Being intentional with my time is something that I have struggled with for years. It doesn’t mean I’ve wasted time–quite the contrary. My problem has always been that I take on too much and end up quietly exhausted. Sure I get everything accomplished, but on many occasions there was very little satisfaction in completing the tasks. It was more like I was checking something off the list.
So the series this month was written for a purpose. It was written for the many people who have shared with me over the past year how they suffer from the same problem–overbooked and overwhelmed. And, I hoped that putting it in print would be just the encouragement I needed to ‘keep on keepin’ on’ with what I was doing.
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” Colossians 4:5
Maybe it’s age. Maybe I’m just tired of being tired. But whatever it is, I knew a couple of years ago that I HAD to become more intentional about what I was committing my time to. Occasionally things still get challenging because I’m so used to saying YES to people, but I had to become skilled at making wise choices that are a reflection of what is important, meaningful, and relevant to me and my family.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this place, and I’m still working to streamline, but I’ve learned that being stressed out all of the time is not worth it, on any level.
‘My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!’ Psalm 31:15
So, what changes did I make and how did I do it?
First, I made a list of all the commitments that I could not or would not change. Like my quiet time with God, spending time with my family, my job (it’s required I be there), and my commitment to Peacefully Imperfect to name a few.
Second, I made a list of all the commitments that I could change, adjust, or completely cut out.
This was where it got a little interesting and tricky.
For the most part I was able to let go of every activity that I no longer had interest in, or that I considered to no longer be a part of the season I’m in.
But there were three things I kept on the list. I just couldn’t relinquish a couple of church commitments because I love my church and I love the families we serve, and there was one professional activity I wanted to continue to be a part of. I didn’t feel any pressure about these decisions.
Finally, I stay focused and organized by keeping a calendar. For planning ahead I use a monthly calendar. For the day-to-day business I use a one sheet (that I have included for you here.)
And when a new opportunity presents itself–I pray about it. I seek God’s will to direct my path. I also think about what I will have to give up in order to fit the ‘something new’ in my schedule.
Being intentional with our time won’t always be easy. But if we make a plan, act on it, and move forward, we will get lots of practice. Life will always have its little glitches but that’s where we have permission to monitor and adjust.
And the best part–God loves to see how we handle the curve balls. He wants us to make the most of our time. He wants us to make memories. He wants our souls to be happy. And He wants to have meaningful conversations with us. We can say that is time well spent.
Blessings & Hugs for a great week ahead. I’ll be praying for you.