tips for effective time management

Without effective time management, life becomes a circus. But effective time management is extremely difficult to maintain.

Many of us have to balance providing for our families physically, emotionally, and spiritually, while working a job, tackling passion projects, keeping God the center of our lives, and resting enough to avoid total burn out. If we struggle to maintain balance with everything on our plate, either we have to remove one of the items on our plate, or change tactics. For most of us, removing an item is unacceptable.

So today I wanted to share some tips for effective time management that can make finding equilibrium a bit easier. (Notice: easier. You won’t find any magic bullets here—only simple, effective suggestions.)

Tip 1: Pray now, not later.

Prayer eradicates fear, anxiety, and stress, which are some of the biggest time-drains in the universe. If we start our day by resting in Jesus, he will give us the peace, clarity, and energy we need to tackle the day’s troubles. I’ve found that if I don’t spend the first hour of my day in prayer, my whole day collapses. Might be different for you, but my guess is it won’t.

Tip 2: Think of your time like money, then spend it on what’s most important first.

This could result in some pretty widely varying results, depending on what you think is important. But if you hold fast to Tip 1, our answers should look pretty similar. God is of primary importance, so he has to be our #1 focus. After that comes our family’s physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing (that means we actually have to be with them, not just pay for their phone bill). Next is everyone else. Then our passions. If we invert this, we get one tipsy pyramid. And tipsy pyramids just squish people. That’s no bueno.

Tip 3: Resist the impulse to fill up every hour of your time.

To-do lists are like bunnies—they multiply, only way faster and more annoyingly. Of course it’s good to plan things into your schedule and to volunteer for good causes. Just make sure you give yourself enough reasonable margin. And make sure that reasonable margin is reasonably larger than you think is reasonable.

Tip 4: Don’t be lazy.

To get things done we (sadly) have to do things. I’ve wasted my fair share of hours wishing there were some elves who could swoop in and mow my lawn, or finish that annoying scene I couldn’t quite get right. But elves don’t exist. Or do they?

Tip 5: Fast from entertainment.

No, I don’t mean run quickly away from entertainment (though that might be a fun exercise *bu-dun-tssss!* –have I mentioned I’m obsessed with puns?). Instead, commit to resisting that binge-watching-netflix-impulse for a week or maybe even *gasp* a month. I know. I can feel the cold sweats coming already. But really, when I started measuring how much time I wasted on meaningless entertainment that left me feeling hollow and exhausted, it was way more time than I had anticipated. This applies to mindless-facebook-news-feed-scrolling, too. Studies have shown that entertainment in large doses literally rewires our brains and builds a dependency on those feel-good chemicals our brain releases when we “level up” or catch another Bulbasaur, until we’re crippled in our ability to function in a healthy manner.

So why are you still reading this blog? Get out there and get your life back under control! But first, be sure to share this to every single one of your social medias, subscribe to the blog, buy my latest book, and donate at least $1,000 to my kickstarter campaign (link forthcoming) where I hope to raise enough money to never have to work again. See ya later time management issues! Woohoo!

(But seriously, share and subscribe)