Notes from the leadership journey!

5 Practices to Make the Most of Time

I’ve been writing about The Balancing Act by Bishop Robert Schnase (see “The Balancing Act” and Pray More Than Criticize).

Bishop Schnase writes on “Redeeming Time.” By that, he means “making time sacred, useful to God, holy” (119). Schnase adds:

… redeeming the time involves discovering the holy, gift-like quality, the grace of time. It involves perceiving time differently, looking at time through God’s eyes. (119)

I have always been interested in time, specifically how to make the most of it (see last year’s post, Time Management). I’ve also always been interested in improving my use of time!

The language of “redeeming time” comes from the King James Version: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5.16) and “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4.5). The New Living Translation puts them this way: “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Ephesians 5.16) and “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4.5).

Here are five practices that help make the most of time …

1. Pray. “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have” (Psalm 90.12, CEV).

2. Pinpoint your mission. It’s impossible to make the most of our time if we aren’t clear on our purpose in life. When we know our mission, then we know what to say no to, which is critically important.

3. Prioritize your tasks. When we have pinpointed our mission, prioritizing tasks becomes easier—easier, not necessarily easy. See Michael Hyatt’s excellent post: Put the Big Rocks in First.

This is one of my challenges. I can prioritize tasks, but too often, I want to knock out a bunch of smaller tasks so that I can devote extended time to the big task(s). But sometimes, by the time I finish the lower-priority tasks, there’s not enough time for the big tasks!

4. Play. I’m sure we don’t do enough of it, but a healthy dose of play makes people more productive. That was a major premise of Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall, which I read a number of years ago. Of course, in our case, the kids help … when we let them!

5. Practice sabbath time. Like play, our bodies require adequate rest (e.g., I recently read about the hidden dangers of sleep deprivation, which adds extra motivation). It’s no wonder God built sabbath rest into the rhythm of our lives from the very beginning!

What practices help you make the most of time?

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