I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that all of us are guilty of using our time poorly when we should be doing something productive.
And we probably don’t need to be reminded that our electronic devices are the biggest source of time-wasting–when research tells us that adults spend between 4-5 hours on their phones every day, it’s no surprise!
But even if we know this, where do we even begin to stop wasting our time so we can get more done?
One of my blog readers, Linda, who along with her husband is in her retirement years, shared a very surprising insight with me about time wasting and the flip side, managing time.
She says this:
“I can remember thinking that retirement would solve all kinds of time issues. It doesn’t. In fact, if you haven’t learned how to put first things first before retiring, you will end up wasting the precious later years God gives you. And unfortunately, time is a nonrenewable resource! We seek to live by Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” We seek to be in the Word each morning first, then to be involved in activities that reap Eternal dividends.”
Friends, this is something each of us can take to heart. We need to learn NOW how to put first things first.
When my kids were little, I didn’t always slow down and capture moments. I simply moved from one thing to another and it wasn’t always in a productive way. It was more wandering. I think part of it was because I wasn’t intentional with my time. I didn’t always keep the eternal things in mind.
So let’s take a look at some things we can cut out of our lives to make time for what matters.
How can we conquer some of those time “hold-ups”?
Ephesians 5:15-17 encourages us in this way:
Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
In context, this passage is talking about living as children of the light, delighting in the hope that is ours through Christ. We don’t have to get over these hold-ups alone! God is there to show us what is most important and help us use our time wisely.
How to Stop Wasting Time by Conquering Time-Wasters
- Teach yourself to stop relying on your phone and stop reaching for it when you are “bored.” Put it in a hard-to-access place. When I feel tempted to be on my phone too much, I put it in the basement office. It’s in the furthest corner of the house and it keeps me from grabbing it for no reason. If I’m waiting for a call or know I need to have it somewhat available, I’ll put it on top of the fridge.
- Remove distracting apps from your phone and visit these sites on your browser instead. Like Facebook. And Pinterest. Enough said. ;)
- Stop letting social media tell you how to spend your time. Facebook posts that grab your attention (but end up being click-bait) and Pinterest/Instagram images that make us drool and over focus on how we “should be” decorating our house or what cute outfits to buy for our kids are basically bossing us around and telling us how to use our time, instead of the other way around.
- If you like to shop online, uninstall apps and unsubscribe from emails that are tempting you. You’ll save time and money (don’t ask me how I know this!)
- Don’t get pulled into perfection. Know that it’s a process to begin to use time wisely. Remember that there will be times of distraction as you set about completing tasks and checking off a to-do list. Just remind yourself that done is better than perfect! :)
- Make a daily plan or routine. Just keep it simple. Start with 5 things you can do every morning that send you toward your goal of better time management and end your day with 3-5 things that will help you unwind and refocus.
- Instead of allowing media and electronics to distract you, use that time to read a book with your kids, teach them how to do a quick chore, run up and down the stairs a few times to regain a burst of energy, flirt with your husband, or say a quick prayer.
Cut more out to fit more in
Those things you wrote down that you want to let go of for now, that weren’t necessarily time-wasters but aren’t a priority? Choose one or two that you can stop doing right now (or very soon). Maybe they are things that you enjoy, like involving your kids in long playdates, that you need to cut out for a while so that you can focus on what is most important and of value in your home.
Maybe they are things that you know you shouldn’t be putting onto your plate, like another after-school activity. Don’t sign up for it, and re-evaluate next year to see if it can fit into your life at that time.
You have to make the hard decision, but I promise it will be worth it when you begin to see the positive impact of your choice to live wisely, where you are at right now.
More Tools for Managing Your Time Well
You know what you want to see change, but don’t let yourself fall into the trap of having good intentions and then getting stuck because you don’t have the tools to help you follow through!
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is here to help (and I promise it WILL make a difference in your daily life as you seek to manage your home, family and time well).
I’ve been a part of the bundle since the beginning (6 years now!) and I know it’s something many of us look forward to every year! And the 2018 bundle (with ALL new resources) is ready to go!
(I’m officially an affiliate of the homemaking bundle, which means that at no extra cost to you, I make a small commission if you purchase through any of my links. Thanks so much!)
If you’re new to the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, let me tell you a little about what it will help you do:
- Achieve more peaceful balance (just like we’re talking about in this series!)
- Nurture your personal devotional time, getting you in the Wordand helping you find a Bible study method that works for you
- Conquer screen-time battles so you can spend more meaningful time with your kids
- Stay organized with planners that fit your lifestyle
- Tackle that “one thing” that you’ve wanted to work on but haven’t had time to figure out how (meal planning, chores, devotional time, balancing work and kids, etc!)
- And a lot more to help you create a home and life you love.
- Each resource is hand-picked, and represents the current best-of-the-best when it comes to homemaking + self-care
- Plus much more AND there are a bunch of fun, physical bonuses that are just the icing on the proverbial cake! ;)
Everything for way less than the cost of an “I didn’t come in here for all of THIS!” Target shopping trip (not that I’d know anything about that!) ;)
This year’s bundle focuses heavily on time-management and organization, from several unique perspectives, which is perfect for the stage of life when we need help figuring out where our focus should be, but we can’t do everything.
But it also helps you with your faith journey, parenting, finances and even a few encouraging marriage resources!
A FEW OF MY FAVORITES
- So Many Littles, So Little Time by Amy Roberts. ($12 value) I love Amy (a mother of 8!) because she is down-to-earth and practical. In this eBook, she gets straight to the point and gives you specific ideas for creating systems that will help streamline your family life from having good mornings, to successful naptimes, to mealtime tips and Bible time that makes an impact. Especially helpful if you have young kids.
- Finding Time: Home and Children by Sarah Phillips. ($97 value) A helpful eCourse that really opened my eyes to some truths about how I use my time so inefficiently and actual, practical advice about how to have a more peaceful day, save time shopping, and including my kids in what I do throughout the day. You’ll love listening to Sarah share from her own life experience as a homeschooler with 3 kids who manages a farm.
- The Essentials: 7 Projects to Sane-ify Your Life from Tsh Oxenreider. ($39 value) A course with workbook that walks you step by step on how to manage 7 key projects (decluttering, daily routines, menu planning, budgeting, clearing clutter, calendar and photos) that give you something tangible to just start DOING. Very much to the point, but also very effective.
- Clutterfree: Declutter Your Home to Create Space for Joy ($49 value) An 8 week online course that teaches you to understand why you’re holding onto clutter and strategies for eliminating it. It goes through zones of the house to get you motivated and focused to break free from all the stuff. It’s nice to have accountability, so this course would be super helpful if one of your trouble areas is too much stuff (and really, whose isn’t at some point??).
- Financial Foundation: Everything You Need to Build a Strong Financial Foundation by Jennifer Roskamp ($37 value) This incredible bundle shares money-saving strategies that allowed Jennifer to support her family of 10 on less than $25,000 a year (wow!!).
- Bullet Journaling Your Way to a More Organized Life by Kalyn Brooke ($17 value) Everything you need to know about starting bullet journaling, if you like a more “freedom oriented” planning tool. I currently use Google Calendar plus a paper weekly planner but I am making it my goal to learn bullet journaling for next year!
- Freezer to Slow Cooker Meal Plan 3 Month Subscription by Sarah Robinson ($49 value) – Recipes, grocery lists and assembly instructions that you can print and use! Meal plans are delivered to your inbox weekly!
- Choose Rest: Biblical Self-Care Practices by Gina Poirier ($37 value) – How to apply the idea of a biblical Sabbath rest to your every day life
A FEW MORE FAVES
- Cooking Camp for Kids
- Dreams by Design Planner
- Goal Setting for Greater Purpose & Balance at Home: Gospel Centered. Grace Filled. Goal Oriented.
- Smart Mom Smart Mornings: A 30-Day Plan to Transform Your Mornings from Chaos to Calm
I love, love this digital bundle and it’s the only resource I dig into every year when I need refreshment, new ideas and specific advice on managing my home, work and family life. Maybe I’m biased because I have a product in it each year (including this year with Write Through the Word!), but it really is the best of everything!
EARLY BIRD BONUS JUST FOR MY READERS
***I love my readers and I’m so thankful for you, so, if you purchase a bundle today (4/11) or tomorrow (4/12), along with the bundle and all it’s “regular” bonuses, you’ll get:
1) FREE Bottle of Essential Oil from Rocky Mountain Oils. Choose between Lemon or Orange (15 ml bottle). This is an exclusive bonus for MY readers who purchase the bundle through my link only–yay! There are only 25 bottles available, and they will go fast.
There’s no “perfect” way to run a home and our days will still be crazy sometimes. That I know for sure.
But when we can learn and take action with smart strategies and solutions that will save us time and bring more joy to our home and family life, that helps us tackle our days with purpose.
Ready to get your copy of the bundle?
Then don’t forget to fill out the secure Google Form and submit your info for the essential oil bonus (and watch for the style challenge bonus to be emailed with your bundle access)! The form will close once all the oil bottles are redeemed.
Once you purchase, your bundle access information will be delivered via email. Have a great day!
P.S. I had great fun using GIFs this morning!
P.P.S. If you get the bundle but don’t love it (but really, how could you not! :) ), they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee! Learn more right here.