Eph. 5:16-18 “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
Time. There’s just never enough. Or is there? Most of us claim to be time poor, yet we seldom ever evaluate our daily routine and schedule to identify opportunities for improvement. After all, that would take time, wouldn’t it? It is a shame that we as Christians can sometimes hardly find time for the ONE who created time, GOD. A famous entrepreneur once said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” It’s true! There are steps we can all take to maximize our efficiency and make time for the things that truly count this new year.
Let’s look at four ways to reclaim our time.
1. Identify Your Time Wasters
Have you ever set aside your morning devotions because there wasn’t enough time? We all have something that we enjoy doing that is not sinful or wrong to do, but it is a big time waster. Keeping a log of how you spend your day can be beneficial in identifying time wasters. Try tracking time on a piece of paper. Sit down at the end of the day and write down what you spent your time on. The results may shock you. The 10 minutes you spend combing through your Facebook may actually be closer to 45 minutes. This will give you a good breakdown of where your time is really spent. Often you will find out that you wasted much of your time on trivial things. So when you are faced with the excuse of not walking with God because you “don’t have enough time”, just look to see how much time you could have spent with Him that day.
2. Shut It Down
If you are active on social media, the flashing notification light on your smartphone may be sucking you in more often than you think. Social media participation is habitual, especially when it’s so accessible. You’re probably spending too much time on a daily basis refreshing your Facebook news feed. Uninstall your apps and give yourself a few weeks to settle in to a new routine. You’ll be surprised how much time this can free up.
3. Maximize the Gaps
No matter the structure of your day, chances are there is gap time that can be utilized. Maybe you’ve got an hour-long commute, 20-minute breaks at work, trips to school, or school ball trips. These small snippets of time can add up to several hours a day. Too often we spend gap time checking our smartphones, but now that you’ve uninstalled your social apps, consider carrying your Bible or some type of book with you at all times. You can easily crush a chapter while waiting to see the doctor. You can also dedicate that time to projects, not hobbies, but things that need to be done (homework – student, work – parents, or a sermon idea – YP) It may sound crazy, but this time is also good for a quick check-in – I used to work at Chick-fil-a when I was in college. On my breaks I would eat Chick-fil-a and read my Bible in the break room. Other guys from the college would walk across the road to another restaurant to get food, but not me I wanted to maximize my time. I had extra time since I was on break, so I decided to read my Bible.
4. Power of Prioritization
Though there is always some time to be maximized in a day, it can come down to choice. Would you rather do Task A or Task B? Knowing when to let something go is important. Figure out what is really important and what you have to get done today. Then SCHEDULE it! Your walk with God ought always to be top priority! After all the Bible says,“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33. What is on your top priority list?
Most importantly, once you’ve started implementing changes to make the most of your time, don’t fall back on old habits. Don’t be afraid to conduct a time study every few months, especially if your workload or life has seasonal peaks. Keeping on top of your schedule doesn’t have to be a struggle if you’re mindful and you stay on top of it. Make your new year’s resolutions really happen!