I’m a full-time working mom to three young kids. Add in a husband, late nights of work, extracurricular activities, and a home to take care of, it can be “full-on crazy town.” Regardless of what busyness fills your life, it is important to take control of how you prioritize tasks if you’re going to navigate life being pulled in so many directions every day. Busyness can lead to aimlessness, if you let it. I focus on the following three areas regularly to manage my time.
Rise early, and set yourself up for success the night before.
Get up in the morning as early as possible. It’s no coincidence that the Bible makes a point to emphasize the importance of rising early in the morning. We see Jesus model the importance of getting up before anyone else several times in the Bible, sometimes so early that it is still dark out (Mark 1:35). Getting up early allows time for us to organize thoughts and goals for the day, cast our cares on him, and spend time in the Word.
When I’m exhausted from a particularly long day, it can be pure dread to imagine getting up early the next day, especially if I already had a late night. To maximize my likelihood of getting up before my family, I do as much as I can the night before like making lunches, setting out my clothes, or preparing my devotions for the next morning. Knowing these practical tasks are done before I even wake up unburdens me of feeling overwhelmed and motivates me to get up early the next day.
Designate times to plan and discuss important discussions.
Early on in my marriage, it would not be uncommon for me to make a phone call to Matt in the middle of our workdays to discuss an “urgent” matter, because it “could not wait” until later. I was also in an endless cycle of frustration because if I waited, I wasn’t sure I would remember the issue. However, my husband was feeling ambushed and unprepared to have these middle of the day discussions. Through much prayer (and marital conflict), we settled on designating specific times throughout the week to talk about certain things that needed more thoughtful discussion. This has helped to:
- Keep thoughts in their rightful place. Scheduling time for discussions helps me to be more self-controlled throughout the day;
- Set expectations for what each other’s responsibilities are in the home and family. This also allows us to care for one another by picking up the slack when the opportunity arises;
- Delegate or remove responsibilities that don’t absolutely need to be done.
Remember what really matters when we consider our busy schedules.
The American way is to be busy. We are busy with work, kids, activities, and school. Frankly, we are just busy with ourselves. In Ecclesiastes, the writer explores these numerous dead ends where people try to find potential meaning in life (work, riches, knowledge, food, etc.), and exclaims throughout the text that they are all vanity. Upon taking stock of people meaninglessly toiling away, he wonders if the dead are more fortunate than the living (Ecc. 4:2).
Indeed, a life that is without meaning is hopeless and full of despair, so we must instead live a life with eternity in mind in order for God to help us make sense of it all. Sister, if you are burdened with the endless busyness of life and aren’t sure where to start, I pray that you’ll begin with allowing God to meet you right where you are and seeing it all with a sense of eternity in your heart.