The Management and Passage of Time Measured in Breaths
I was tasked months ago at work with completing a plan of how I spend my time, and visioning for the future. It has taken me a while to do this, and I'm still not totally done, but I finished a section of it this week. Typically I have never really been the best at time management, and that's mainly because I'm a rabbit chaser (which has it's own great benefits as well), but the busier I get the more important it has become. Everyone's week is carved out into three 56 hours segments that roughly translate into Work, Home-Life, and Sleep, which then makes up one 168 hour week. I like to think of time not in minutes, or hours, but in breaths, given to us by God, and if given to us by God, I'm continually asking myself, what am I doing that is not honoring that breath I just took?
Scripture of course spends a great deal of it's text dealing with time, and about the brevity of life on earth on this side of eternity. Moses wrote in Psalm 90.12 "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom," and Paul in Romans 13.11 says "Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed," just to name two. Time is mentioned about 750 times in the Bible, and money (as currency) is mentioned only about 150 times, so Scripture is packed full of wisdom about time and how we spend it.
With this in mind, using time, or spending time, should be a huge focus on our life. I have attempted to look at this a few different ways. One is by doing the Life Plan Hyatt has presented on his site, and the other is to simply map out how my time is spent each week, and each day of the week (this was actually a segment of the Life Plan by Hyatt).
With this actually written down, it is possible to eliminate things that are unnecessary, not beneficial, or not Biblical. It is also an eyeopener to see how much time we actually do spend in pursuit of God (or how little), and to see if our plans and goals line up with our time. You may not need to see how your time is spent, but for me, as a professional rabbit chaser, it helped quite a bit to make sure my priorities line up as God first, family second, and ministry third. In attempt to be quite open, for what it's worth, here is how my full week came out. For the spontaneous people out there they might be about to throw up, but for the easily distracted like me, it was well worth the time to look at this in a more serious way.
So, what did I actually learn from this little section? These are ten totally random items that I got out of looking at my own time.
- It's important to go through the steps of writing out what you spend your time doing
- Evaluate this often and see how it can be improved
- Eliminate things that are not beneficial to God's plan for your life
- Do not do tasks, even though they may be good, that distract
- Try not to chase so many rabbits
- Stay focused
- Do not put more than you can do on your calendar, put less
- Allow for open time that doesn't have anything scheduled
- Learn to say no
- Observe the Sabbath, it's meant for our own rest, God doesn't need the rest, we do