I have learned a few tricks to help me beat the clock. They may be helpful to you.
I realize that all my time is God's time and all my time is my time by His delegation. God owns me and my time. Yet, He has given me a measure of time over which I am a steward. I can commit that time to work for other people, visit other people, etc., but it is time for which I must give an account.
Concentration and Focus
Time can be redeemed by concentration and focus. One of the greatest wastes of time occurs in the human mind. Our hands may be busy but our minds idle. Likewise, our hands may be idle while our minds are busy. Woolgathering, daydreaming, and indulging in frivolous fantasy are ways in which thoughts may be wasted in real time. To focus our minds on the task at hand—with fierce concentration—makes for productive use of time.
Ordinary or Mechanical
The mind can redeem valuable time taken up by ordinary or mechanical functions. For example, the mechanics of taking a shower are not difficult. In this setting, the mind is free for problem solving, creative thinking, or the composition of themes. Many of my messages and lectures are germinated in the shower. When I used to play a lot of golf, I found that the time I had between shots was a great time for composing messages in my mind.
Use your leisure time for pursuits that are life-enriching. Reading is a valuable use of time. Augustine once advised believers to learn as many things as possible, since all truth is God's truth. Other avocations that are enriching are in the area of the arts. I also enjoy working crossword puzzles to warm up the little gray cells and expand my vista of verbal expression.
Find ways to cheat the "sandman." My habit has been to retire between 8 and 9 p.m. when possible and rise at 4 a.m. This has affected a wonderful revolution for my schedule. The early hours of the day are free from distractions and interruptions, a marvelous time for study, writing, and prayer.
Use driving time for learning. Driving a car is a mechanical function that allows the mind to be alert to more than what is happening on the roadway. The benefits of recordings can be put to great use during these times.
Finally, in most cases, a schedule is more liberating than restricting. Working with a schedule helps enormously to organize our use of time. The schedule should be a friend, not an enemy. It helps us find the rhythm for a God-glorifying, productive life.
- Productivity: Redeeming Your Time
- Productivity: Simple Tricks
Scriptures for further study: Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:8; Romans 8:5; Psalm 57:8; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 59:16