Our actions reveal our priorities, but sometimes even with our best intentions, things can get out of "whack' in our lives unless we have a plan in place so that we can keep focused on what and who is important and valuable to us.
A plan also helps us understand what we can realistically achieve with our time. God does do "time miracles" to give us extra time (that's for another blog), but He also gives us the wisdom to live by, too, so it's important to schedule time for the big rocks in our life: God, family, friends, our career, exercise, hobbies and just having fun. (see blog 30/9/22)
How I recommend seeking heavenly wisdom for your schedule to maintain a good work-life balance and asking God to lead you as you plan and schedule your life. "Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:6)
Here are some tips to help you keep what's important your central focus and see you achieve your goals:
1. Set a regular time to plan – eg: A simple and easy way to begin to keep a schedule is to use a pen and paper and organise your time using a weekly planner or diary at the start of every week or month. You can also use an "app" or any other tool that suits your situation. Make sure it has enough space for the level of detail you need.
2. Establish availability for relationships, work, family, study, interests, hobbies and time with Jesus, etc.
3. Ask yourself, "What are the essentials in my day/week?" What and who are your top priorities? Writing these relationships and daily activities down quickly reveals where we are spending our time and whether we are focused or not.
Create consistency in these essentials, as this will create positive habits. What do you do every day/week that you can build more consistency into for the future you want? (e.g., exercise, Jesus time, family night, date night, etc.)
4. Have a contingency plan and only plan 60% of your day – leave room for downtime and for unexpected emergencies or the "I have to deal with this now" moment. The more unpredictable or flexible our life tends or needs to be, the more "contingency time" we need. If we don't schedule and leave space in our planning, we'll end up working late, stressed out, always running behind and at the risk of burnout.
5. Write the vision/plan down and make it clear - put your schedule where you can see it. Following a plan is just as important as creating one. We don't create a schedule with the intent to ignore it, but if it's too rigid or hidden away, we won't look at it.
God promises that He will direct our steps and give us a heart of wisdom if we seek Him. When we have little children, He also promises He will lead us gently, so if that's you, give yourself a break and don't put too much pressure on yourself…There are seasons for things. (Habakkuk 2:2 NLT)
"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; he gently leads those that have young." ( Isaiah 40:11 NIV)
Your life is a gift from God, so make the most of every day, focus on your priorities and make a plan to win!
"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Prayer: Lord, please help me be wise with the time you have gifted me. Where I am not as organised or as careful with my time as I could be, please help me to set a schedule and plan in motion. In Jesus name Amen.