Time management is a skill that most people would like to improve. I know that I’m very aware of time—saving time, managing time, spending time—and yet there have been too many days when I had to recognize that my time management was sadly lacking. I was busy, yes, but I didn’t get much done. Do you ever feel that way?
I want to take another look at time management—at five key principles that will help us do a better job. Paul wrote to the Ephesians (5:16) that they were to redeem the time—make good use of their time. As Christ-followers we are to be good stewards of the time God is giving us.
Time Management Principles
- Time Management is about balance and prioritization.
We make choices everyday as to what will claim our time and attention, and good time management means that some things will have to wait and some things may have to go.
I remember a time when my daughter was a teenager, and we were planning to wallpaper her room. I was so stressed out because I had planned to get the job done on a certain day, and it just wasn’t working out. In my fretful mode, my wise daughter simply said to me, “Mom, it doesn’t have to be done today.”
Of course it didn’t have to be done that day, but in my mind it had become a priority and that created unnecessary stress for me and my daughter. Believe me, I’ve had to learn that lesson many times over in the years since.
As you face each day, make realistic assessments of what is truly important to get done that day—even if it’s not the thing you want to do. Then get that done first, and who knows, you may have time left over for other things too. One thing I’ve learned to do which has helped me immensely is this: Whatever I have to do today that I don’t want to do, I do it first! Believe me, that is a great help in managing your time.
And don’t forget that you have to make time for what you need to function well—good food, lots of water, exercise, rest, companionship—and of course, most importantly, time with God each day. Leaving those things off for prolonged periods will cause your performance to suffer and you won’t have the strength and motivation to do what has to be done.