4 Ways To Take Back Your Time

The last few posts I have written about reducing chronic stress and cultivating greater margin in our lives. Part of the problem is our constant intake of data and information, which is why it is critical that we monitor our use of modern technological conveniences to ensure that they remain tools rather than controlling forces of our lives. Have you tried any of the tips I suggested? Did they help?

Today we are going to talk about budgeting time. Wise financial management means telling your money where to go, not looking back and wondering where it went. Wise time management functions the same way.

I’m a driven person. I thrive when I’m busy, when I have a to-do list, and when I feel like I am contributing to something meaningful. But I’m a “busy junky.” I get caught up in the momentum of constant activity, and suddenly find myself out of control of my time and quickly burning out. I get stressed, tired, overwhelmed, snippy, short-fused, and I lose sight of my priorities.

Any of those symptoms sound familiar to you?

Maybe you have a laundry list of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of those resolutions probably involve some kind of time commitment. I’d like to propose an additional resolution: instead of adding more activity to the calendar, what if you strategically added more space? More time? More room for when things aren’t going according to plan, more rest, more intentionally saying, “No,” to overload, and, “Yes,” to margin?

Here are a few ways to invest into your time bank. The rewards of having increased energy, enhanced moods, and deeper relationships will pay off! Try these, and share your own tips by leaving a comment below:

1. Identify your time wasters and work to keep those at a minimum. 

Are you on Facebook too much? Are you like me and get stuck reading articles on Huffington Post and seemingly can’t stop? Do you oversleep…every single day? As I mentioned in my previous post, if you cut out 30 minutes of one time waster every day, over the course of one year you will have banked a full week—178 hours—of time!

2. Once you’ve identified the time wasters, invest in the right use of your time.

Time is currency that we all spend. It’s either wasted or it’s invested. Choose to be a wise investor of your time. Over the course of a few days or weeks ask God what His priorities for your life are. What are your few (key word: few) areas of strategic focus? Write those down. Seek counsel from your trusted community that you’ve been working on developing (see Part 2: Fight the Battle of Loneliness), and ask for their insight (Proverbs 24:6 says there is safety in seeking wise counsel).  As you are presented with opportunities, weigh them against your priorities. Schedule events and activities (or don’t) accordingly.

3. Exercise  your “no” muscle.

People who use their time well have realized that the word “no” is not a dirty word. It’s not an offensive word. It is a healthy term used to establish a boundary, and apart from learning how to say “no” to those things that don’t fit within the priorities that you have processed with the Lord, you will not have the energy or enthusiasm to say “Yes” to the best things.

4. Plan for nothing. 

 When my husband, Adam, and I find that we are starting to spiral out of control with our calendar commitments, we plan “nothing” weekends. We block off a sacred chunk of time to intentionally have nothing planned or scheduled. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to have these times periodically marked out. I encourage you to try it!

Are you enjoying this journey? I sure am! Be sure to like, share, and invite others to join us along the way! Stay tuned: next week we are going to dive deeper into some major heart issues. I look forward to continuing to walk with you as we seek to become healthier, happier people.

Run Hard. Love Strong.

Haley

New Year. New Journey. Let’s go!

It’s January 1, and as promised, we are going to set out on a new journey. I’m glad that you’re here, and I hope that you will continue along with me!

I can look back on the last decade of my life and tell you that I am not who I was “back then.” Are you? Probably not. We are created as dynamic beings; we are becoming something. The question is hand-holding-plant-ftrnot are we changing, but instead how are we changing? Are we becoming more bitter and resentful because of past wounds, or are we becoming more gracious and forgiving?Are we becoming more complacent, or are we becoming more intentional?  Are we becoming more afraid, or are we becoming more free?

I’d be willing to bet that none of you are looking to become more cynical, more hateful, more terrified of what this world can throw at you. If you’re like me, you want to become someone brave, someone kind, someone selfless, someone that leaves a mark on this world for the better. If you’re like me, sometimes you just don’t know where to start, or how to escape the slavery of all that is terribly wrong in order to be truly liberated and free to be what we were made to become.

So, if you’re eager for authenticity, if you are ready to grow, if you are ready to move forward, if you like obscure song lyrics that inspire your soul, and if you like quirky jokes that might, if we were face-to-face, at least gain a courtesy laugh out of you, then this blog is for you. You can look forward to bi-weekly posts on a wide variety of topics, all centered around becoming who we were made to be.

We are going to dive in together next Tuesday on a series focused on happiness. What is it? Is it real? Why are so many people unhappy, unfulfilled, disillusioned, and obviously missing it? Join me next Tuesday for So You Want To Be Happy? part 1. Invite your friends to join you for the ride, subscribe for email updates on the right-hand side of your screen, and let’s move forward…together.

Run Hard. Love Strong.

~Haley

Going Deeper. Check out these resources:

Watch and Listen: Brandon Heath, “I’m Not Who I Was” 

Read: The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford