Monday, December 28, 2009

Time for Everything

I have been known for many things, not the least of which has always been how busy I can be. Personally, I always thought I've been lazy because I can not get as much done as I would like. Nor have I climbed any sort of ladder of success that this world seems necessary to throw in my face daily. However, I'm still busy even though I am not currently checking into a 8-5-job.

A few weeks ago I sat myself down and did a serious evaluation of how I spend my time, and how I want to use it. Because it never ceases to amaze me that we are all given the same amount of minutes in a day, yet we all spend them differently. I am not Martha, Rachel or Oprah. I am not Peyton, Jr., or Tebo. I am not "the Don," "Mr. President," or even "Madam Secretary." I am not Angelina, Jennifer, or Miley. Yet, the media masses have put these people up as the poster-children of successful living. They seem to have "everything going for them." But I don't walk in their shoes...I have a hard enough time walking in my own. And honestly, in the end, we are all responsible for ourselves living on the time God gave us. So, back to my time management.

I discovered long ago that when I plan to do a project I will estimate a set amount of time that I think it will take for me to do. It took me longer than I care to admit to allow for interruptions. Even getting a drink refill, going to the bathroom, answering that phone call/email/text, or trying to the printer or internet to work takes up precious moments. You just never realize how long the necessaries take up in a day. And with me being such an organizing freak, I would get frustrated that my project would take hours longer than I anticipated (sometimes days). So armed with that knowledge and the desire to do more productive and meaningful things with my life, I set out to get a better grip on what God gave me to manage.

I want structure, but I need to have enough for flexibility. So how to do that? I broke my time into categories:
  • God time (He comes first)
  • People time (family, friends, group studies, etc....face-time)
  • Work for others
  • Workouts for me
  • Personal time: writing, projects, reading, music practice, etc.
  • House chores
  • Food prep/eat (takes more time than you consider)
  • Business planning

Of course, each category has a color! I try to touch on the main areas each day leaving some "white-space" for flexibility in case something goes haywire. This has been phase 1. Phase 2 will include getting some of those pro-bono projects off my calendar. Phase 3 will include making and meeting some goals. Each phase is smothered in prayer, because I certainly don't want to waste the time I'm given on things of no use. This all may seem fanatical to some of you; however, I am determined to work with God to make my life worthwhile. And He enjoys when I feel a sense of accomplishment and well-being. Time management goes a long way towards that.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

For more thoughts on schedules, visit At The Well.