A quick walk through any book store or department store that sells planners reveals this is the time of year that time management becomes crucial for students. All types of planners are available, many of which begin now with the school year and move through the entire next year. Many in our society plan around educational institutions, whether we are attending ourselves or someone in our family is attending.
Much of the time our calendars, if not our weeks and days, are fairly well planned for us. Assignments are made with due dates. Class parties and activities are logged onto the calendar. Holidays are noted and blocked out. And so it goes….
It is as if our time is already managed for us for a fair amount of our life. The fact is that educational pursuits are only one arena in which time is taxed. Many in their vocations have little control over time. What little is left over becomes the venue for handling personal tasks and attempting to connect with people and opportunities that are important to us.
Technology that promised, in part, saving time has proven to be a false savior. The number of people attached to their computers, iPhones, iPads, or other technical devices has increased to epidemic proportions. Every so often I note that a person consciously takes a break from Facebook due to the inordinate amount of time cyphered off any given day while scrolling and responding to posts and people. People expect an almost immediate response to emails and texts.
So what are we to do with this thing called time….a commodity in equal amounts for all of us on a daily basis? How are we to manage our time in a way that honors God, self and others? Where is time stolen from me/us? Where is it invested? These are important and ongoing questions with no black and white answers.
The Psalmist’s prayer guides us. “Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Planners, calendars, or any other time management tool is only an aid to a deeper priority for us. We do not take time but make time to sit before God and hear His wisdom for our lives and situations. He will lead us to those things that are worthy of our time in any given season of our life. His leading will produce a remarkable ‘return on investment’ as we give our time to those areas, tasks and people that He leads us to.
Beyond getting things done, we compromise the quality of life we desire when we stretch time too thinly. Marsha Burns blogged just this week: “Even when your circumstances place many demands on your time and energy, you can do all that is necessary and still maintain tranquility. However, you will have to be focused (on what the Lord speaks and requires) and stay calm to receive the wisdom you need… Philippians 4:7 states: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Time management is best understood as a response in obedience to the One Who created time in the first place. What is on your clock and calendar?