Monday, October 22, 2012

Protect Your Time



I don’t know anyone who says there are just too many hours in the day, and they don’t know what to do with all their free time. Our culture seems to admire busyness, but if we’re going to reach our dreams, we need to learn how to step out of busyness and into living out our purpose.

Make Your Goals a Priority. Faith and family definitely need to stay at the top of the priority list, but if our dreams are important to us, we need to make sure they’re not getting buried by less important things. Once you’ve identified your priorities, determine a specific time and space for accomplishing them.  

Learn to Say No. Give someone else an opportunity to host that get-together or to chair that committee. Try making a list of the areas in your life where you want to spend your time. When someone asks you to add something new to your schedule, refer back to your list before making a decision. 

Identify Time Zappers. Sometimes I waste precious time without even realizing it. Keep a log of where you spend your time for two days. It may reveal time wasters you hadn’t noticed. After we identify those things, we can put measures in place to control them. Set a timer by your computer while you’re searching on the internet. Only allow yourself to watch shows you’ve recorded on DVR instead of surfing channels. Turn off your cell phone during certain hours of the day. 

Does busyness threaten to keep you from reaching your dreams? How do you protect your time?

30 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, there are a million and one things to do every day! I have been learning to say no, which at times makes me feel bad. I just have to be sure I'm not saying no to the wrong things.

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    1. I'm with you. I usually feel guilty when I say no, but I'm learning the more I do it, the better I get at it.

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  2. Yes, sometimes I spend more time online then I should. Great reminders, Julie!

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  3. Chores are my biggest threat!!! My house is certainly not spotless but there are a few things that have to get done or I feel crazy! lol Unfortunately, I'll do those and not get my writing in....

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    1. And there's always a load of laundry to do or toys to pick up.

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  4. Thank you Julie. In a world that loves busyness, its hard to go against the flow. I love how taking time to slow, usually opens your eyes to bigger truths!

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    1. So true. I think we've lost the art of being quiet.

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  5. This is EXCELLENT.

    My hubby just gave me a lecture on saying no because I stress myself out otherwise.

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    1. It seems like women are even more guilty than this of men. Men don't usually feel bad about saying no. I think it's hardwired into women.

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  6. Great advice.
    I can wander if I choose, but when I set a goal I'm pretty good about staying on task to get it done. It's the competitive side of me.

    However, I need to turn my phone off like you said because I'll stop what I'm doing to return texts and tweets. LOL

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    1. Hey now! You must keep returning texts and tweets. Those are very important ;)

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  7. Really, really good tips, Julie. Sometimes I worry I've gotten a little too good at saying "no." Then I look at the pile of things I've committed to and change my mind. Haha!! But yeah, protecting our time is important...what's really helped me lately is to remember it's not just my time, it's God's...and I want to be a good steward of that.

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    1. "It's not just my time, it's God's..." Yes!

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  8. Yes! And I totally have trouble saying no. But I was talking about this with my husband about this topic this morning. He was saying it was hard for me to get done what I need to get done because I'm so busy. But you know what? It's not that I'm really that busy, it's that I'm not putting priorities first. And I'm choosing to let my time go unbalanced. Yes, I have a lot to fill my day, but I COULD be getting the important things done more productively if I put them at the top of my list, AND made sure I followed through. (Man, exercise is hard one, though! :D)

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    1. I'm such a procrastinator. It takes a lot of work for me to put the hard stuff first!

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  9. Yes--my time is definitely threatened! So hard to protect it when everything SEEMS important. What I need to do is work on the run, while waiting for the kids in their activities. I also find myself occasionally wasting time without realizing it, even though I *think* I'm making the most of each day.

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    1. I agree. Everything seems important at the time. It's tough to take a step back and re-evaluate.

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  10. Julie, great tips! I've gotten so much better about being intentional with my time. And I'm honing "no thank you" and "I'll have to pass" to a tee.

    Keeping my faith a priority is first place in my life.

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    1. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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    1. That's so true. In my comment to Jennifer I said that it was a female thing to feel guilty about saying no, but that's not true. You're always agreeing to help people out, even when you don't have the time...but that's one of the reasons I love you ;)

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  12. I fritter time way too much! Sigh. Then I feel guilty about wasting so much time and commit to way too much stuff. Then I have to cull back and remember #1. It's a vicious cycle!

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    1. The internet is a blessing and a curse for writers :)

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  13. Great post, Julie! This is another area of my life that I struggle with. You're right. Our culture values being constantly busy/on the go. It's almost seen as lazy or selfish if we decide to scale down and focus on our priorities. Isn't that silly?

    Thanks for the tips. Focusing on what matters most in life gives us the greatest sense of fulfillment and productivity.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Brandi. I hope you're getting all settled in to your new home.

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  14. I have to be so careful not to take on more than I can handle. My days are busy with working full-time and juggling a writing career. Finding the right balance can be tough at times.

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  15. This is great - I needed this reminder! I find that distractions and spur of the moment stuff can eat up my time if I let it. Thanks for helping me off to a good start this week! :)

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  16. I know how I waste most of my time--the Internet and socializing. Thinking seriously of cutting more. We don't watch much TV now that we moved here and can't get many channels so that helps too!

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  17. Time savers...hmmm....streamline activities for my writing career into one day a week, so I can write on the rest of the days.

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