Friday, January 12, 2018

The Five Steps to Making the Most of Your Time: Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not a tremendous fan of New Year’s Resolutions. In the last week or so, Casey and I have seen the population surge and dwindle at our favorite fitness center. 

I am a bigger fan of Ephesians 5:15–16 which says, 
[15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (ESV)

I like to use my time wisely, and I have tried so many methods, it could make your head spin. I think I have finally found one that works, is easy to follow, and is easy to replicate. I have tried explaining it to a handful of folks, and no one has fallen asleep yet, so stay with me.

Here are my five steps to making the most of your time:
1) Start from the Bottom Up. 
See the diagram in this post. Resolve that your purpose in life is to glorify God—nothing else. Consider passages of Scripture like 1 Corinthians 10:31, 2 Corinthians 5:9, Psalm 1:1-2, and Ephesians 2:8-9 as passages that can firm up that resolve.

2) Your Roles and Responsibilities Flow Up From Your Purpose. 
Make a list of all of your roles and responsibilities. There are personal roles...
Child of God

And there are ministry roles...
Elder overseeing Outreach Ministries, Buddy Program, Community Compassion Ministries, etc.

You might have others…
Work team manager
Rotary Club member

3) Decide a Time Period for God-Glorifying Projects Related to Roles/Responsibilities.
I decide upon projects I can accomplish for every role during a certain time period. It is easy for me to think fall, spring, and summer semester, but it might be easier for you to think about quarters. You decide. Some roles have multiple projects, some have one, and some may not have a project for your current time period. 
I list these projects at the start of each semester.
Some samples are...
Child of God:
Study Colossians for 2-3 hours a week.
Memorize a passage of Scripture every two weeks.
Read spiritual books for at least a half hour 4 times a week in the evenings 

Elder overseeing Outreach Ministries:
Ask someone or a couple to direct the Donut Run and Run for the House
Ask someone or a couple to direct Community Days summer outreach
Contact care leaders about getting an outreach coordinator for each group
Plan out spring semester schedule for a class called: Making Convos Gospel-Centered

Some of your projects might have multiple steps. If so, write out each step.

4) Make a Weekly To Do List
In the past, I could not tell you what I should start working on at the start of a week. My answer would have been, “Whatever is right in front of me.” I had no sense of priority. In step 4, go over your projects every Sunday night or Monday morning and make a weekly to do list. This helps you to not loose track of projects and also helps you know what is best for you to work on. This also helps me to think through what are the best things for me to do not only in my work, but also with home projects, discipling my kids, and planning time with Casey.

5) Make a Daily To Do List
Each morning, I look at my Weekly List and decide what to do that day. Of course some things are daily things (especially those related to being a Child of God), but not all are. I don’t put down too many things so I have some flex time to put out fires. 

Hope this helps! I use the Evernote app across all my Apple devices to do all of the above, but you could use paper and pencil for this if you wanted to. Let me know if I can help you!

Pastor Ben

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