How to Become a Wise Stewardess of Your Time
Time is our most valuable asset. It’s the only resource that we can’t get back. We can get more money. We can buy more land or more resources, but once we spend our time, it’s gone. That’s probably why we feel like there’s not enough of it. We suffer from time poverty, the idea that there’s not enough time because we spend so much of it doing all the things that we don’t have enough time to do the right things — the things that God is calling us to do.
That is why it’s so important for us to understand what the Lord wants us to do. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-17 that we are to make the most of our time and every opportunity by not acting thoughtlessly but by understanding what the Lord wants us to do. When we understand what the Lord wants us to do by defining our mission, determining our priorities, and clarifying the roles and responsibilities, and we’ve taken the time to really design our routines and schedules to set us up for success, we can know how we can wisely steward our time. Here’s how you can become a better steward of your time.
Understand Your Time Style
A time style is a way a person chooses to allocate and spend their time. It’s the viewpoint from which a person filters their life and priorities through the lens of time. There are five types of time management styles, according to Jenifer Francis. If you have an achievement time management style, you may mark success by how much you’re able to accomplish within a given time. If you have a casual time management style, you might passively manage your time due to procrastination or avoiding energy-demanding tasks. People with a crisis management time style tend to have a hard time discerning their priorities so everything is equally important and demands their time. Those with a precision time management style might waste too much time trying to perfect the things they’re working on, and those with a social management time style will spend too much time talking and planning that they lose track of time and never get to the thing that they want to do. This is why it’s good to know your time management style. Knowing your time management style helps you be aware of how you tend to approach your time and put parameters in place to help you make the most of it.
Conduct a Time Audit
I love to use time audits with my private coaching clients to help them identify where or what tasks they are spending the most time. For one week, use your Notes app or a small notebook to track the tasks you are doing and how much time you’re spending on them. Some common tasks to track is your commute time, social media usage, any routine tasks, time spent watching TV, or any other time wasters. Identifying where and how you’re spending your time will not only make you aware of how you’re spending it but will also serve as accountability, reminding you of where you want to spend more time.
Now that you are aware of your time management style and where you’re spending your time, you can eliminate excuses and avoid any distractions that may threaten your time. Think about what typically distracts you. If it’s your phone, put it on Do Not Disturb and away out of your reach. If it’s the TV, let it be your reward after you’ve completed the task at hand. If it’s your family or home life, see if you can make arrangements to switch up your environment every now and then. Go to a coffee shop. Find a babysitter. Consider establishing personal boundaries that will help you to be more efficient and productive with your time.
Maximize Your Productive Hours
Maximize your time by working on your purposeful priorities when you’re the most productive. Identify the time periods when you are the most alert and proactive. If you are a morning person, consider waking up an hour earlier to work on your purposeful priorities when you’re the most creative and at your best. If you do your best work in the afternoon, see if you can push your lunch break back a hour and work on your priorities then. Consider yourself to be a night owl? Block out your evening hours to dedicate to your passions and dreams. The key is to work on your priorities, goals, and passions during your most productive hours and work everything else into any additional pockets of time.
Take Advantage of Your Fringe Hours
Do you ever find that in between your appointments, activities, and to-dos that you have a little bit of time that goes unused? Maybe it’s your 30-minute commute on the train, or your hour lunch break or the 90 minutes while you wait for your laundry to dry. These are your fringe hours: the extra pockets of unused that time that God has given you. Instead of saying that you don’t have any time to make progress on the thing that God is calling you to do, steward the time you do have by taking advantage of your fringe hours. Don’t be idle with your time. Keep a list of your purposeful priorities, to-dos or even a book on hand to make the most of the extra time God has given you.
This is what it looks like to be a good steward of your time: not necessarily controlling it but learning how to manage it by understanding what the Lord wants you to do. You may not be able to go back in time or stop time to savor life’s sweetest moment, or fast forward time into your future, but you can control how you steward it. To learn more on how you can wisely steward your time and make the most of every God-given opportunity, click the button below to download the free Master Your Time Lifestyle Guide.
Are you ready to make the most of every opportunity that God has given you?
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