“I’m too busy.”
“I would if I had the time.”
“I just can’t fit it in.”
If these are excuses that you use on a regular basis, then perhaps you think that time management is the solution. Maybe there are goals you want to reach, exercise plans you want to stick to or projects you would like to finish.
But we’re here to tell you that time management isn’t the answer.
Did you just say Time Management isn’t the answer?
Yes! Everyone gets 168 hours a week. No more, no less. Everyone! We often find ourselves saying, “If only I had more time.” But here’s the question – how on earth do concert pianists, olympic athletes and the like manage to fit in so much practice? Do they magically have 30 hour days? No.
The key is priority management.
Isn’t it funny how we nearly always manage to have time for the things we really love doing? This is because the things we love doing nearly always make their way to a high position on our priority list.
Why don’t you try this.
Write down a list of priorities you have and then write down a list of things you spend your time on. If you compare the two, they should line up. If you’re spending a lot of time watching TV, but keeping up with the latest TV shows isn’t as high on your priority list as growing friendships or finishing a project. Then perhaps instead of an evening watching TV, you should spend the evening growing your relationships or working on your project instead.
If we are always saying “I don’t have the time,” or “I am too busy,” – it’s a bit of a cop out. This mindset can take you out of control. Sometimes life can be truly busy, but these times are often few and far between. If you are always busy, you may need to take a step back and re-evaluate the work you are doing and perhaps begin cutting back in some areas. You are in control of how you choose to spend your time.
Perhaps we need a better phrase…
We need to take responsibility for our day by instead claiming that, “I choose to prioritise other things.” We all have the same 168 hours in our week. We choose to use them differently. Even though you may not like the sound of this, you are accountable for how you are using your time. If you want to exercise or spend time with your family, you find time by stopping doing something else. Choose your priorities, and then order your time accordingly.
If you often finding yourself ‘lacking in time’, perhaps you need to do some attention management. Do you get distracted in whatever activity you are doing? Generally, it will take you a lot longer to complete a task if this is the case. Try taking shorter stretches of time where you are fully focused on the task at hand. Ie. Instead of spending 1hr trying to take on a task but you are looking at your phone, replying to messages and taking photos on snapchat, you should spend 20 mins of solid time committing yourself without distractions. You’ll find that you’ll be more productive and successful in the task. Try it out sometime.
How does all this apply to our walk as Christians?
Well this one is obvious. If we say that we don’t have time to do important things like praying or reading the bible… what we’re really saying is that we choose to prioritise other things. Or perhaps we’re not very good at managing our priorities. That shouldn’t be an excuse though, and we need to practice by working on it. Are you choosing to prioritise other things over spending time with God?
This also applies to squandering our talents and gifts. It’s easy to fall into the rut of getting up, going to work our work, going home, watching tv or movies, spending time on technology and then going to bed. Sleep, Eat, Work, Repeat. In today’s world there are heaps of different ways we can spend our time. Sure, it’s ok to watch a couple of tv shows or movies…but we have to be aware how much time we are spending on that or other forms of entertainment. We need to take steps to prioritise developing our talents and gifts so we don’t lose sight of them. God has given you gifts for a reason – are you allowing them to be used for the glory of His Kingdom?
You probably don’t want to look back 10-20 years down the track and wish that you had done more or made different choices with the time that was given to us.
Wouldn’t you rather fulfil your dreams and pursue your God-given talents?
Perhaps you need to assess your priorities and decide if the way you spend your time is doing exactly that. Instead of saying that you don’t have enough time, we need to take responsibility for what we choose to prioritise, and consult God in the way we are doing this.
It’s not about time management, it’s priority management.
Brent is one of our Audio Engineers at Rhema FM Newcastle and is responsible for our Rhema Catchup service. He has a degree in Communications & Media.