It is easier to be patient, understanding, and more beneficial to others (all ways to honor God) when we are not rushed. Mark gives us practical ways to teach our kids great, God-honoring time management.
The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.
Being late for a timeline is a feeling I presume most do not enjoy. Regardless of the task: a paper or project due date, belated birthday wishes, or racing through traffic to avoid being tardy or all together missing an event, all put me on edge and tend to ruin my day and possibly even my grade, relationships and fruitfulness. Though we like to blame Murphy’s law, we actually can have significant influence on whether or not we feel “oppressed”.
Below are some practical tools that can motivate and help us and our kids to be wise stewards of time.
- “Love God, love others and love yourself” – in that order! Striving to do our best (excel still more 1 Thes. 4:10) honors God and reflects His character to the world around us. Phil. 2:3 tells us to “consider others as more important than ourselves” meaning I need to be considerate of other people’s time. And lastly, selfishly, get to experience the by-product of diligent work.
- Practical tips & tools for time management: 1 – Schedule dates on a calendar. Buy a planner or use the one on your computer or smart phone and literally fill it up with your appointments, dates, deadlines and meetings. 2 – Use reminders, post it notes, and alarms. Sometimes I set it to ring a day out, then I reset it for the day of w/ time to spare in case I’m running late. 3 – Review your schedule monthly, weekly and at the start of each day – then prioritize (important vs immediate) what you need to get done. 4 – Work on the big/hard things first while you have energy and ample time. 5 – Courageously say “No” to things you don’t have time for, and remove distractions (move away from people, your phone and TV).
- Consequences and rewards will help train! Let natural consequences play their part in teaching the discipline of being organized with time. Keep your helicopters grounded, moms – don’t interfere by trying to sway the teacher into showing mercy. The poor score or hunger in the cafeteria b/c they didn’t get up early enough to make their own lunch will be memories that move them to more timely action in the future. Additional consequences can be helpful as well. Rewards – Praise: Commend them in front of the family at dinner. Present: take them for a non-typical trip to Sonic. Privilege: extend their bedtime.
Developing and deploying time management skills will absolutely bear good fruit in school or work, relationally and internally as stress diminishes, and feelings of success increase resulting from a job well done. Ultimately, however, as a Christ follower, even TIME is a gift we should strive to steward for God’s glory (Psalm 90:12)!
List some things you are responsible for doing this week. Prioritize them in order of importance. Schedule the earliest you can start/finish doing each of them in order to finish EARLY. Follow that schedule this week. Now, how can you use the free TIME to honor God by helping your siblings, parents and friends? Talk with your family about how that affected your week.