Have you noticed the plethora of school supplies laying claim to the once-filled-outdoor-furniture display areas in the super stores? Seriously, it’s only the beginning of August, folks. According to the thermometer, we’re in the heat of summer. Yet our lives seem to be on fast-forward, with our pace dictated by our consumer industry.
As soon as we settle into our new patio cushions, we’re pushed over by the demands to buy school supplies. “Oh no,” we fear, “they may be all gone by September 1st in order to make room for the Halloween decor. I must get my list and get to the store pronto.” So long summer. Nice knowing ya.
I don’t know about you, but I’m overwhelmed by the pressure to rush ahead and frustrated by my schedule being dictated by someone’s agenda. What about you?
Do you feel like your calendar is your own?
Does your schedule have margin built into it, with a pace set by you?
Are the external demands put upon you dominating your life?
It is time to refocus and reclaim our calendars as we re-institute our living intentionally commitment.
We need to determine right now that our time is to be used for God’s glory and good purposes, not consumed by the tyranny of the urgent and depleted by unnecessary demands on our energy.
Our groove is about managing our time, God’s way, according to clearly set priorities.
Our groove is determined by the perspective God has set before us for this season in life.
Our groove fits our personality and honors God’s plans.
Getting our groove on is all about living intentionally. As we’ve learned over the course of our journey, living intentionally enables us to experience our God-given passions and purposes in every day life, while putting them into action within the context of God’s perspective for our life, for His glory.
Now, as we move forward living intentionally, we need to consider setting clear priorities. But before we can dive deep into those priorities, we need to find a method for organizing our time and tasks. Yes, this is a lofty pursuit. We will fail often in the attempt to get a handle on our schedules. Chances are, our system will fail us on the days we try the hardest, and will succeed when we least expect it. But there are steps we can take in the right direction.
Getting Your Groove On (A.KA. Managing Your Time)
1. Get Yourself a Calendar
I highly recommend finding a calendar that works for you, and being willing to get a brand new one if you feel defeated by what you’ve been accustomed to using. Sometimes a fresh start is the best place to begin a new habit. Here are my recommendations, based on my personal use:
2. Evaluate Your Time
So the idea isn’t simply to do life, but to be intentional. You need to know how you’re spending your time. Download this Time Evaluation worksheet and print out a copy. Fill it in over the next week, so that it reflects what you’re actually doing with your time. Once the sheet is filled in, print out a new copy and go on to step 3.
3. Make a Plan
Set aside an hour to look at your time evaluation worksheet in light of your Living Intentionally worksheet and the 5Ps guide, all of which you can find here. How do your priorities line up with how you spend your time? (If you never completed the Living Intentionally worksheet, schedule time on your calendar to sit down and work through it.) Make a short term plan that you’ll strive to put in place for the next month. Mark off blocks for each priority and put it in your master calendar. Don’t get bogged down in the details, but press forward one baby step at at time. Go on to step 4.
4. LiFT Accountability Check
Let’s commit to supporting one another. We can become LiFT sisters over the next five months by checking in here on the 1st and 15th to encourage one another to press on. You may also want to post about your commitment on your blog or share about it on Facebook or Twitter, to get your friends and community supporting your efforts. There’s nothing like knowing you put a commitment out there in order to feel the pressure to follow through.
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