Busyness is Not the Problem
- Jennifer Heeren Crosswalk Contributing Writer
- 2018 22 Jan
I’m the biggest culprit of always saying, “But I don’t have time.” Of course, this phrase is said best in a whiny, pitiful, little voice. The problem often falls under one of these categories:
- not using my time wisely
- trying to do too much
- simply wasting time.
It’s an issue of time management and procrastination. So, the first step when I notice the problem should be asking for forgiveness from God. When I confess wrong ways of living, God is faithful to forgive and cleanse me. He gave me a wonderful life with a lot of potential and I need to at least try to live up to that potential. Then, step two is to ask Him for His help to help me change for the better. God will always offer me wisdom, discernment, and help. All that I need to do is ask.
I’ve made progress in this procrastination and time management problem, but I’ve definitely not conquered it yet. I’m in the process of learning it, though, and sometimes I do better!
Here are my 10 time management and anti-procrastination tips:
1. Start with God.
Meet with God first thing in the morning. Spending a little bit of time reading a portion of the Bible and praying helps me to prioritize the tasks of my day. It can also bring me the perspective of mercies new each morning, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
2. Make a list.
Write out three things that most need to be accomplished that day. Do this early in the morning. Then, when inevitable interruptions happen, you can think back to that important list and easily decide if you can take on one more thing. Do everything you can to work on those three things and you might also get a few others done as well.
3. Break it down.
When you have a very large project to accomplish, break it down into multiple bite-sized pieces. Then, put those smaller tasks on your to-do list. Your to-do list will be much less daunting, and more accomplishments are the result. Those accomplishments build your momentum and help you with the next thing.
4. Know your weaknesses.
What are the activities that seem to steal your time and an hour or more goes by before you know it? Television, internet, emails, etc. When you do any of these activities, set a timer to remind yourself that there is a limit.
5. Ask for help.
Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help with a specific task. There may be someone that can give you tips on how to do it better, quicker, or easier. And there may even be someone that is a better person for the job. Delegation can really help your time management. You can’t do everything, and they might be better at it than you. Don’t hold them back.
6. Get a friend involved.
If you find yourself really avoiding a specific task, contact a friend and ask them to ask you about the progress of the activity on a regular basis. If they continually ask you about your progress, you will begin to dread saying things like “I didn’t have enough time,” and want to give them a good report. Accountability can be very important.
7. Dare to take some risks.
Sometimes I don’t do the things I want to because I’m afraid of what might happen when it’s done. Will my efforts be wasted? Will the final product be rejected? This is enough to bring on massive procrastination, and it’s most likely to happen with tasks related to the arts. Go ahead and write, draw, paint, make a craft, etc. Instead of wondering about possible rejection, consider the question, “What if they like it?”
8. Plan it out.
Consider making a plan to work on anything that you typically say, “I’ll do that someday.” Today is the day to make progress, because someday may not happen. I imagine Jesus saying, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today is enough to worry about. Make the most of it.”
9. Sleep tight!
Get a good night’s sleep so you have the energy you need for the next day. Know when enough is enough, and humble yourself to accept much-needed sleep. Sometimes the day’s results begin the night before.
10. Don’t ever give up.
Time management is difficult for most people. Baby steps of improvement will bring you a lot of progress. God is sanctifying you, and sanctification is a long process. He is bringing about real, lasting change within you as you cooperate with Him.
God considered me trustworthy with the work that he planned for me to do, so the least I can do is not procrastinate.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him” (1 Timothy 1:12).
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.