Trustworthy Tips for Time Management (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #12.2)


We dreamers and creators are always working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. Along the journey to realizing our hopes and aspirations we’ll encounter opposition and setbacks, and we’ll need to be able to endure delays and disappointments. Sadly, when “life happens,” it’s tempting to give up on our dreams and creative pursuits. If we want to stay the course and fulfill our destinies, we’ll need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves. To get this Divine support, we’ll need some basic training … to follow several important spiritual steps.

1. Write the Vision

2. Have FAITH that God is able to accomplish the vision -- and will bring it to pass

3. Feed your Faith and Dreams

4. Commit your Efforts to God

5. Tap into the Power of Prayer

5.2. Tips on Prayers for Creators & Dreamers

6. Trust God for Guidance

7. Seek and Trust God for Supernatural Favor

8. Manage your Mind

8.2. More on Managing your Mind

9. Adjust your Attitude (1/6/17)

10. Watch your Words (1/9/17)

10.2. Implement Praise (1/13/17)

11. Do Strength Training (1/20/17)

11.2. More Strength Training (1/23/17)

11.3. More Joy, More Strength (1/27/17)

12. Manage your Time (Monday, 1/30/17)

12.2   Trustworthy Tips for Time Management

As we previously discussed, good Time Management skills are absolutely essential for creators and dreamers. But using our time wisely is also a Biblical mandate. After all, time is the single most precious resource we have: when it’s gone, it’s long gone; and we can’t beg, borrow, or steal more of it. Hence, God expects us to make the most of it. Here’s how:

  • As in dealing with money, we need to understand the value of time without becoming obsessed with it, lest we become misers of every single minute. And yet, we must never lose sight of the bigger picture — and what we’re hoping to accomplish in life. So, spend your time wisely. Remember, the next time you’re goofing off (excessively so), that instead, you could be hatching grand schemes and chasing big dreams! (It’s our favorite sport!)
  • Like money, time is also a precious resource that needs to be shared. If we’re pursuing a dream, working to achieve a goal, we tend to be stingy with our resources, including our precious time. We may begin to give our time more and more sparingly, and perhaps grudgingly. It’s easy to get the mindset that we can’t afford to spend our time on anything or anyone but ourselves. Like a “minute miser,” we begin to hoard every brief moment, scowling like Ebenezer Scrooge, over every last second of the day.

But do we really want to get that obsessed with our dreams? Is that truly the ticket to success? Not according to Brian Taylor, a popular author and speaker on self development. Taylor states, “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?'”

Most importantly, what does God think? The Lord proclaims, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38 NLT)

Here’s that Law of Reciprocity, again! (Previously mentioned in relation to Strength Training.) What we share with others eventually comes back to us — some way, some how, in some desirable form. It’s one of life’s great mysteries, but it works. And it applies not just to money, but also to love, acceptance, forgiveness … and time. There are many scriptures that reiterate this law, and unknowingly, even non-believers have embraced it, associating it with the idea of good karma and the phrase “what goes around comes around.”

  • So, it actually pays to make time for others. Sure, use your time wisely, but don’t be stingy with it, either. Don’t get frustrated with well-meaning people who take up your time. People aren’t problems, but people often have problems. Help a few of them, and you help yourself. For the good of us all, our world needs more Barnabas’s! (Or facilitators, named for our greatest example, in Acts 9:26-31.)
  • Make your plans. Keep a schedule. But be flexible.

Let’s stop viewing people as interruptions to our schemes and dreams. Instead, let’s view them through God’s loving eyes, as precious individuals struggling with problems or dealing with some difficult situation — as we all do; people who can use an encouraging word and a sympathetic ear.* So share your life. Share your resources: your money, your talents, your time! Ultimately you’ll benefit the most: being flexible (and therefore, relaxed) will enable you to keep your peace and joy, which are essential ingredients to maintaining the positive, faith-filled attitude that facilitates creativity and the pursuit of dreams.

Interestingly, experts on the subject of time-management have found that “busy” people have no problem finding time for the things they consider “important.” What’s truly important? When Jesus Christ was asked, What is the Greatest Commandment, the Lord responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37-39 TLB)

Since relationships and human interaction are perhaps the most important aspects of life, we need to make time for them. We must never get so caught up in our creative activities, so consumed by our goals and ambitions, that we forget the God who gave us our dreams and visions, as well as the gifts and talents to pursue them. Similarly, because God treasures all people, we must never neglect those around us.

Sounds like a lot of work to add to an already busy schedule. But if we properly manage our time, we can keep our priorities straight. We can be a blessing to others even as we persevere in the pursuit of our dreams. Ask the Lord to help you use time wisely and efficiently … and with compassion. Take stock in the knowledge that God understands all things, and He knows the value of your time.

Now, declare with us, “…I trust in You, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands….” (Psalm 31:14-15 NIV)

[*We’ll play the flip-side of this record when we discuss “Vanquish the Vampires.” Social vampires are those overly needy pains-in-the-neck, who never learn from their mistakes, refuse to take responsibility or even sound advice, complain about everything under the sun, and who love to hear themselves whine.]

Next: The Mechanics of Time Management: “Get Organized.”


Manage Your Time (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #12)


12.  Manage your Time

Good Time Management is an important skill everyone should develop, but it’s absolutely essential for creators and dreamers. Each of us is allotted just 24 hours a day to accomplish multiple tasks, so we need to spend our time wisely. And if we’re actively pursuing a dream, trying to reach a goal, then we’ll always have important things to do, places to go, people to see. So, we can’t afford to squander our time on unproductive activities that don’t add value to our physical, emotional or spiritual well-being — and which don’t get us any closer to our goals.

No, we’re not veering off course. Boot Camp for Creators and Dreamers is all about learning the spiritual steps necessary to reach our goals — and properly managing our time is actually a Biblically-mandated and extremely spiritual discipline. After all, time is the single most precious resource we have: when it’s gone, it’s long gone; and we can’t beg, borrow, or steal more of it. Hence, God expects us to use it wisely; as with any gift
or valuable resource, God wants us to be good stewards of the time He’s given us here on earth.

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29 NLT)

In a practical sense, how we spend our time will determine how much we can accomplish; whether we’ll meet our obligations each day, as well as the personal (goal-oriented) tasks we set for ourselves; and ultimately whether we’ll reach our full potential and achieve our dreams — or not. When we’re not careful (and wise) with our 24-Hours-A-Day allowance, we often run out of time before we’ve completed our creative “To Do” List.

Productive peoplethose who “find” the time to get things done — know how to wisely budget their time. They rarely squander this important resource. Instead, they’ve mastered the skill of time management, and they make the most of each and every day. Productive people follow the Apostle Paul’s admonishment, “…See that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage….], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 AMP)

How do we make “the very most” of our time? By using it efficiently: by being productive; by filling our time with sensible and worthwhile activities that bring us closer to God and our goals (or which have a positive impact on our world); by making every minute count; sometimes by multitasking, but almost always by making smart choices about when, where, and how we’ll spend our time.

Because there are so many people, needs, responsibilities, and activities vying for our attention and time (yes, literally), so it’s always important to ask the Lord for discernment and direction. Opting to spend time pursuing your dreams rather than wasting time watching too much TV is a no-brainer. However, other choices may not be so obvious. Prayer can help you to prioritize your schedule, and keep you on track. Staying tuned in to God and in touch with His priorities can also prevent you from going to the other extreme: becoming mean-hearted and stingy with your time.

We never want to reach a point where we’re obsessed with time management, always preoccupied with our schedule and plans — bound by the hands on the clock. We need some balance, a bit of moderation in all things. Proper time management will help us reach our goals more quickly, but it’s also important to enjoy the “journey” to fulfilling our dreams. Face it, when you’re speeding down the highway of life in pursuit of your goals, all the beautiful “scenery” you pass along the way becomes little more than a blur.

Let’s clarify something: we’re always careful to make time for friends and family; and we periodically take time to go for a walk, play a board game, or watch a good movie. We need such diversions to help keep our sanity. But maintaining that balance is essential. We never want to spend ALL of our time hanging out and having fun. If you have unfulfilled dreams, you need to stay focused.

  • Time is a valuable commodity. Ben Franklin once said, “Time is money.” Not exactly true, but close enough. Time is a valuable resource you can’t replenish. It’s easy to turn over an hourglass and restart the flow of sand; but in life, once the real sands of time run out, we can’t reclaim a single grain. We spend time; and we often describe this time as being wellspent. On other occasions we may grumble that we’ve wasted our time. We may speak of time we’ve invested in a person or a project. We might even joke about stealing a moment from our busy schedules.

If you view time the same way you should be viewing money, then you’ll have a better grasp of how important time is, and how to maintain the proper balance. Example: You get paid (you have some time on your hands), but how will you spend your resources? You first need to take care of some nagging debts (social obligations); then you decide to invest for your future (devote time to achieving your dreams); finally, you have something
leftover and you decide to spring for a mocha latte and a Cinnabon (you spend some leisure time — doing something absolutely mindless, if you want, like playing tiddlywinks).

  • So budget your time. Do the math. Spend your hours and days wisely. Make sure you have something to show for each and every “purchase.”

Remember, the next time you’re goofing off (excessively so), that instead, you could be hatching grand schemes and chasing big dreams! (It’s our favorite sport!)

To Be Continued: Trustworthy Tips on Time-Management.