As I sat in my chair after the question was asked of the panel of leaders, sweat beads started to form on my brow. “How do you balance motherhood, work, family life, and everything else you do to help lead others?” Sure, a question that many women sitting in the room were probably wondering. Just like the women who were chosen to inform and inspire us, we had a desire to lead well in our homes and in our vocations. As the question was asked, the entire panel laughed out loud, shaking their heads up and down, making quick little remarks to one another as if to assure us, “yes, we get it, our schedules are a crazy mess too!” But the heat was crawling up my back until the moment I heard these amazing words come from one of the speaker’s mouths:
“Time management is one of the most important things to finding success, but it can also be a huge SACRIFICE for some of you sitting in the audience. It does not come natural to everyone, even to people who are successful. But it must become important to you if you want to be successful as a high-capacity leader.”
I wanted to jump up and down and yell, “YES!” For years, I have been told that I am a high-capacity leader. Frankly, I haven’t always known how to say, “NO,” well and ended up with more on my plate than I should. Yep, I could get the tasks done, make the trip, lead the group, but only at the expense of everyone around me – sacrifice. The sacrifice of family time, the sacrifice of sleep, even the sacrifice of happiness – this panel speaker confirmed that Time Management is in fact a sacrifice. That day I realized, I must decide what I’m willing to sacrifice in the time I have been given in order to accomplish what God has given me to accomplish.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” The chapter goes on to list out the different things that take up time in our lives. Birth, death, taking time to sow into dreams, tearing down things that do not belong, building up things that do, crying, laughing, grieving and dancing, even a time to decide what things to keep and those things to throw away. That’s a lot to accomplish day to day. And according to Solomon, God already knew that we would be faced with having to make priorities and having to decide how to manage our time in this life well. And one of the New Testament writers reminded us: “God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3)
God gave us the ability to control ourselves – it is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, self-control. Time Management is largely about managing and organizing the hours of each day – controlling our time. It is not some magical day planner, an alarm buzzing from your smart device, or an app you can download to your phone. Sure, all of those are great tools to help us manage our days but, when it all boils down to it, managing our lives and our time to reflect our priorities is something in which we must be intentional.
First and foremost, we must determine those things that are priority. If we do not recognize our priorities it is going to be difficult to manage our time. Secondly, we need to prioritize our priorities. Because sacrifice is involved in managing our time, we need to determine those things we are willing to put on the altar each day. Each day may change. I may determine that today I am going to sacrifice a little time with my kids because yesterday I took them to the beach and had a picnic. Sacrifice does not have to hold negative connotation. In regard to time management it can look like prioritizing each day, one day at a time, even if you do that monthly. You can look at your calendar to see if you have or haven’t spent time with a friend or a child. Maybe you do not physically keep a calendar but you still know if it has been days since you have taken a much-needed exercise break. Either way, prioritizing your priorities is a must!
If you struggle managing your time and knowing when to say NO to one thing in order to say YES to something else, I would like to challenge you to take 15 minutes to do two things:
1) Write down anything in your life that is a priority. It can be people, events, activities, personal care, etc.
2) Then, using your priorities list, make a second list and organize those priorities in order from most important to not as important. (I didn’t say least important because ALL priorities are important, right!?!)
Once you have done these things pray over the list. Ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life that you are making higher priority than necessary. Pray that He will show you what your “most important” priorities need to be and those you can push a little further down the list. Ask Him to help you recognize when things need to shift. And then thank Him for giving you the ability to control yourself and your time.
For those who love technology:
LIFEHACK is a great tool to use for time management. And the great thing about Lifehack is that they just updated the latest and greatest tools for 2021!
I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts about today’s blog devo in the comments below!
2 Peter 1:3
2 thoughts on “Control Your Time, Please!”
This is just what I needed to read today! I have been struggling for the past couple of months with having too much on my plate but insisting that all of those things are necessities or priorities, while my husband is saying I’m doing to much! Time to make those lists today and Pray!
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Hannah, thank you for your comment! I am so glad this spoke to you! Hope you’ve been able to incorporate this mindset into the last few months!