Time is of the Essence
Juggling so many things in life can be hard. As a mother, business women, employee, children’s leader and Aspire leader in her local church including having the role of Aspire coordinator for the Midlands, Dani Johnston knows about the blessings and the struggles of fulfilling these roles and responsibilities effectively. However, Dani continues to make time for her love of exercise, staying fit and healthy. It is her determination to be all that God has intended and to fulfill her destiny that helps keep her mind on the ball.
Time is our greatest commodity, and we all have this resource in equal measure. I am sure we can all recount the number of times we have heard someone say, or even ourselves ‘I just don’t have the time’. It can roll so easy off the tongue often without any given thought. It will be of no surprise to any of us that we all have exactly the same amount time as one another, all that differs is how we use it.
Jesus tells the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14 – 30), where each servant was given talents “each according to their ability”. The servant, who was entrusted with five bags of gold, came back with five more bags and heard the words “well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with few things I will put you in charge of many things.” I believe that God wants us to manage our time with the same attitude.
Reflecting on our use of time is important to our efficiency and productivity in any area of our lives. It would be interesting to see the differences between what you believe your priorities to be and what your diary suggests they actually are. Quite often what we spend our time doing rarely fulfills what we believe to be our God given purposes and desires. However, be encouraged, you are not alone. We all get into life routines, which meet the immediate demands of daily life, which so often can take over. There is good news however, God himself is the creator of time and wants to help you to re-focus your time to be more effective.
Having our cake and eating it is a mindset of culture today, meaning that people are constantly trying to juggle a successful career, a brilliant ministry and a healthy family life with all the trimmings! Somewhat controversial I know but I believe that we can have our cake and eat it. We just need to be aware of the cake God has designed for each of us.
Here are some principles I’ve learnt which help me be more effective with the time God has gifted to me.
Know Your Purpose and Desires
Time management is easier when we are acutely aware of the plan and purposes God has for us in the season we are in. Understanding this can be key in having the time to do the things that we need and desire.
Setting aside time to reflect on every area of our lives regularly is highly recommended and in these moments we need to ask God to reveal His calling and desires for us and our time.
At times it can be a battle to do ‘everything’. We need to be intentional about the things in our lives that are the stepping- stones to the greater things desired. For example, If God is calling you to make a difference in the marketplace then make sure you prioritise your time appropriately to achieve this.
There is always ‘stuff’ and ‘people’ vying for your time. In order for us to be intentional with those things we desire, we need to get used to ‘saying no’ to those things that do not fit into the greater desires, plans and purposes God has for us. These may be two very difficult words to say initially but once you are aware of what God wants to do in you and through you, they will become more natural for you.
We can see from scripture that Jesus did not seem to have difficulty with managing his time effectively, see John 5:19. Can we say the same about our lives and the decisions that we make on how we spend our time?
We were made as holistic beings and have physical, spiritual and emotional needs. In fact Gods desire for us is life in abundance (see John 10:10). He made and knows us, is aware of every need that we have. He knows we need to invest time in every area of our lives, making sure our physical, spiritual and emotional tanks are full. The story of Jesus meeting the women at the well in John 4 suggests that even Jesus needed a rest from his journey, aware of his need. To live a life that is productive and bears fruit we must create an effective work life balance that propels us into God’s promises.
Dani’s 5 tips for time management
Work out and know your goals
Have weekly/daily to do lists
Prioritise important tasks
Spend Quality time on a task (It’s better than quantity)
Turn off any distractions (FB, mobile, TV)