October 9, 2011

Time Management

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 9, 2011

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Time can manage you or you can manage time. Time can be elusive or it can be a servant to God’s will for your life. Time management begins with teachability. It is the admission that you need to learn how to better manage your time. If you do not manage your time well, chances are that you do not manage your life well. Your life has become a series of reactions rather than one of intentionality.

Of course there is no way to perfectly plan your day or your life. God is the one in control. But, He expects us to steward the time He has given us in a profitable fashion. Time management is not unlike budgeting money. There is a limited amount and it needs to be handled wisely. There is a financial plan for giving, investing and spending. So it is with your time. Your volunteer work is your giving back to the community. It is your service in the church. This is your giving of time in its purest form.

Then there is your investment in people. Mentoring, coaching, counseling and simply being a friend are common ways to invest in others. The most valuable investment is in those who do not know Christ. Your temporal time investment in unbelievers will leverage throughout eternity as they come to know Jesus.

And, lastly, consider the wise spending of your time. This is your day in and day out usage: Phone calls, meetings, e-mails, meals and planning are all part of your time spent. Make sure this is not a mindless routine. There should be an alignment of your activities with your God-given purpose in life. If not, you may need to change your work environment or how you spend your free time. Time is your most valuable asset, so manage it well and it will seem like you have more. This is God’s way of redeeming the time!

Time management is learned. Let God be your teacher. He created time, so He understands its intricacies. Time is finite, but its applications are infinite. Indeed, He will help you allocate and prioritize its use. It is the wise use of time that creates more capacity and minimizes frustration. God will instruct you if you ask Him. He will dispense His wisdom to all who will take the time to listen. His wisdom will reveal your limitations, because you cannot and should not do everything.

We all need the help of God and others. The wisdom of God will lead you back to trust. It is a trust issue. God can be trusted to provide just the right amount of time to accomplish His will. Since this is the case, you can implement the most important activities and trust Him with the things that do not seem to get done. Do you have a hard deadline to leave work by six in the evening? When this self-imposed deadline rolls around, trust God with what is not yet done and go home to your family. This is priority living based on faith in God.

Every stage of life has its own priorities, so let God’s Word and other’s words help you define your priorities. And allow room for interruptions. It is naïve to think that your time allocations will work flawlessly each day. Life happens. People need things that are not on the day’s or meeting’s agenda. Allow for breaks between appointments, because inevitably people run late or meetings run over.

Best of all, hire someone gifted in managing your schedule and trust, train and empower them to execute it. In the middle of your busy and productive life keep an eternal perspective or your life results won’t matter anyway.  A wise heart treats each day as a gift from God, with the attitude that it could be the last. So live each day by faith in the one who is the timekeeper. Take the time to manage your time!

Taken from Dose 69 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.

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