Thursday

The Best Time Management Tool

“Early in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3) 

 I tried daytimers and planners, schedules and how-to books. I tried getting up earlier and staying up later. I studied efficiency and prioritizing, all to no avail. There were never enough hours in my day, and I never accomplished all that I hoped to do. Finally I discovered what I feel like is the best time management tool we can ever employ- our daily quiet time. 

Several years ago I began the consistent practice of starting my day with an appointment with God. The Bible tells us that Jesus did this. “Very early in the morning, while it was yet dark, Jesus went away to a solitary place to pray.” (Mark 1:35) 

My quiet time contains many of the same elements that you have in yours, I’m sure. I spend time reading a portion of the Bible, praying for the needs of my family and others, and praising and thanking God for who He is and what He is doing in my life.

 After I have walked through those components, I begin my “strategizing” for the day. First, I think through the day ahead. Sometimes I sketch it out on a piece of paper. I draw up a tentative schedule, or maybe just a “to do” list of the things I hope to accomplish. 

Next, I pray. During my prayer, I give the Lord “my” day. I ask Him to take away those things that are not a part of His plan for me. I ask Him to maximize my energy and resources so that I can be most effective. I ask Him to help me see people as He sees them and to conduct myself accordingly. I ask Him to bring to my consciousness what I most need to do, to be, and to say that day. 

Then I stop talking and let Him talk. Sometimes, during those times when I am quiet and listening for His voice, a person or a need will come to mind. I will add them to my list. Sometimes a great idea will come to me. I know those are from the Lord! Occasionally, I will rethink something on my list and take it off, or I might replace it with a better idea or approach. It is during this time of quietly listening that I submit my will to the Lord’s and get my marching orders from the King. 

The results of Jesus’ quiet times were that he always did those things that pleased the Father. (John 8:28) That is my goal too. I encourage you to give Jesus’ time management tip a try. The results will amaze you! 

 Application Questions: 

Are you frustrated and overwhelmed by your ‘to do” list? 

Are you busy but not productive? 

Do you feel as though you don’t have time to pray and read your Bible? 

Action Step for This Week: 

Commit to meet daily with God in prayer and Bible reading. At the end of the week, evaluate the results. 

 Prayer of Commitment: 

“Lord, Jesus was our example of how we should live our lives on this earth. If Jesus, who was God in the flesh, thought it was important to meet with you each day, then I know I should. I commit to devote time every day this week to read my Bible and pray. As I submit each day to you, help me listen to your voice and obey what you tell me to do and not to do. Help me be efficient and effective in the tasks you give me. Bless the work of my hands as I submit it to you.” 

This devotion is an excerpt from Lori's devotional book, Joy in the Journey - Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. For more information on Lori's book, click HERE.

If you would like more information on having Lori speak to your homeschool group, click HERE. 


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14 comments:

  1. Love this- and so agree...I so need to start the day with the most important appointment written right in my planner: time with Him.Great post! The book looks so good. SOmeday I will get it!

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  2. 6Warren611:07 AM

    Excellent suggestions for not just beginning the day, but for keeping it going on positively. I'm taking a class now on spiritual formation, and much of it is dealing with some of the issues you discuss here, and how spiritual leaders since he early church have spent their time with God. Good post.

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  3. lorihatcher2:56 PM

    Warren, we can't lose when we follow Jesus' model. I mean, if the God/man recognized the need to start his day sitting at the Father's feet, then I certainly should! Thanks for your encouragement, and may God bless your class!

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  4. lorihatcher2:59 PM

    Dawn, one time I had a phone interview scheduled with Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter. The night before, her secretary emailed me a reminder. I laughed out loud, thinking, "There is NO WAY I would ever forget and appointment with such an important person," yet I find sometimes that I'm WAY too casual about my appointment with the most important One in the universe -- my heavenly Father. May we always remember where our priorities for our day should begin. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I used to love my early mornings in prayer with My Father... in my current season of life (two very young boys) I just can't make that time anymore... but I've started using another time of my day as His alone - I consider that the start of my next "day" even if it's not the beginning of the day. For now it works for me. I am looking forward to a season in the future when my morning time returns.

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  6. TheHumbledBeginnings11:18 PM

    This is such a great post, thanks for sharing! I've always had a problem with needing to be in control and all I did was plan, plan, plan my life away. I realized that I've always been busy, but never productive. I put my relationship with God on the back burner and I was never content with what was going on in my life. Right out of college I found a great job which is what I really wanted, but it took me even further away from the Lord. Once I let go of the control, I asked him to guide me in the way He wants me to go. I quit my job and since then I've had much more time on my hands. It's really different for me not knowing where my life is headed (especially because I'm an avid planner and goal setter), but I've never felt so productive and content and close to Him. Even when the only thing I have to do on my agenda for the day is to read my bible and journal, I feel like it's enough. I've recently felt called to start a blog to connect with other Christians and share my testimony and His word, so here I am. If you have time, please take a look at my blog and follow me if you'd like. It'd be great to fellowship with other bloggers. God bless!


    www.thehumbledbeginnings.blogspot.com

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  7. lorihatcher10:48 AM

    Marissa, you are wise to recognize that life has its different seasons, and one never looks like the next. During the active time of my parenting, I'd often set aside the first part of my daughters' nap times for my time with the Lord. Even though my active self wanted to jump right into the activities I couldn't do when they were awake, I soon learned that the most important activity that deserved the best of my quiet time was time spent with the Lord. Somehow, when I honored him with the first fruits of my precious "alone" time, he multiplied the rest of my time. I never regretted spending that time with him, but I often regretted when I let priorities get out of order and I skipped that time. God bless you as you honor him, even in the busy parenting times!

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  8. lorihatcher10:50 AM

    Your testimony of seeking God first is so encouraging. You'll be amazed at the opportunities he brings your way because you are willing and eager to let him guide and use you. Congratulations on your new blog, too. May God richly bless your efforts and use you to impact many in his name!

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  9. Lori, I love this! You've given us some great tools to bring greater richness to our time with our Lord. I appreciate how you commit your day to Him! I'm great at talking to Him, but I need to be a better listener!

    Blessings to you ~ Mary

    I wanted to thank you for leaving such a beautiful comment at my place. I appreciate your compassionate and obedient heart♥

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  10. Ann Pop9:51 AM

    Hi, Lori! I agree! Our quiet time with God should be a priority before any other plans for the day. Love your suggestions. My quiet time is a little different...Along with reading Scripture and prayer, I journal every day(have for 27 years). I also like to write down all the blessings he has given me (a great way to keep my attitude in check). On nice days, I like to walk outside with my camera in hand to take in God's amazing creation!

    I appreciate you stopping in at my blog and leaving a comment!
    Blessings, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

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  11. Lori, this is AWESOME! My life changed once I began sitting at His feet each and every day. Thank you for this reminder. I still slip up sometimes and, let's just say, that spells disaster :/ Bless you sweet friend, Nan

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  12. Isn't it amazing to think that God is there waiting for us to commune with Him? And sometimes I just think that I am "too busy." I would agree with you that our day and week definitely goes better when we give it to the Lord and get into His word. Thanks for encouraging and reminding us today!

    Also, thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! ;)

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  13. This is just perfect!!
    you gave me some ideas.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this past week. I always look forward to your posts.

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  14. Good time management is more essential for our success. Time management tools and techniques that we should use to achieve maximum productivity. Normally, some time management tools takes a little time to learn about the features and funtionalities.

    I just read about the software that I’ve been using for almost a year. My office has become very organized since we started using it and we’re quite happy about the way we work with it. Here's the link ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ) to know more about this application.

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