Our earthly stopover is significantly shorter than we are inclined to think. Hence, time management is vital because we are so busy. Psalm 39:4–5 points out, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath”.
I specifically want to address today what the bible says about time management to help you get your life back on track.
Moses prays, Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Maybe that should be our prayer as well.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 shows that our Creator has set eternity in our heart, and we will one day give an account to the God who gifts us with precious time on earth.
Let’s turn to the new testament, where the apostle James writes, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” James 4:14. Indeed, our time on earth is transitory—in fact, it is tiny compared to eternity.
To live as God would have us live, we must make the best possible use of our allotted time, and that is why we should manage our time wisely.
The Importance of Scheduling your Time.
I hear time and time again from people that they have never been so busy since they retired. We can be fooled into thinking that you have a lot more time because now that you are retired, you are less likely to stick to a routine or schedule. If you don’t value your time, others will intrude upon your time, routine, or plans.
Last year a friend in her retirement bought a dog for the first time. Although she looked forward to being a dog owner for many years, now retired, she has the time and energy to devote to a pet. For the first few months, she was able to enjoy the little pup, pamper it and take it for daily walks- she loved it! Because she was now retired, family and friends wanted her to do things for them, and she helped out when she was asked. Her days became filled to the brim, and she hardly was ever home. She found those precious moments of pleasure with her dog became less and less, and the poor little thing now has become a burden. Why? Because she has allowed others to reschedule her schedule. She has allowed other people to intrude on her precious time and manage her diary for her.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If someone in your life keeps wanting you to do stuff for them and if you say ‘no’, they impose a guilt trip on you, so you end up doing it anyway. Maybe you feel you need to say ‘yes to family or friends even when you don’t want to just keep happy, because of the fear that you might lose them. My friend did have all the time in the world; however, now she does not. Others have taken a little piece of her time, at a piece at a time, and then one day, she had no time to spend how she would like.
Time is Precious.
Time is precious; your time is precious. During the numerous COVID-19 lockdowns, we seemed to have all the time in the world. We no longer needed to travel to work and were less likely to visit with family and friends.
However, things like social media, zoom, skype, facetime, messenger video, WhatsApp, telephone, not to mention the telly, distract us from getting on with what we should. So, unwittingly, we allow these applications to schedule our diary and rearrange our plans. I battle with getting distracted, so I ensure that I stick to my diary the best possible.
For the retired who are reading this, find the creative you. Say ‘no’ to unwanted demands on your time and stick to it. Turn off that TV and try learning a new craft; there is a lot available to enjoy.
Get outside, enjoy your garden, neighbourhood or pets, and breathe in the fresh air. Exercise your brain by learning a new language or doing puzzles. Get to know your computer a little bit better – we never use it to its total capacity.
Write your memoirs as a legacy to your family. Then, whatever you choose to do, allow your time to be your time and keep it under your control, and not someone else’s. Liberate yourself, don’t submit yourself to the whims, fancies or demands of anyone else.
I come across far too many retired people who are so exhausted. They no longer enjoy their lives because they are always running around fulfilling duties to keep others happy. If your family or friends will only contact you because of what you can do for them, I would question the quality of that relationship.
I am sure you are not a person who uses their loved ones for their own ends, and it is difficult to understand why they do that. But they often do; their attitude is – if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. However, this is not the way a relationship should be. I hear people say how drained and used up they feel after running around after other people’s demands in my counselling profession.
So, what can be done? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Ask God to help you formulate a weekly schedule.
2. Keep a strict diary.
3. Stick to as far as reasonable to the plan.
4. First thing in the morning, look over your schedule.
5. The last thing at night, review your day and ask yourself what the best part of your day was?
Be careful not to book yourself up to the hilt; leave a little time so you can be flexible for unexpected events.
Whatever the challenges you may have, feel the feelings, work through them, and give them over to God, giving thanks in every situation. Leaving every result to God. Then you will be able to sleep peacefully without worry.
Use Your Diary
Don’t cancel that nice river walk with your puppy like my friends did to fit someone’s timeslot unless it is urgent and cannot be avoided. When someone wants you to do something for them, develop the habit to check your diary first. If what is asked of you is inconvenient, then offer other times and dates. This shows them that you value yourself and your time. Do not just have a quick knee-jerk reaction and wipe your schedule to fit in with someone else’s. I have done this for too many years, and I know it causes stress and burnout, and I do not want that for you.
Be strong and consistent, and you will find that your time will not be slipping through your fingers.
What method do you use to manage your time? Let me know, and I would love to hear from you in our comments section below.
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