Time is our most valuable asset. But the way our minds look at time often hinders us instead of helping us lead a life full of what matters most to each of us.
We think there is never enough time, that we have so much to do, that there is never enough time to get it all done.
But is this really true?
How is it that one person can get so much done in one day and another struggles to get through the bare minimum?
Time doesn’t change, but the way you think about it will change your experience of time.
Do you want a better relationship with yourself and how you use your time? What if you could always feel as if you always had enough time for everything? That there was plenty of it? And that you got to enjoy all the things you chose to do with your time?
Read on to learn how to manage your mind within time. You’ll learn to clarify your schedule and bring true peace to your life.
Time is just a mental construct we humans have put on ourselves. It’s the thoughts in our minds that convince us we don’t have enough time, not a fact of reality. What’s so important is the way we manage ourselves and our minds within that earthly construct.
YOU get to choose, direct, guide, and assign meaning to any and all thoughts you think about your time, your schedule, what’s happening in your day, whether it’s enough or not enough, how you’re spending each moment, and how you feel about each thing you’re doing.
You have far more control over utilizing your time than you’ve ever let yourself believe.
Satan loves to keep us thinking we are too busy. Why? Because preoccupation with events, tasks, solving problems, and getting things done is a surefire way to distract us from trusting in God. Distraction with busy-ness allows our thoughts to be directed toward earthly things rather than heavenly.
But there is power within you to manage your time instead of time managing you. You will no longer be at the disposal of outside forces. You will manage your time in a purposeful and joyful way. You will do things with ease.
There are a few common limiting beliefs that my clients often fall into. When I hear them voice any of the following thoughts, I can see why they are suffering in how they think about their time management.
Here are three limiting beliefs many of us have about time management and the alternative, “turnaround” thoughts you can think instead.
I take ownership that no one “makes” me do anything. I have power to add or subtract from my to-do list. Even the things our brains try to convince us are mandatory, like laundry or making dinner, are choices.
It’s the difference between saying, “I have to do this,” vs. “I choose to do this,” or even, “I get to do this.”
Question that thought, “I have to do this.” Is that absolutely true? How do you know it’s true? What if you didn’t have to? What do you make it mean about yourself if you’re a mom that doesn’t make dinner? (Providing cereal or spaghetti for dinner works too!)
Deep down, you may find out you CHOOSE to make dinner because you want to. There is a lighter feeling to be had instead of believing you have to, which feels heavy and defeating.
How I think about my schedule, time, business, and family life is 100% up to me. I choose what I want to believe, how I want to feel, and what I’m going to do or not do with my time.
I may choose to continue doing laundry, but ask my family for help getting dinner on the table each night. Neither choice is right or wrong, but just that -- a choice.
When our schedules are full, it’s easy to convince ourselves that every event on the calendar and every task on the list is vital. And if we believe that thought, we likely feel overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, and trapped.
The alternative to the belief that everything is important is the belief that just a few things matter.
To find what truly matters and make sure those items are reflected in your schedule, I recommend writing down all the things you’re currently doing in a time journal.
Then make a second list of the things that are most important to you. This list might include exercise, time alone with your husband, time with friends, connecting with Christ in some way during the day, individual time with each of your children, your work, etc.
Now it’s time to evaluate if what you are currently doing matches up with your priorities. Are there any tasks, events, commitments, or responsibilities you can let go of that don’t line up with your priorities?
If you’re not sure about a particular item on the list, ask yourself:
When you’ve prioritized the items on your schedule, it becomes clear what can stay and what can go. It may not be easy to actually let that item go, but you no longer have to feel guilty when you say no. You are staying true to your priorities.
I’m a recovering perfectionist. I was always the one who could do it all right. I tied my worth to the success of each project I took on. I always said yes. You can guess where that led: burnout, exhaustion, and disappointment when things didn’t go perfectly.
Now when I slip back into thinking I can do it all, I remind myself that it’s all about tradeoffs. Sure, I can stay up late to get a work project done. But the tradeoff will be getting less sleep or not having time with my husband that evening.
I can get five loads of laundry done today… but the tradeoff may be not having time to relax or read a book.
I can watch five episodes in a row of my favorite Netflix series, in exchange for not going on a walk outside.
I’m not judging or shaming myself or you with these examples! They are all worthy options for how to spend your time… IF you determine that the choice serves you.
The point is that “doing it all” is not really doing it all. Everything you choose to do has a tradeoff of some kind. When you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else.
Be aware of this and like your reasons why you choose one thing over another.
It seems counterintuitive when our lives are filled with responsibilities, long to-do lists, and things that "have to" get done, that we would be better off dedicating more time to God.
And yet this is true!
This truth offers a double benefit to us. First, because spending time with God can never be wasted time -- He is the source of all the things you need and want.
Second, by taking time to be with God, you will be guided in how to spend your remaining time more wisely.
He knows your future and what's best for you, so why not take the time to ask Him to reveal it to you?
When you sit in silence, pray to heaven, or read the Word of God or a devotional, you fine-tune your internal guidance system -- the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Your path will unfold right in front of your eyes.
No more guesswork on what you should be doing, for as you make room daily to spend time communing with God, you will hear his voice and KNOW what you should do.
“Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10
Do you see how the power is within you to manage your time by managing your own powerful, God-given mind?
You really can choose to believe, “There is plenty of time.” How would you go about your tasks and responsibilities throughout your day if you believed that was true? It’s always an option. And it feels so much better to be productive from a feeling of peace rather than a feeling of stress.
When you truly shift responsibility for your schedule from outside circumstances to your own thinking, you find peace in your life and the ability to create the life you want.
If you need help making this shift yourself, I would be honored to help you in a free 30-minute consult call. Learn more and schedule your call here.