22 Feb Managing the Ticking Clock
Time – A Gift from God in a 24/7 world
As each the day dawns, women buzz with activity, from packing lunchboxes, prying sleepy heads out of their beds, arranging kids’ backpacks, managing sibling rivalry, cooking, answering phone calls, revision of school work, sending off husband for work- to hosting guests, clearing away the mounting laundry and what not! Managing time for working women, in fact all women becomes imperative every day. It is almost a rat race for a woman who is pursuing an ambitious career.
Sandwiched between such tasks comes the responsibility to spend time with the Lord, pray, attend Bible studies, church programmes and also travel for the ministry. Oft times the mounting workload can take a toll on one’s health, if a woman is not able to prioritize her time and manage things efficiently. With good time management, it will be possible to balance the work, family, ministry, reduce stress and increase productivity.
One of the most precious gifts given by God is time and each moment is of great value to God. A day has 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds and God calls us to be good stewardesses of time. Paul rightly puts it in Ephesians 5:16 as , “Redeem your time”(KJV). Therefore it is mandatory for Christian women to make wise use of God given time.
God inhabits eternity (Is. 57:15 ). Since He is the beginning and the end, He has been around from the beginning , even before time existed. The Bible says, “With God one day is a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day(2 Pet:3:8). So God cannot be blocked within a time frame. Though God has no time frame, He emphasized on the right usage of our time several times. God works on time, though we might feel that we had waited long for him. His delays are not denials rather He always acts on time. Since we, as humans, are time bound it is destined for us as women to use our wisdom in the management of our time.
During the middle ages, the sin of sloth had two forms
- Paralysis – not able to do anything
- Busyness – Running around frantically doing everything
Sometimes, we subtly fall into the second category of being busy at all times. Someone said , BUSY means Being Under Satan’s Yoke. Being too busy can be sin. When we become too busy and feel like Job, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6). As godly women, we need to learn time management because our time is a gift from God and we need to give account back to Him.
Here are a few tips for proper time management.
- Assume Responsibility (Eph. 5:16)
Know what your tasks are and assume responsibility in finishing them. It can be as menial as hanging the laundry or answering a mail.
- Plan Your Schedule (Pro. 16:3)
Plan the previous night allotting 10 minutes and jot down your responsibilities for the next day. If you’d like to use smart phones instead of diaries, the app called “KEEP” helps.
- Prioritize (Matt. 6:33)
Start the day by having your devotion with God. With too many tasks to handle, you get confused, not knowing where to start. Don’t cram up all your work at a time. Prioritize into, ‘Important’, ‘Urgent’ , ‘After a week’, etc. Set deadlines and finish your task.
- Stay Organized (Exo. 40:1-16)
Our God is an excellent organizer and he instructed Moses on setting up the tabernacle. God also had a good aesthetic sense of the size, color of curtains to be hung. Keep your home organized and orderly. Organize your belongings, wardrobes, mails, kitchen grocery, cutlery, files, clothes, etc.
- Don’t Procrastinate (Pro. 6:4)
Proverbs 6:8 in one version says, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, do it now”. Procrastination is a thief of time. Finish the planned work on the same day. Never keep off doing dishes, devotional time, family prayer, sending a mail, visiting the sick, calling a friend or doing the laundry. The more you procrastinate, there is going to be a huge workload the next day. Rejoice as you do simple chores such as these cause, every little thing you do with all your heart brings glory to God. (1 Cor:10:31)
- Delegate (Exo. 18:13-26), (2 Tim.2:2)
If your husband could help out in doing certain chores, that would be great. Delegating can include cleaning the refrigerator, folding laundry, dusting furniture, arranging books , serving at tables, etc. These tasks can be taught and delegated to children as well. Sharing your task or delegating it to those at your work spot may also help in managing time.
- Sleep (Ps. 4:7,8; 3:5)
A good night’s rest is essential for productivity at work. Sleep for at least 6-7 hours at night. Business Insider says that, “Successful women plan their tasks early in the morning after a relaxed sleep at night”. The quiet hours of the morning are ideal and calm for a morning devotional time for a woman.
- Eliminate the Unimportant
We desperately need to be energized and refreshed in between the day, so chop up some time that you spend on Facebook, Twitter, Watsapp , Gossip , Pin interest, Online shopping, etc.
- Be Assertive (Eph. 4:15)
Say “Yes” when you want to say “yes” and say “No” when you ought to say “ No”. As women we try to please every Tom, Dick and Harry which is an impossibility, so “CALL OFF” or say “NO” to certain meetings, birthday parties, etc and have a relaxing siesta.
Take Short Breaks/ Hobbies
- Take real breaks not fake ones. I take a stroll with my husband if work gets hectic. Breaks for women can also mean going for window shopping, reading a book or even going to a hotel.
The magazine, Christianity Today rightly says, “Women do not need to be, nor can they be, all things , to all people, all the time. Trying to be so, leaves them drained and exhausted.” Proverbs 31 speaks of a woman of noble character who was an excellent wife, a mother, an organizer and a planner. May we be transformed into the image of Christ to reflect his likeness in our mundane activities of everyday. As women who love and wish serve the Lord, may we learn to practice to redeem our time that is given as a loan from our God and glorify His name by the right utility of each God given moment.
Sarah Susannah Anji
The author and her husband Anji are UESI Staffworkers in Uttarakhand