The Time Management Myth

The myth that we are fed is that if we somehow hurry or work harder we will eventually get everything accomplished. If we just had one more minute or hour or day we could finally defeat the time crunch. There must be some magical time management tool that will create a 25th hour and an 8th day, making it possible to finally be done and relax.

That's exactly why this is a myth. God has blessed us with 24 hours of time today. No matter how I plan, organize or beg, there will only be 24 hours today, tomorrow and the day after that. The number of hours we have to work with doesn't change. And the blessings that He provides in those hours are as eternal as the promises He has made.

So how do we get past the urge to schedule ourselves to the point of no return?

Analyze: Look at the many things you are trying to cram into the day. Are they all glorifying and honoring to God? How many of them are chores or activities we've simply created to make ourselves busy? This is the moment to whittle away all of the extra stuff in our schedule and focus on the few things that the Lord would have us accomplish. Pray over your planner and listen to how God would have you stay busy.

Prioritize: With your pared down to-do list in hand, put your priorities in order. Anything with a deadline should be done first - this is how to be a good steward of the time God has given. This is especially true of those things we are doing for other people, so we can complete their tasks first and efficiently. From there, set your priorities by time, supplies on hand and ease of the day. Some tasks might not be pleasant, but putting them off until later doesn't make the day any easier.

Neutralize: Get rid of the need to be continuously busy all the time. Avoid those activities that keep you from accomplishing your goals and achieving God's instructions for the day. This may mean not spending so much time on the phone, turning off the television or saving your books and magazines until the end of the day. We'd all be surprised at the time-eaters in our lives. Banishing them from the schedule would mean more time with the Lord, more time with family and possibly even more time for yourself!

None of these suggestions will add an extra hour to the day. But they will help you look seriously at how you spend the 24 hours you do have each day for the Lord.

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