing Your Productivity

By managing our time, we can be more productive—and less stressed, more able to fulfill our calling. “You need to find the best rhythm for your day,” says Ramsland. “Put the hardest things first in the day, so you can leverage your time better.” Here are some more tips on how to be productive while juggling your house, kids, husband and job.

Beware of the waste zone. We all have tendencies to waste time, whether it’s Internet surfing, chat-room discussions, FaceBook updates, talking on the phone or watching television. I don’t think these activities are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but they can grab great gobs of time that could be spent doing more productive tasks. 

Plan your week. On Saturday or Sunday, take a few minutes to jot down what you need to accomplish each day of the coming week. Incorporate housework, shopping, children’s activities, appointments and job-related tasks. But be realistic—if you continually miss your daily goals, you could become more stressed.

Prioritize tasks. When you have a particularly busy week, separate your to-do list into what’s absolutely necessary from what can be put off until another day. Keep your mind focused on the important tasks and temporarily ignore the other things.

Multitask with purpose. Be wary of trying to do too much at one time. Sometimes we can accomplish more if we only focus on one thing at a time. With all the newly available technology, the ability to multitask all the time is greater than ever—but that doesn’t mean we should constantly do two or more things at one time.

Ask for help. Enlist the help of your husband and children for extra assistance around the house when you have a fuller schedule. Don’t be shy to ask family and friends to help with childcare or even meals when needed.