One major focus in the world today is time efficiency. Our keen alertness to how quickly our lives are moving is not only present but also important to several of us.
We’re surrounded by time efficient programs: phone updates, traffic updates and maps, order-online features, delivery companies, online scheduling tools, video conferencing… you name it. In the corporate world, we are stricken with the consumption producing content in a timely manner. Oftentimes, we become so overwhelmed that we fail to meet such unattainable standards.
For me, nothing is worse than realizing that I forgot to mark something on my calendar and I’m staring the disappointment of a missed appointment directly in the face.
“I should have allowed more travel time” or “I should have anticipated that meeting would take longer than scheduled.” These two statements are both factors that revolve around our schedules, but honestly, who has time to think about extra time?
Sorry, I’m busy.
“Why are you so busy?” is typically the response I get from my friends or family when I reject their invitations.
The truth is this: I can easily become obsessed with productivity. Gluttony is the over-indulgence of anything and can overtake our lives if not properly controlled. I am a glutton for productivity – I admit it. And often times, we fall into one of two categories: I want to and I have to.
I want to: go to the gym, do freelance work, sleep-in, get dinner with my husband, get lunch with my mother, see my best friend’s cousin’s dog… feel free to insert your own list.
Throughout college, I felt empowered from my busy, ongoing to-do list. I got little bursts of energy telling people, “Oh, I can’t tonight. Sorry, I have plans.”
It’s nice to be busy, I’ll admit. I wanted to let my life be consumed with activities because it made me feel productive. However, about halfway through college, my gears switched from wants to needs.
I needed to graduate on time. I needed to plan for after undergrad.
Which brings me to the I have to category. I have to: go to work, school, pick kids up from dance, volunteer, stay late, wake up early, take care of the baby, work from home… pick your reason.
Stewardship of Time
Biblically, Christians are called to be good stewards of time. As a disciple of Christ, I am instructed to honor time and its constraints. I mean, God did invent time, didn’t he?
The Bible references time in several avenues and in both testaments: Ecclesiastes 3:8, John 9:4, Proverbs 27:1, Genesis 1:14-19, and Genesis 2:1-3.
I am the queen of planning: one online calendar, two handwritten calendars, and two to-do lists. Those are all color-coded, I may add.
Sure, having three scheduling systems may be efficient and organized, but am I glorifying God with my time and actions? Are my intentions behind my work to magnify His kingdom or to get a pay raise? Am I efficiently allocating my time and energy to be in being a faithful steward of spreading the gospel?
I am realizing that I am so consumed with how many checks I have on my to-do list rather than the product of my energy. I was completely unaware of how to allocate my time wisely.
- Be Aware – Where are you spending your most time? Is your productivity filling your time or fulfilling God’s will for your life? Being aware of how your time is being spent is a great start in refocusing your time.
- Rest – God is the master of time allocation. In the beginning chapters of Genesis, time is discussed through the image of creation of the world and on the seventh day, God rested. Throughout your week, carve out time that reboots you. Go for a walk with your dog. Make dinner as a family. Join a Bible study group. Do something that is restful and rewarding.
- Allocate – Using your time wisely is important – yes, absolutely – but using your time to glorify God in your actions is of the upmost importance. Choose where to invest your energy and stand firm in your decisions.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”