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Faith Alive! | Redeeming the time 5

5 – Plan your time

Grab a scrap piece of paper, and sketch out the next two weeks. This will take some time initially, but you will become skilled and quick at it if you are willing to persist.

Put the days and dates across the top of the page. Down the left hand side write a rough timescale, beginning at 6 a.m., or whenever you start the day, through to 11 p.m., or whenever you finish. (A question to ponder: Just like everybody else, you need to sleep – but for how long? How much time is wasted in bed?)

  1. Quickly mark in all the time that is already allocated – work, meetings you are going to, tutorials, lectures, practicals, appointments.
  2. Mark in the things that should be done every day without fail – Bible reading and prayer. There may also be daily tasks that you want to include, such as exercise.
  3. Now look at all the big things you want to tackle during the two weeks: mark them in. Sometimes you will have to allocate time over several days. Be sure to allocate the hardest tasks to the times when your energy is highest.
  4. Finally, allocate time for all the less important or quick and easy tasks that you want to complete during the two weeks.
  5. Have a quick look at your plan. Is it realistic? Have you left a bit of free time here and there, to allow for the unexpected? Have you incorporated plenty of time working with, helping and spending time with other people?
  6. Commit your plan to God in prayer. Tell Him that you accept His will for the coming two weeks, whatever it may be, but as you don’t yet know what He has in mind, you have drafted a plan so as to use the time He has given you as effectively as possible. Ask Him to guide you in your decision-making and help you in your activity, and pray that all you do might glorify Him, benefit others, and give you satisfaction and joy.
  7. Look at your plan again. What is the first thing you need to do? Fold the plan, put it in your pocket, and get on with it!

In a week’s time, do the same for the next two-week period.

A pocket or electronic diary is a key tool for organising your time. They are available in a wide range of styles and prices. Make sure you get one – a cheap one is all you need – and use it regularly. Never mind the fact that you will frequently forget to look at it during the first few weeks: you’ll soon get the habit, and you’ll never regret it.

It might seem superficially that careful planning will squeeze out time for other people.

But plan ‘people time’ into your life and – here’s a key point – if you use your time well, you will have more for people, not less: and the time you spend with them will be valuable and well spent. So in your planning, aim to spend time on other people.

 

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