August 04, 2006

How Do You Use Your Time?

Summer is a time of tying up loose ends for me. I have projects we are still completing from last year, planning for next year, organizing, and paperwork to get done. It is a time of reflection and reviewing goals - looking towards the future. So, I am not posting a Field Trip Foto Friday today, but I am posting a lovely little essay by Rick Warren about how we use our time. One of my ongoing goals is to be a wise steward of the time I have with my children as their mother and teacher. I think this essay has some great advice.

Right now, we have my mom visiting from Texas and yesterday, we saw some cousins that visited from Pennsylvania. The children are enjoying sleeping in late and playing! I'm digging in to my "piles" (projects) one at a time to clear them out before September. Hopefully I'll begin this new school year with all of my summer list checked off!

By Rick Warren

One of our biggest frustrations in life is in the use of time. In an average lifetime (72 years) we spend: 21 years sleeping, 14 years working, 7 years in bathroom basics (my teenage daughter has already used her time), 6 years eating, 6 years traveling, 5 years waiting in line, 4 years learning, 3 years in meetings, 2 years returning calls, 1 year searching for things lost, 22 months in worship, 8 months opening junk mail, 6 months waiting at traffic lights. No wonder the average married couple spends 4 minutes per day talking or the kids say, "Let's go to work to see Daddy." The average parent spends 30 seconds per day talking to their children!

How do you use your time? Do you find yourself saying, "I don't have enough time"? Is God a cosmic killjoy to create 24 hours in a day? Is that not enough time to do all we must do? Charles Richards said, "Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as we make use of. One person gets a week's value out of a year, while another person gets a year's value out of a week."

The Bible says, "There is a right time and a right way to do everything” (Ecclesiastes 8:6, NIV), but we know very little about it. The problem isn't enough time but it's how we use our time. "I have used up my strength but I have accomplished nothing” (Isaiah 49:6, NIV).


  • It is the mark of WISDOM. "Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as ones who do not know the meaning of life, but as those who do. MAKE THE BEST USE OF YOUR TIME…" (Ephesians 5:15-16, Phillips)

  • It is the act of STEWARDSHIP. "Now is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (2 Corinthians 4:2, NIV).

  • It can be LEARNED. This is a key. Time management can be learned. "Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are. Help us to spend them as we should” (Psalm 90:12, Living Bible).


1. Analyze your lifestyle. Where are you spending your time? Evaluate a day, a week, and a month. Are you better off physically, mentally, relationally, emotionally and spiritually than 6 months ago? "So pay close attention to how you live. Don't live like ignorant men, but like wise men” (Ephesians 5:15, Good News). "There is a way that seems right…but it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

  • Add 30 minutes day to your prime time. 30 minutes extra per day = 7.5 extra days per year! If you're a morning person, wake up 30 minutes earlier. If you're a night person, stay up 30 minutes later.

  • Keep a time record. Time is usually wasted the same way every day.

2. Use the present. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Take advantage of today. "Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then" (Proverbs 27:1, Good News).

  • Learn to combine activities. Prime time (high priority items) - no interruptions. Grind time (medium to low priority) - do at least two things at once. Unwind time (my priority) - relax, get away·

  • Keep clutter out of your life: Physical clutter (things which occupy our vision in a negative way). Mental clutter (things which occupy our mind in a negative way). Emotional clutter (things which occupy our spirit in a negative way).

  • Redeem the time at hand. Redeem means to get back, to free up, and to change for the better.

3. Prioritize what is important. You have just enough time to do God's will. Organize your life around these key areas:

A. God—my personal walk; my spiritual growth (church small group); my ministry (use gifts for God).
B. Spouse -Family.
C. Spiritual-social-chores-educational.
D. Work.
E. Health/Recreation for physical fitness; resources for mental fitness; hobbies for emotional fitness.
F. Friends

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    Anonymous said...

    What a "timely" article...thanks for sharing!!!

    Anonymous said...

    Hmm, I use my time on the Internet LOL But I did spend a lovely afternoon with the kids watching the BBC version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

    A good reminder to look at my priorities. Thanks!

    Sprittibee said...

    You are most welcome, Phyllis. :)

    Rebecca - Don't feel bad. We all need a little kick in the rear now and then.... some of us (like me) more than others.



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