Updated: Mar 24
Since the beginning of this year, I have really been working to consider how I spend my days, and get better at time management! I am always working on time management. Anyone else out there trying to figure it out? Let me be flat out vulnerable here--time management is NOT my strength. Discipline is my strength. These are NOT the same thing! I can attest to that! I get things done, and I have discipline, but when it comes to the timings of things...I cringe! When it comes to planning things and putting things into time blocks...I cringe. When I think of locking into a certain day or time...oh so difficult for me. But, I still live in a world of time...and I keep working to manage it the best I can. I have really come a long way. I have a calendar full of appointments, meetings, and activities. I am even getting better at being early to things. I know the goodness, and I continue to embrace and submit to TIME and time management! My husband is so proud! He is so good at time management, by the way!
I really love the things I get to do, and I want to do them all, and I want to do them well. I learned long ago that balance is not the right word--I can not balance all my roles in life. I remember when I was a mom of 5 little ones and I was asked to speak about balance. I just thought, I don't have any balance...how could I talk about it? But, I understood the task and main point and reframed it to talk about dominion, priorities, and how to rule our lives so that we are able to do and focus on more than one thing! I think the answer of "how do we do it all?" or "how do we balance the different things?" is actually found in these 2 words: priorities and dependence. Do it all...we just can't! But we can prioritize what we need to do and depend on the Lord! The Bible makes it very clear that loving God is our first priority! Immediately, I think of these 2 verses: Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." and Matthew 22:37-38, "Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment."
I especially remember some days when I felt utterly overwhelmed and I knew I would not get everything done...I would pray and ask the Lord, "What should I do today? What should I do first?" There were about 3 years of my life where I was so overwhelmed, and this was my prayer everyday, a few times a day (I mention it in this post). This is dependence. Being dependent on the Lord is seeking Him and asking Him to order our days and lead us in how we are to spend our time.
Here I am in 2023, and I absolutely love my work, my life, my roles, and the things I get to steward. I find myself knowing I cannot do it all and asking the Lord, what are my priorities for THIS day?
Practically speaking, here are some things that help me prioritize my tasks and keep me from being overwhelmed. I hope these things might help you. I know when I can see all the things that I'm not dropping the ball. I have to regularly check and assess the priorities and allow Him to lead me.
Brain Dump -- write out all the things & tasks I need/want to do. Just make a GIGANTIC list of all the things! Get it out of your head and see it on paper. I have done paper for many years, but I am actually trying out the "notes" application on my devices right now. I am loving it! No matter your venue, dumping all of the tasks that swirl around in your head calms your brain and quiets the noise SO much!
Prioritize the tasks from the brain dump--sometimes things just sit and stay in the brain dump--that is okay! It might mean I should see if there is another way to do this or at some point, I have to tackle it. Or just LET IT GO and don't do it! But for the most part, I can prioritize the brain dump to see what is most important, when I can do the things, and assign days, times, and categorize the tasks.
Calendar -- we keep a TIGHT, accurate (shared & electronic) family calendar, and this ensures we will not miss the good things we have in place. I came around to this in 2020, and it was like it multiplied and organized my life! It saves so much time--I don't have to think of the appointments, meetings, activities, or events...I just check my calendar. And, I have to check it often--remember this does NOT come naturally for me, and I have to work at it, but the payoff/benefit is worth it.
May we learn this art of prioritizing our time and depending on the Lord. May we fight hard to seek His face and allow Him to order our priorities. May we number our days, Psalm 90:12 says,"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
I am in it with you! I'm cheering you on!