Perhaps an author of bygone days was permitted the leisure of penning a work and leaving all else to publishing people. Today’s author must also be given to social media engagement, marketing, writers conferences, blogging—where is the time to write?
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven …
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
My time-management skills are far from perfected. But as a homeschooling mom and lay minister with precious few hours to write, I’m motivated to faithfully put into practice three things I’ve learned so far.
Time needs to be ORDERED. A no-brainer, right? Ordering time begins with a calendar and then goes on to account for the items without an entry. Household chores, down time, and fitness for both soul (Bible-reading & prayer) and body (exercise) can get pushed aside if time is not allotted for them. Omitting them on occasion is unavoidable. Missing them regularly may overtake us with a vengeance.
Time needs to be RESPONSIVE. You can only call it flexible if you’ve ordered your time and then have something to flex from. Responsive time allows me to be sensitive to the needs of others and cultivate healthy relationships. (Some of the most important conversations I have shift something else.) Perhaps most importantly, responsive time helps me accept God making a change to the schedule He owns anyway.
Time needs to be PURPOSEFUL. Urgency and deadlines do motivate a person to focus on the task at hand. But unless I’ve defined with God what His purpose for my life is, and I keep my eye on that goal, my less-focused hours are easily wasted on activities which undermine my true purpose. Like money, time impulsively spent on the wrong thing makes it unavailable for the right thing.
The writer’s soul longs to produce something bigger than itself. Our art is transformation of ideas from abstract to concrete, leaving our stamp upon the world. Words are our medium—words of purpose purchased with time.
… What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
I have seen the God-given task
with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also He has put eternity in their hearts …
~ Ecclesiastes (3:9-11)
The rest of us are dying to know! What’s your own best time-management tip?