Have you ever taken a hiatus from life? Maybe sneak down to the lake, or up to the mountains and turn everything off? Maybe spend a couple of days with no phones, computers, television – just you, your family, and the view. At first, it seems so foreign. A life without technology? Won’t everything fall apart? What if someone needs you at work? What if you miss the next viral post on social media? After a while though, the technology cloud lifts and we discover what we’ve been missing. Time.
We are so excited when technology improves. We can get things done so much faster now! Mail arrives in seconds, we fast forward through commercials, and we engage in a face to face conversation with someone across the world at the push of a button. Theoretically, we should have a lot more time. It takes a fraction of the time to achieve desired results than it used to. However, we are more stressed than ever. We find we have less time than we used to for things like family time, self-care, and maintaining a relationship with God.
What are we doing with our “extra” time?
We more than double our work. Tasks take less time now, so we have the ability to take more on. However, it’s very easy to get in a habit of taking more on than we can do. Take a realistic look at the time allotted for a certain task and allow adequate time for each. Be detailed.
We don’t anticipate setbacks. Things don’t always go as planned. In fact, a lot of things don’t go as well as we expect them to go. We don’t leave a little time for hiccups and redos, but they have to be done. So we do them, followed by the rest of the work that needs completing. And it takes a lot more time than we anticipate. This can cause us to work well into our sleep time, family time, etc.
We can’t say no. Let’s face it! We women have a lot on our plates. We have work, a house to run/clean, food to prepare, pets to take to the vet/grooming, PTA meetings, baseball/basketball/football/soccer practices, dance/cheer/gymnastics practices, piano/guitar/drum lessons, martial arts, and girl/boy scouts. And if you’re like me, you’re probably on committees for most of those. It’s too much. There isn’t enough time to do it all. Unless, of course, we don’t sleep.
Our extra time is more than filled up now, and the new overwhelming workload is now the expectation, leaving us a stressed out mess. And the worst part? Most of us haven’t spent our time on what matters most: health, family, and God.
How do we make extra time for what matters most?
Schedule it. Family time, date night, exercise, meal prep, 8 hours of sleep, bible study and prayer – schedule it all. We have a habit of only scheduling appointments outside of our home life and personal goals. Since we tend to do that, our schedules fill up completely with all the other stuff in our lives. Then we give our families, health, and God whatever is left – if there is anything left. Try scheduling those before adding any meeting, sports, or obligations to your schedule.
Make some cuts. I recently had to sit down and make some tough cuts in my life. I recommend reevaluating where your time is spent at least once per year. We go through many seasons in life, and we forget that we can’t do it all right now. If you have young children, you might be in the season of life that doesn’t allow you a lot of freedom to do certain things. But this is only a season. Cut some of the extra stuff out and spend your time where it’s needed. This season will end, and your schedule will change. But your kids will never be this age again – don’t miss it.
Learn to say no. You can’t say yes to everything. Now repeat that three times. Seriously, do it. If we say yes to everything, people will continue to ask us to do things. In most cases, it’s not out of selfishness. They assume you won’t say yes unless you have the time and resources. So if you say something like, “I’d really love to help, but I just don’t have the time to do this right now,” that tells them that you just don’t have the time right now. You could follow up with something like, “Things should slow down in six months” or “Little one starts school next year which will free up a little time. Let’s talk about me joining at that time.” We have to learn to protect our time. Time is precious.
At the end of the day today, I challenge you to sit down with a pen and piece of paper. Make two columns. Write down what you should do on a daily basis in one column, and what you actually did today. In many cases, we will find that we aren’t practicing self-care – adequate sleep, exercise, taking the time to prepare healthy meals. We may not feel good about the amount of time we had with the family. We also might find that we haven’t spent any time with God. Once you have a clear understanding of where you are right now, make a plan. What can you get rid of? What can you cut down? Create your schedule for next week. Start with God, family, health. Your stress level should decrease a bit, and you’ll likely find that you’re much happier.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
“Lifesong” by Casting Crowns YouTube
57 thoughts on “3 Ways To Make Time For What Matters Most”
Learning to say no is so important. Thanks for this great post!
That is one thing that is hard for me. I’m a work in progress. LOL. Thank you for reading! 🙂
This was very refreshing to read. I’m am in the process of learning to say No so that I can make space for things that are more important.
Love this post! Work is one that a lot of people don’t know how to shut off.
So true! Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and let our schedules run us rather than managing our schedules. This reminds me of Stephen Covey’s matrix, which helps prioritize and cut out some of the non-essentials that we spend time on.
Nice! I’ll have to check that out! 🙂
I have to schedule everything out, even if it doesn’t get done at least it’s on purpose and it makes it so I don’t forget things! Saying no is something I’m getting much better at
I’m still a work in progress with all of this. I want to be you when I grow up. LOL
Love the love he idea of reflecting at the end of the day!
Me too! I’m trying to do this daily until I am more purposeful with how I spend my time. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I have to live by a list or things won’t get done and sometimes I still can’t get everything done.
Isn’t that the truth?! LOL
Great post. I’m always amazed at how it seemed when we were younger there was soooo much time. Now the days fly by. I definitely need to learn two things you mentioned…how to say no and writing down what I need to do.
What I would give to go back to simpler times when I was young. LOL. I’m excited for you to try these things! You’re going to do great! 🙂
Such a great read!! So many important things to remembeR!!
Glad you liked it! Thank you! 🙂
Such great reminders here. Especially how we take on so much. Great read.
Thank you so much!
We have been reminded lately that there are so many things we take for granted. It’s time to make cuts!
That is very true. <3
I find that I really have to be mindful of my time as it is so easy to get distracted
Me too! It takes great effort to focus sometimes.
Really helpful reminders, coming from someone does feel limited lately with what can be accomplished with a little one at home!
Oh yes! I remember feeling like I was missing out on so much during that stage. Now I’d give anything to go back to when my kids were little for just one day. Enjoy every season. xoxo
Sam – Thiswaymommy.com
You bring up some very good points. It’s so hard to just disconnect. I like the idea of writing two columns and evaluating how time is spent.
Thank you! I hope you learn a lot with that activity. I know I am! LOL.
Some fantastic tips here, it’s so hard to get that life balance.
It can definitely be hard, but we can do it! 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting!
I particularly need to “just say no” and make cutbacks…thanks for the wonderful tips. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with how to fit it all in!
You can do it!! LOL. I believe in you! I’m finding that this is very common. xo
Great tips to make the time for what matters the most!! Most of the time I schedule my tasks for the day in the night before. It helps me to prioritize my important things at first. Its very true that now technology has made things easy but we become more stressed by taking more work and worrying about our future!
So true! And I love the idea of writing down tasks the night before!
Great article! Saying no is definitely hard for me, but I’m getting better. It helps to figure out what’s important to me and cut out non essentials.
It is hard, but I’ve heard it gets easier. Lol
It’s so hard to say no! And it’s hard to go to bed without having done everything we think we need to do. But you’re right; this is all important, and I definitely needed that reminder! And I love how you added the part about prioritizing God, family, and health. This was a great read!
Thank you so much!
Kristy, couldn’t agree more! “The people that enjoy their lives are the ones who make time to enjoy their lives”. It’s so simple! Well said.
Ooooh!! I love that quote! Thank you! 🙂
Very inspiring post! I really like your thoughts on why we feel more stressed when technology is making everything easier, and you’re right, we’re taking more on. It is really nice to unplug for even a few hours.
I totally agree! Thank you, Tawnya!
We have to learn scheduling of work, as it not only saves time but reduce overhead of each day.
True. Thank you!
Always need to evaluate time spent. One time I wrote down everything I wanted to f do on a daily basis and added up the time I thought it should take me for each task…36 hrs! Needless to say some things have to go.
Wow! Yes, time to evaluate and let go of some things. Good for you!
Keeping what is important close to your heart and planner is vital. Life is meant to be savored
So true. 😊
Couldn’t agree more! we’re so lost in our hamster wheel that completely lost the sensation of content.
True! Thanks for reading!
That’s so helpful! Thanks! 🙏
Learning to say no may be the hardest thing for me , but I can feel how great that will be to do so! To make myself first in the list. 😉
It is hard! We can do it! 😊
I think we need to reserve time for ourselves and our families. We need to create time for God so that we can be truly centered and enjoy meaningful lives. We need create time for our spouses to build and nurture the relationship. It is also critical to carve hu=chunks of space for our children to give them all the love we can and create good memories for them to look back on.
I agree! Thank you!!
Haitus happens, we need to take some time off just for ourselves and loved ones and also create great memories.