With back-to-school season upon us, planning our time is ever important. There is a lot to do and only a few hours each day to do it: homework, projects, carpools, field trips … the list goes on and on.
Planning and Praying
Whatever life-management system for organizing our time we use, the first step is to carry out our planning with divine style. How are you when it comes to including God in your planning sessions? Do you pray over your schedules? When you speak of the future—even the next hour—do you add to your thoughts and words “Lord willing” or “If the Lord wills”? James 4:15 reminds us, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” In all the hustle and bustle, remember to include God when you plan.
Next, be sure to put a schedule in place. When there’s no schedule, the 1,440 sparkling minutes God gives you each day can be characterized by stress, frustration, and even rage. But with a schedule for each procedure or project, you can flow through your day in a calm, orderly progression.
Proceeding Through Your Day
A schedule brings discipline into your life, which helps you walk in the Spirit, produce spiritual fruit, and fulfill His purpose for your life . . . and your day. Here are 5 time management tips:
- Learn to be more effective. Evaluate your day and note what you did that wasted time—too much TV or internet? Too much texting? You can do a lot of things in your busy, fast-paced life, but are they the right things, God’s priority things (Phil. 4:8)? Put the first things first and that order will help guide your day.
- Learn to eliminate. There are so many activities we do every day that are not essential. Ask yourself, What can be eliminated from my life and my children’s lives at this time? As Solomon observed in Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, life has its seasons. So, maybe you take a season off from your book club, or your kids participate in only one after-school activity a week.
- Know your priorities. Manage your time to reflect God as your first priority and your family as your second priority. Service is noble and necessary, but when it gets in the way of your relationship with Christ and calmly managing your household, it is counterproductive.
- Determine to make tomorrow a better day than today. Maybe today didn’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped for or planned. Ask for God’s grace (and, if necessary, your family’s forgiveness), and start tomorrow fresh. And don’t forget to ask God for His wise counsel (James 1:5)!
Learn to delegate. Take a look at your responsibilities in your home. What chores can you give your children? Have a Command Central Station—a master calendar where you record your children’s tasks so they know what’s expected of them.
List out each day’s schedule, so they have a clear idea of what and when things will happen (this will also help eliminate too much negotiating bathtime and bedtime with your kids!). Include a place they can put papers you need to sign, list school project deadlines, and log sports/club practices, game times, recitals, parties, etc.
Being a good steward of your time is important. Put these five steps into place so help you plan your days with intention and deliberation. You’ll be amazed at the positive changes in your use of time and focus. And it’ll make a huge difference in the tone and atmosphere of your home, especially on busy—and early—school-day mornings!
Dear Lord, I need a giant boost of hope and energy to plan my week with wisdom, so that I can be a blessing to my family by bringing calm to our busy days. Help me wake up each morning excited to practice Your priorities—to make my time count! Amen.
Creating a Beautiful Life—Each new day presents opportunities to grow your faith, manage your work and goals, and make good use of the time God gives you. This book for busy women will help you create a more beautiful and productive life.
Do you currently have a plan in place to schedule your week? Before the school year gets going, set up your Command Center and teach your kids how to add to it and follow it.
As a woman after God’s own heart who desires to grow and plan in wisdom, follow these basic principles:
- Realize only God knows your future.
- Realize God has a purpose for your life.
- Realize God may send interruptions into your “perfect” day.
- Remember to pray over your plans, asking God for guidance.
- Remember to say, “If the Lord wills...”