Can you imagine a life lived where every moment was spent intentionally? Even if moments of relaxation and quiet were intentional? Today, for part 2 of our “Spring Clean Your Life Series,” we’re talking about how to manage your time wisely.
I believe that we, as individuals and as a society, have gotten so far from living our moments out intentionally. So much of that is because of the comforts of first-world living. At times, it can seem nothing is crucial or important, and that everything will always be fine. However, if we get too comfortable wasting our time, and passing that on to the next generation, we’ll soon have created a society that is incapable of producing or contributing.
Yikes… I started that out a little more harsh than I intended. This is something I’m passionate about.
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Off the top, let’s clarify something. I, too, am guilty of wasting time. It is an easy trap to fall into, and my own participation in wasting time is, I believe, what makes me so passionate about being really intentional about changing this pattern.
We all have been given the gift of free choice, and if you’ve read my other content, you know how fervent I am about ensuring we don’t squander that gift (for example, see this post on living with intention). With that said, I really believe that you are strong enough to make the right choices on how to make better use of your time.
We’re going to discuss how to manage your time wisely with effective time management techniques, how to organize your day, and importantly, how to use your free time wisely. We all need down time, but there’s still a way of doing that with purpose, intent, and appropriate motivation.
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How To Manage Time Wisely
When you consider how to use your time wisely, it’s going to be important to take a look at your priorities worksheet from part 1 of our ‘spring clean your life series.’ If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you can find the article at that link. It also provides access to the free worksheet.
How you spend your time should be a direct reflection of those priorities you listed. Right now, we’re going to start digging into some time management skills. You definitely need some solid time management techniques in order to move forward successfully as you endeavor to learn how to make better use of your time.
Effective Time Management Strategies
- KNOW WHICH PRIORITIES ARE URGENT AND NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION.
What this means is that, yes, all our priorities are important. However, there are some that need immediate attention. When you can look at your list of priorities and identify which ones need the most timely attention, you are well on your way to using your time wisely.
2. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR GOALS IN MIND.
This comes back to your priorities. Are you starting to see a pattern? As you are attempting to make better use of your time, never let your priorities slip from their rightful spot. If you want to avoid wasting time… don’t forget your priorities.
3. PLAN PLAN PLAN.
Whether you’re a busy professional, or a busy mom (like myself), you need to plan ahead. What I’ve noticed is that life has a tendency to run away from me when I’m not intentionally plotting out my days. The reality is this: There’s ALWAYS something that will come up. There’s ALWAYS something that will demand your time. Having a plan and knowing how to organize your day is crucial. When I’m looking ahead to a really full day, I’ll even put something as simple as a shower in my planner. Otherwise, I may give that self care time to something that seems more important in the moment (but in reality, probably isn’t). Planning is a very important time management skill.
4. TIME TRACKER SHEETS
Back in part 1, I provided free time tracker sheets. These are a really useful tool. If you haven’t filled them out yet, you could make some copies so that you can use them whenever you need to. If you feel you’re slipping and need to make better use of your time, tracking how you spend your minutes is a great way to right the train and straighten things out.
5. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
TURN. YOUR. PHONE. OFF. I can’t stress enough how much smart phones have derailed our time management skills. If you want to manage your time wisely, you need to put technology (and all distractions) in their proper place.
The Following is a Time Management Skill that deserves it’s own section…
LEARN TO SAY THE MAGICAL WORD… ‘NO.’
If you’re trying to figure out how to manage time wisely, you absolutely need to learn how to say no. You need to remember what your purpose is (here’s a popular post I wrote on finding purpose).
You need to focus on that purpose and your priorities. Please don’t hear me wrong and start living a selfish life void of service to others. That’s NOT what I’m saying. In fact, I believe that if you’re living your purpose well, your life will be full of service. But, it has to be the right kind. The things you’re doing for yourself and for others need to be things that fit your gifting, your calling, and your passion.
That is where you will be most effective.
I want you to serve well, and live well. In fact, I want you to live life abundantly. You do this by fully understanding your purpose, and living out your priorities. When you are using your time wisely, you will know how to say ‘no’ to the things outside your lane, and you will know how to give a whole-hearted yes, to the things that are in your lane.
How To Utilize Free Time – Moments of Rest
One of the most important time management techniques and tools is knowing how to spend your free time, and knowing how to rest WELL.
I’m often guilty of filling my days with work, chores, and responsibilities from the moment I wake, to the moment I go back to bed. I’ll often dream of going back to bed… On those days where I over-schedule and over-whelm myself, visions of my bed dance in my head.
When this happens, I know I’m not using my time wisely, and I’m not being kind to myself.
So how do we change this? We schedule in rest. Yes, it can sound a bit ridiculous. When you live a full life, though, you have to do what makes sense.
Each day should have something in it that calms you and brings you joy. Maybe that’s a walk outside in the sunshine, yoga, reading a book with a warm drink, reading the Bible, journaling, taking a hot bath… the possibilities are endless.
The only requirement is this: Your time of rest should not take from you in any way. It should fill your cup. You are a person who is taking charge of their time. You are stewarding your time and your gifts, and it’s OK to give yourself a rest.
Are you a mama who needs a little help figuring out what self care could look like in your life? Check out this post from Kingdom Bloggers.
Have you read through this and you don’t have the free ‘priorities’ worksheet? Get access to it here by filling in the form below!
Looking for articles related to this topic? Check these ones out!
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Funny (and true) story about how motherhood changed me and refined me.
6 key ways to live with intention
Praying Scripture to deepen your faith
Please pray for me. I am a single mom and just moved into my own apt. However, all my life I struggled with managing my time, priorities and finances. I want to break this cycle and be intentional of taking charge. I don’t quite know where to start and just thinking about my budget I just get overwhelmed and discouraged even though the Lord tells me not to.
Hi Christina! I’m so sorry, we just came across this comment. It sounds like you are very aware of changes that you need to make. Start in the simplest place and go from there. God is with you! God Bless