Practice the 3 P's - A Little Time For Me

After several days of going full speed ahead, I realized that I had not spent any time doing the things I really wanted to do. Sure, I had cleaned the house, worked on my etsy website, done my blog, taught piano lessons and gotten many other things accomplished. But where in that list was quiet time for myself?

Does this sound like a familiar story? Women have a habit of packing the days full of activities that will help everyone, but neglect themselves. There are still 24 hours in a day, but there's plenty of time in there for some personal time if you practice the 3 P's of time management: Prayer, Planning and Preparation.

1. Prayer - If I don't start the day in conversation with God about His plans for my day, I feel like I'm just flailing. I can plan, chart, dream, wish and have the best of intentions, but without the Lord's leadership it's all just wood, hay and stubble.

Spending time in prayer first thing in the morning can set the pace for the rest of the day. I can focus, explain my concerns and take the time to put God's priorities first. This is a much more balanced way of starting the day, instead of tackling it head on. Praying for guidance and direction can save you tons of time because you won't be wasting energy taking on projects that God doesn't have planned for you today.

2. Planning - Prioritizing and scheduling help save time, energy and money because you have a clear outline of what needs to be accomplished in the day. It's so much better to look forward and plan what needs to be done than struggle later in the day because you didn't know what you were doing. Gather things you need for running around, lay out clothing for tomorrow in case you need to do mending or ironing, and get a week's worth of menus together so you can make up the grocery list.

You might think that this is unnecessary time, but a moment of thinking ahead can be invaluable. If I have to pick up the dry cleaning, go to the pharmacy and get groceries, I'll pull out the cleaner's slip, my prescriptions and the grocery list with all my coupons. This way I just have to grab the pile and I'm ready to run out the door, saving tons of time running around the house before I'm ready to go.

3. Preparation - Have you ever jumped into a project and realized that you didn't have half the supplies you needed? Have you ever started cooking dinner only to stop and run to the store because you were missing ingredients? The simple act of preparing everything you'll need to accomplish God's itinerary for today will put your time to better use. A few minutes early on can save hours later.

What would you like to accomplish this coming week? Do you have all the bits and pieces you need to complete all those tasks? Do you have phone numbers, change for the meters downtown and a check ready for the baby sitter? Preparing for the days ahead isn't a chore, but a time-saver in the long run.

All that extra time you save implementing the 3 P's can then be used on yourself. Imagine having a whole hour to read a book or play with the kids. You'd be able to actually finish a craft project or maybe just sit with your feet up for a few minutes. Time to relax and unwind is so important in our hurry-up society, so do everything you can to free up a few minutes for yourself.


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