Good Start to Your Day
Within the post The Spark, explained was the need to accept the fact that time is very precious so you want to spend your time on activities that bring the most meaning and make the biggest impact. There is a limited amount of time and no one knows about tomorrow. That’s why we need to have a “Do It Now Attitude”.
To build momentum, take the initiative for Bible reading, reflection, and prayer. God wants to meet and help you build a great day so set aside a daily time to meet with Him. Listen for plans and directions.
A tool to help was introduced within the Check Yes or No tab on the Power Over Time spreadsheet at this link. It has a self-evaluation exercise to discover areas where initiative can be increased, responsibility can be taken, and control over your time can be enhanced.
To begin your day, the first special time saver you can take is to have a devotional time. It should provide regular Bible readings along with questions that spark reflection and inspiration. You should be able to get right to what is being studied and completed within 20-30 minutes.
It’s important to keep notes of thoughts or ideas from your daily Bible studies. To have a system that allows you to easily refer back to these notes when a problem needs to be solved. That way you can apply what you learn along your journey.
Prepare for the Future
A football team studies the competition by looking at game film to know the upcoming opponents tendencies. We too face competition. It is anything that holds us back like fear, despair, and hate. So, study the film called life to come up with plans for your tomorrows. Think accurately and make adjustments so you’re in a position to be successful.
Preparation is like insurance for the future and there is no better way to prepare than to have a daily prayer time. As you enter into your daily activities, there are several ideas to try. One is to write down commitments in a calendar so you don’t have conflicting commitments.
Another important time saver is learning to say no so you don’t over commit. Listen to the Spirit’s prompting so you have a clear sense of how to invest your time in order to do things that meet your God given purpose.
Also, have an imperative/important tasks list for daily activities. In performing daily tasks, keep a system of notes and add instructions for how you accomplished the tasks so you can review the notes and determine if improvements can be made.
I read a book a few years back called “Man in the Mirror” and one statement made in this book was that each day is a battle for our thought life. You have to work at being a thinker. Gordon MacDonald in his book, Ordering Your Private World, says that we need to train our minds to be alert and alive, taking on fresh amounts of information every day, regularly producing new discoveries and conclusions. He says that thinkers see old things in new ways; they analyze hypotheses, and are able to separate out what is true from what is false.
We all have periods of time throughout the day when we are waiting. It may include waiting for a doctor or dentist appointment. It may include waiting ten or fifteen minutes for a meeting to start. There are times when we feel time is wasted during a meeting because most of the meeting doesn’t involve what you are working on. This waiting time can be used productively by planning, reading for ideas, and making notes of ways to apply your faith.
You can keep a file of ideas, information, thoughts, and conversations in a software application. Tie together knowledge and experience by using Microsoft applications like word, access and excel to organize what you learn through life.
Organize your ideas by key words so you can easily retrieve when needed. Note the source so you can go back for more information if needed. Your notes become your own private store of wisdom and information that you can draw upon whenever you need it.
Using computer software to store knowledge, ideas, and ways to apply your faith become your playbook to taking on difficulty or the inspiration needed to solve problems. It’s your personal record to store away to use when needed. These ideas become nuggets of gold for the future if they are easily accessible. Michaelangelo, Thomas Edison, and Mark Twain used idea files throughout their life.
Know the truth about who you are because God thinks you’re “AWESOME”. He’s been refining you over the years to fulfill the purpose for which He has for you. Identify these strengths and allow God to continue to form the great person you are. Focus on the positives to clear out the negatives. If a negative pops up, replace it with a positive to clean it up. You can memorize scripture to help you with this. Three great scriptures to help in almost any situation are Romans 8:31, Philippians 4:13, and Isaiah 26:3.
Constantly look for better ways to do things. Learn from experiences of the past and learn from past mistakes in order to avoid making mistakes in the future. If you pursue Godly wisdom, you will be more likely to know whose side to be on and listen to the right people. You will follow the right leader because you will listen to those with wholesome values and morals. Like a magnet attracting iron, you will attract treasures for the soul because the elements of God’s principles are at work in you.
So do things the right way even if others seem to get ahead by taking short cuts. The people that always come out on top in the long run are the ones that do things the right way. Not by works but by His will for His purposes. When you do come out on top and have a lot to smile about at the end of your day, know who to give credit when credit is due. Thank God by singing to Him, by praying, by worshiping. Why would anyone want to go against the source of all things? Isn’t it much easier living in His light, trusting in His love, and using His resources? Why would anyone defer this advantage? It just doesn’t make good common sense.
To get tasks done quicker and easier, group similar tasks together. For example, pay all your bills at once or shop for products at the same time depending on the locations you have to go. Use Google Maps to help plan out your shopping. When going to a place you’ve never been before, use street views. That way, you know the landmarks to look for so your destination is planned out in your mind; what turns will be needed, what signs to look for, and the assurance that you are going to the place you need to go.
To get tasks done easier, work together. In a work setting, you can let a trainee work with you for a while and then you can gradually hand over more and more responsibilities to the trainee.
Within a family, you can gradually hand over chores around the house like housekeeping or yard care to a child. This teaches about responsibility and prepares them when they move off on their own. It is best to set a time limit because this develops the habit of concentrated effort. Also, establish a reward for accomplishing the task. An example may be letting a child play after cleaning their room or doing their homework.
Another time saver is to do things right the first time. It’s important to establish standards of performance and set out to accomplish according to those standards. This principle works in many areas of life around the house or performing your tasks on the job.
Problems become smaller if you boldly take on the challenge. You don’t want to be the nail but the hammer. The hammer is what delivers the blow. The nail is passive and gets beaten down. Young people who play sports learn to be aggressive because if you’re not, you get hurt. When making a tackle in football, you don’t just stand there and let the other guy run you over. Instead, you deliver the blow first. You want to be the hammer and not the nail.
There is a fine line between being assertive and being overly aggressive. When quick action is necessary, show leadership by making a decision and giving direction. Used appropriately, assertiveness keeps you and your team on track toward accomplishing high-priority items that contribute to reaching your goals.
Be bold my friend and stand up against those that oppose everything that is right. Be filled with faith and assured that the Holy Spirit is actively working with you. Then others will believe and join with you. During times of worry or fear, believe that God is for you. Be encouraged by what He has done for you in Christ. For with God is love and with love is purpose and with purpose is courage.
This week, spend a few minutes completing the Checklist for Time Savings which is found within the spreadsheet being used for many of the lessons at this link. Within this checklist are some questions to help reflect on special time savers. Answer honestly and begin to think of ideas that will help you save time in the future.
In this battle of good against evil, the weapon for good is the double-edged sword or the Word of God. When you truly believe that the Spirit is continually with you, then you boldly step ahead in new and adventurous ways. There is something … a strength you have that no one can do as well as you do. Think of ideas that use this strength of yours and never be surprised by its power.