“Reverence for God adds hours to each day…”—Proverbs 10:27 (TLB)
How are you managing your time? Are you getting everything you planned done in a day? Or are you falling short most of the time? Well, we all know that managing our time well is important for achieving our goals. So, for those of us who struggle with time management, here are a few thoughts on what we can do to break the vicious cycle and get more done.
- Seek God First
Seeking God first will miraculously free up more time in your day and allow you to accomplish more of the necessary tasks. As it is written in Proverbs 10:27, “Reverence for God adds hours to each day.” And in my experience, when I am intentional to read my bible and pray daily, my day seems to go much better than when I don’t. We cannot afford to miss spending time with God because God is our lifeline. He is the One we need to plug into to gather the strength and power to make it through each day. When we spend time communing with God, praising and worshiping Him, God will meet us where we are and supply our needs for the day. He will give us “our daily bread.” The Scripture in Matthew 6:33 says to seek God’s Kingdom first. This means to make His kingdom and His business a priority above our own business. If we mind God’s business, He will mind ours.
- Seek God Early
In line with seeking God First, seeking God early will help you to set the right tone for the day. You will have more joy, more peace, and a more positive outlook on the day ahead. David sought the Lord early (Psalm 63:1) in the morning and so did Jesus. Here are a few ways Psalm 119:147 is expressed:
“I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. “(NKJV)
“Early in the morning before the sun is up, I am praying and pointing out how much I trust in you.” (TLB)
“I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from you.” (MSG)
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” (NASB)
According to Mark 1:35, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Many other scriptures also document Jesus praying early in the morning, away from the noise and the crowds, communing with God before the day began. We may not need to leave our houses in order to pray, but we should make time to pray early and in a private place, free from distractions. If Jesus Christ needed strength, wisdom, and power for His day, we need it even more. And when we seek the Lord early, He will make the rough places smooth and the crooked places straight. He will clear the way for you to succeed and be more effective throughout your day.
- Cut Down the Distractions
Notice I did not say “cut out the distractions” but cut them down. Yes, some negative vices that only harm us in the long run need to be cut out completely. However, some of the “harmless” things we enjoy doing have completely taken us over and are ruining our lives. We are often so caught up with the things of this world, that we seldom have time for the things that are most important.
According to Ephesians 5:15-17, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
I like to surf the Internet, shop online, watch movies, catch up on social media, play games and have fun. Yet, if I am not careful, hours will go by and I have not done most of things I had planned to do. This can leave me feeling frustrated and angry at myself for wasting all that time on something that does nothing to help me reach my goals. So, I have determined to limit the amount of time I spend doing “fun” things in order to accomplish my goals. “There is a time for everything”, as the Teacher Ecclesiastes 3 says. And to be more effective, it is time to cut down the distractions in our lives by putting them in their rightful place.
- Get Some More Sleep/Rest
In this day and age, it is hard to find many people who get the recommended amount of sleep that their bodies need. Whether it is from our constant consumption of social media and games and entertainment, from worrying about our lives, or just a bad habit of staying up too late, many of us are sleep deprived. We know that we are, but somehow it is so hard to break the cycle of staying up late and waking up late. Or we may still wake up early after staying up late but lack the energy we need to make it through the day. So, many of us rely on coffee and energy drinks to give us the boost or jolt that we need to stay awake. Yet, the remedy we need is more sleep to be able to function well, to have the right mind-set, and to manage or time effectively when we are awake.
A Word for Those Who Work at Night and Those Who Work Seven Days a Week
If you work at night, you no doubt sleep in the daytime. I know it can be difficult to sleep sometimes, as much of life’s business happens during the day. Yet, with God’s help, you can get what you need in order to manage your time effectively. Moses’ prayer in Psalms 90:12 records his request for God to “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” And verse 17 says, “establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.”
For those who work seven days a week, it is important to get your rest. God rested on the seventh day to set an example for us as set forth in this passage:
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.–Genesis 2:2-3
Everything is connected. Whether we sleep during the day or at night, we need to get more sleep, so we can get up earlier to meet with God, so we can have enough time and energy to do what we need to do, so we can accomplish our goals.