I used to be terrible at time management... always busy, but hardly productive. If I can master time management & transform into a productivity expert, so can you!
Read my story
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Before I incorporated Bible study into my life as a serious discipline, I struggled with time management and lived a busy life that was not so productive. Between 2015 and 2016, I was anxious, chronically stressed, depressed and, often, overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. I [ineffectively] avoided dealing with hard things by turning to alcohol or drugs [or both].
The list of hard things grew each day, not because I was taking on hard tasks, but because everyday tasks just seemed really hard during that season. The time-wasting activities [including binge drinking, drug abuse & social media] seemed to pacify me for a while, and “got me through the stress” of each day, but it made me terrible at time management.
During that time, I was “regularly” reading God’s Word, but I didn’t feel better. I wondered when God would give me relief. When would the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) be MY portion? While I didn’t get an audible response from God on that, I did have a newfound hunger to dig deeper into His Word. I just “didn’t have time” to be consistent.
At work, I was behind, and struggling to perform. At home, I struggled to handle things like cleaning, cooking and actually taking care of myself. I hardly slept, and I felt like absolute trash. After burning out from the anxiety, chronic stress, depression and unhealthy habits, I hit a wall. I desperately needed change.
I realized that, IF I wanted to feel less overwhelmed, I needed a better system of doing things; one that included consistent time in God’s Word. I didn’t have a blueprint for that, so I just prayed.
Change did come, but things happened in a way I didn’t anticipate. I thought I would first improve in the area of time management, then develop consistency in reading the Bible after that. Instead, the Lord led me to start with prioritizing time in His Word, even though the rest of my time management habits were still garbage. This resulted in a perspective shift and transformation of many habits.
Over time, God’s Word became convicting in many areas, especially in the area of time-wasting habits. I would copy/paste Ephesians 5:8-20 here, but I’ll, instead, encourage you to go read it in your physical Bible today. Please. It’s so powerful. As He worked through His Word and through my prayer time to speak to my heart, He also directed my steps and showed me what to change. The process was gradual and painful, but so fruitful.
I realized, over time, that my perspective about the things I was doing completely changed. I began to see the eternal significance of working as if for the Lord (Colossians 3:22-23). As a result, I was equipped to prioritize more effectively, and my time management improved. This led to an increase in my productivity and efficiency in both work endeavors and my personal life.
The more time I invested in reading my Bible, the more deeply I got to know the Lord. As a result, I worried less; I saw more of HIM in my everyday activities and interactions; and I saw, time and time again, that I could trust in His timing instead of trusting in my own (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I actually found myself trying to be less anxious about time, which allowed me to focus my attention on what actually mattered, i.e. being there for others in unexpected moments or simply sharing the Good News with others. I also got more done each day. I was numbing myself less, not because there was less to stress about, but because I didn’t feel as stressed about the things going on.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “lean not on your own understanding…” If you don’t want to lean on your own understanding, reading God’s Word is a non-negotiable. Where else will you find the wisdom to deal with life’s difficulties? Where else will you learn what’s really important in a world where everything seems important? God’s Word is filled with TIMELESS TRUTHS; and these truths will help you live more effectively and fully.
Consider the amount of time it takes you to figure things out on your own. Not only is that a time-waster, in and of itself, but it’s exhausting! It takes quite a bit of mental capacity to sort through information, make a decision, prepare to take action and, finally, do the thing. That tiresome process is the very reason so many of my everyday tasks felt overwhelming.
When you read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and convict you in the areas He intends to refine you. You’ll feel a prompt to do certain things, or even stop doing others. You’ll realize that, while some of your favorite activities are good, they aren’t good for right now. You’ll grow in sensitivity to His voice and build the muscle of obedience. You’ll see opportunities for rest and, instead of filling those time gaps with more tasks, honor Him by pausing and slowing down.
When you read God’s Word DAILY, you’ll see a reduction in anxiety, overwhelm and stress about your time, to-do list and everything in between. You’ll also see an improvement in the effectiveness of how you manage yourself each day.
So, instead of trying to reverse engineer your life each day to penny-pinch on minutes, take time to get with God, read His Word, and grow in your relationship with Him. He will iron out the rest and, eventually, you’ll wrestle less with yourself each day.
You don’t have to wait until you master time management or are a productivity pro to start prioritizing Bible study. Instead, start with carving out non-negotiable time and scheduling Bible study into your day.
If you struggle to find time, I recommend beginning with a simple approach that can take as little as 5-10 minutes. The SOAP Bible Study Method allows you to read a passage, make observations and consider applications to your life, and pray over what the Lord is revealing to you.
I created a FREE resource to help you implement this approach and become more consistent in this area.
I pray this blessed you, encouraged you, and helped you!
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