Time Management, Part 2
Stephen Covey once said, “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
So many people let time slip by them without a purpose or plan behind how they have spent it, yet God tells us in His Word that we are to redeem the time we have been given. In my last magazine article, I shared with you three keys to the first stage in time management. Now I want to show you the second phase: implementation.
Once you have a well-prioritized plan, you must implement it. The first major contributor to successful implementation is to be single-minded in your pursuit of it. You can’t allow yourself to be distracted. You need to be absolutely determined to accomplish that which you have planned to do and allow no interruptions or detours to get you off course. As James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.”
Double mindedness produces instability. It’s impossible to hold your course and fulfill God’s plan for your life when you are in a condition of instability. You must remain single-minded.
For many of us, staying focused in the midst of the distractions that bombard us every day is a big challenge. You need to recognize distractions for what they are: they are interruptions with the potential to get you off course.
Conserve Your Energy
The second essential element to successfully implementing your time management plan is what I call “conservation of energy.” Beyond the tendency to get side-tracked, another reason you might not execute your plan is that you, very simply, may not have enough energy to stay focused and productive through an entire day. You can simply run out of steam before the day is over.
The greatest energy drain in your life is tension and stress. Much study has been given to this topic in an effort to reduce work-related stress and increase the overall efficiency and productivity of today’s workforce. Well, for the Christian, the answer is a little bit more supernatural than the world’s. Isaiah 40:28–31 gives us God’s solution for dealing with weariness:
…The Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?…He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
This is God’s answer for the energy drains that are so common in the human experience today. When we cast our cares upon the Lord and lean on His strength, He will give us the energy needed to complete His plan daily.
Walk in the Light
The third major contributor to implementing your plan is the most important. I call it, “walking in the light.”
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:14–16)
Being single-minded in implementing your plan and conserving your energy are natural requirements that optimize natural resources. Walking in the light, however, taps into a supernatural way of finding enough time in the day to do what you need to do.
There is a connection between time and light. For us to fully optimize our time, we need to gain insight into how time and light relate to one another. As part of Einstein’s special theory of relativity introduced in 1905, he said two things concerning light.
First, he said that light is the only constant in the universe (notice, time is not a constant). The speed of light, which is unchanging, is 186,000 miles per second. The second thing Einstein said is that as a physical body accelerates toward the speed of light, time for that physical body begins to slow down. In fact, his theory states that if this body were able to surpass the speed of light, it would enter what Einstein himself called eternity.
In the Bible, God is referred to as “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). In other words, God is unchanging or constant, just as light is unchanging or constant. God is light. If, in the physical realm, time slows down as we approach the speed of light, we can then postulate that as we approach God in the Spirit, our time slows down as well.
So in a supernatural sense, you can get the extra time needed to accomplish your plan when you draw close to the light and when you fellowship with God. The closer to the light we get, the more our time slows down and the more it is stretched. It somehow goes further than it used to, and now you can get everything done that you need to accomplish.
Simplify Your Life by Simplifying Your Time
So managing your time is key to simplifying your life. You can take control of your schedule by planning your day through meditation, selectivity, and delegation. You implement that plan by becoming single-minded in your pursuit of it, conserving your energy while pursuing it, and then walking in the light and close to the Lord as you implement it.
Now, what about your money? How can you manage your money in a way that will simplify your life? I’ll post more from my Simplify Your Life series in a future blog post. Until then, expect God to open the eyes of your understanding and pour out upon you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you manage your time well through wise planning and a focused implementation of your Spirit-led plan.