I’ve tried them all. The best advice and tools I could find to manage my time. Batching. Bullet Journaling. Pomodoro Method. And all the planners …. even one I designed myself from scratch.
Each of those things have their own strengths, but still. At the end of the week, I was looking back, wondering why there were so many things left on my to-do list and where all of my time went.
My favorite Bible verse … my life verse … is Matthew 11:28-30
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (MSG)
That verse touches a tender spot way deep in my soul, because I so often feel tired, worn out and burned out. I yearn to live freely and lightly. But another part of the verse I love is where Jesus extends this invitation to us: “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.” The NIV translation says “Learn from me.”
So as I struggled to figure out why my time was the boss of me, I accepted that invitation. I watched how Jesus moved in a gracious rhythm through the pressures of time while living a busy life. I saw three things that I can apply to my life and move towards living freely and lightly.
Jesus focused on what was in front of him at the moment
Jesus was totally present wherever he was present. If he were physically here today, he wouldn’t be the one looking at his iPhone at the dinner table. Or try to write a blog post while watching This is Us. (#guilty #bothcounts)
He pressed into the crowd when people told him there were other “important” needs. He listened, focused and took care of the tasks where he was without being distracted by what was happening elsewhere.
How much more could we get done if we had that kind of focus?
Jesus didn’t worry about what was going undone
How many times did people run to Jesus and tell him he had to do something “right now”? Or how often did he withdraw to rest when there were so many needs?
He didn’t worry about what was going undone because he knew it would be done when it was time to do it. He had in mind a specific time and place where those needs would be taken care of.
Wouldn’t our minds be more free and light if we weren’t weighed down by the nagging feeling that there’s something else we should be doing?
Jesus didn’t try to achieve “balance”
Oh my friends. “Balance” is the greatest time management myth. Do you know what “balance” means? It means applying equal effort to all things at all times. Really?? No wonder we feel so guilty when we fall short of that ideal “balance”. If balance is what we seek, we are set up for failure from the beginning.
Jesus had no concept of “balance”. The rhythms of grace guided him where his attention was most needed. At different times, he would mentor the disciples, school the Pharisees and honor his mother and father. But he didn’t try to do them all at once, or give them equal effort all the time.
Could practicing rhythms instead of chasing the myth of balance keep us from being tired and worn out?
No matter what tools and tips and techniques we use to gain control of our time, instead of letting time control us, we’ll never find any that work better than following these three time management tips I learned from Jesus.
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8 thoughts on “3 Time Management Tips I Learned from Jesus”
Ah, The Message has a way of cutting right to the chase, doesn’t it, Christa!
Advent blessings to you as we wait, as we yearn …
Christa, this has got to be one of my favorite posts. I love your points. God has spoken with me about being fully present where I am. And that being okay with leaving things undone? Yeah, ummmm . . . I might be hanging my head at the moment. I am terrible about that. Closure makes me feel good. That is probably the thing that stretches me the most.
And balance? Someone once showed me an illustration of balance by standing on one foot. She could do it for a few seconds before she began moving one way or the other in order to stay on that one foot. That’s kind of what our lives are like. We teeter one way or the other, depending on where we need to focus.
These are really helpful tips! I do find it hard to leave things undone and I like that insight about achieving balance not necessarily being the best thing either!
Oh how much I love this! First of all, I have always loved that verse in the MSG version. It is just so impactful and gets right to the heart, doesn’t it?!
And you are so right. About the way Jesus did things. It is amazing how simple and important they are! Thank you for sharing!
Great tips, Christa! I especially love that you’ve pointed out that Jesus didn’t do everything at once (just like the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t achieve all those things the moment she hit womanhood!).
Thanks, Anita … then why do we hold ourselves to such crazy standards?? Let’s all agree to quit doing that to ourselves and to each other, okay?
Of course, I am just seeing this and I LOVE IT. Isn’t that always the way God works? He gives you a message right when you need to hear it. It confirms so much of what He has been telling me as the school year gears back up.
So good. “Jesus was totally present everywhere He was present”…mind blown. I know thats one of the areas I’m working on. It’s hard to be present sometimes when you a lot going on. Sometimes I have to take a step back and think, I can write that email tomorrow right now I’m with my friends…therefore I need to be WITH my friends.