Time is valuable and you want to make sure each moment counts. To empower your time, you need to know where it is going. Inventory your time. Discover where it is being invested to take full advantage of the opportunities. Benjamin Franklin states, “Lost time is never found again.” Make the choice and determine to invest your time in life events that will give positive results.
In the Bible, Paul calls on the Ephesians to be wise and make the most of their time (Ephesians 5:15-16). He knew that becoming wise in handling time is an acquired skill. You can learn to be wise with your time.
You can empower your time by:
1. Evaluating its current use.
Begin with an inventory. Know how you are currently investing your time. It is valuable to track your activities over several days to have a clear picture of how you use your time. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this step is a waste of time. Evaluating will give you the wisdom to gain significant power over your schedule. You will gain the authority to say “No” to some things because you are going to say “Yes” to the more important things.
2. Write down your goals.
Michael Hyatt shares that Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
Goal setting becomes a priority when you know that writing down your goals guarantees positive results in your life. You want to do it. Goals will give your mind direction. Even when you are not working on a particular project or goal, your mind still is. You have imprinted the goal on your mind because you wrote it down. Be ready at a moment’s notice to record the inspirations that come.
3. Plan your time usage.
Calendar your activities. Place your goals on that calendar. Be realistic when you are setting deadlines. Set up reminders. Your phone can help you stay on track.
Sometimes I get so involved with a project that I become engrossed with it. I even forget to do other important things. By using my phone to set up reminders, I can move ahead with several different things at the same time.
4. Be prepared.
One of the greatest time wasters is beginning a project without having the appropriate material. Look at your goal, what is necessary for you to do your best in reaching that goal? What items do you need to make it work? If your goal is to fix something within a specified time frame, do you have everything necessary to finish the project? Look at your calendar, remember your goal, and gather the necessary items to reach your goal successfully.
5. Remove distractions.
Identify your largest distraction. It may be Facebook, emails, texting, television, or any other number of items. You can get beyond some of these distractions simply by turning them off. Set your phone to silent, get in a quiet place, go to work an hour early, or whatever you need to do to deal with your distractions.
I learned some years ago that once the church office opened distractions became frequent. I didn’t have a home office so being effective while at the church office was critical. Scheduling became my friend. I planned to go into the office at least an hour earlier than the published opening time. It was amazing how many more things I could get done in that uninterrupted time.
6. Ask for help.
Many times you desire to be independent as you move through the completion of your goal or project. While that quality is admirable it is not always wise. You sometimes need help.
Unfortunately, today many people do not seek help because they can go to Google. Although Google has a large amount of information and the Internet offers endless training opportunities, neither of them offers personal insight. When you ask for help from a real live person, who knows you, the feedback is invaluable.
When you do these six things, you will find that you are much better equipped to make wise time decisions. You can do what Paul encouraged the people of Colossea to do and make the most of all your opportunities (Colossians 4:5).