I want to have a convo with you about one of *the* most important things in your life: time. If there were only a few blog posts of mine that you would ever read, this would be one of them. If you are short on, ahem, time, scroll on down to get straight to the seven ways you may be wasting time. If you have some time to invest into yourself, keep on reading.
There are so many ways that the concept of time has been described over the centuries. It’s been said that time is precious. Time is money. Time is ticking. Time heals all wounds. Time is of the essence. Time has been a major topic since the beginning of, well, you know, time.
There have even been tons and tons of poems, art pieces, books and movies made about time. It always has been and always will be an interesting topic.
The reason I believe this is so is because time is one of those resources that God has given us that can never be reproduced. Think about it. Plants can create more oxygen and reproduce after their own kind. Seeds can bring forth more fruits and veggies. Animals can reproduce to replenish our food supply of eggs, dairy, and meat. Technology has advanced enabling us to do amazing things. At the moment, NASA’s astronauts rely on their Water Recovery System to recycle hydrogen and carbon dioxide in space to make water.
But what about time? Is it renewable? Can it be created?
The answer of course is no. You can certainly make time for something. But by doing so, you are simply moving things around or omitting something else to “make” time for something new. But we have no power to give ourselves more time than what we’ve been given by God.
What makes the gift of time so special is that it can never be replicated, reproduced or renewed. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Forever.
You can never get more time. It is limited. Each person is given a certain amount. We only have 24 hours in one day. We only have 365 days in one year. All of our years are numbered. I know that may sound morbid in some way, but that is the hard truth. You and I only have so much time to walk, serve, love and grow on this planet.
The truth is that we do not have unlimited days.
If our time is limited, then why are we wasting it?
If time is a precious resource, then why are we squandering it? The easiest way I can explain is that it’s like pouring yourself a drink from a large container. When you pour your drink from a gallon serving, you are liberal with how much your pour because you see how much you have. Likewise, when you are pouring from a smaller size like a quart, you are more cautious and conservative because you are aware of how little you have.
It’s the same with our time. The more we think we have, the more we spend with reckless abandon. But, if we realize that we may not have as much, we would do better to make the most of what we have now. It’s not an issue that we think we have a lot of time. The real problem is that because we think we have a lot of time, we waste a lot of time.
It is based on this assumption, that we have a lot of days left in our life, that we waste the days we have.
Look, I’m not here to beat you over the head, but I am sounding the alarm clock so to speak. I want to help you to realize that your time is limited and therefore your time is precious! It is passing.
It is with that realization that I want to warn you against the seven things that you might be allowing to completely steal your minutes, days and years.. If you can be on guard against these seven things, you will be on the path to making the most of the days you’ve been given.
7 Ways you are wasting your time (and What to do about it)
7. Number seven on the list of biggest ways you are wasting time is with over-thinking and worry. The reason that I am leading with this one is because I am the guiltiest offender. I can let myself overthink about everything. “Did I have a weird tone when I talked to that person? Do they think I was being serious when I was kidding? Does this email sound too demanding? Does it sound too friendly?” I mean, really? It sounds so ridiculous, but in my mind at the time, they are real questions. I don’t have any clue as to how much of my LIFE I have spent asking these kinds of questions. In the end, I am over-thinking and worrying about things that no one else is bothered by. Luke 12:25 is a great verse to lean on. It says, “”Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Boom. Since worry doesn’t add to our life, that alone is a great reason to stop the worrying.
6. Everyone has a pet peeve, right? Number six is one of mine and it’s complaining. Being around a person that is a complainer is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Now, I am not perfect of course. I am farrrrrr from it, so I will catch myself complaining. Most of the time it’s to myself or my husband. I like to throw a wild pity party every now and again. But it just doesn’t help me to complain. It doesn’t move the needle. It doesn’t move me forward. In fact, I believe that complaining actually holds us back, If we can’t see the good from the bad, how can we ever grow? Flowers won’t bloom without rain, so it is with life. Unpleasant days and times will come, but there is always good in what looks like a bad situation. Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” I think when God says everything, He means everything.
5. Gossip. Not only is it yucky, gossip is a huge waste of your time. There are so many reasons why gossiping about others is unhealthy for your mind and spirit, but on top of that, it keeps you from developing real bonds with people. How so? Well, instead of getting to know someone because you really care, you ask questions just so you can know. Just so you can have something to talk about with someone else. You then go to the next person, and instead of having a meaningful conversation with them about where they are in life and how they are truly doing, you are talking about others. What a big waste of time. You just spent a lot of time with two amazing people, but you failed to connect on a meaningful level with either one of them. Please ladies, don’t fall into the trap that gossip is a way to connect with one another. On the other hand, not only is unhealthy for your spirit, it is incredibly divisive and a huge waste of time. Proverbs 20:19 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.”
4. Number four is indecision. I originally couldn’t decide if I should include this one. Just kidding. See what I did there? I have written on this topic before because its something with which I struggle. It can be exasperating. I can get on my own nerves. I just don’t do well with too many options and I sometimes worry that I’m not going to make the right decision. Sometimes in the midst of trying to get past indecision I realize that if I had made a decision I would have already been done doing the thing I was thinking about doing. If my story here is your story, Sis, we have got to stop doing this. It is a big time waster. It just keeps us stagnant but we know were are called by God to move forward. We have to resolve in our minds that we won’t sit and think, but we will prepare our minds for action. Here is something to think about 1 Peter 9:13 says, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
3. Working on things that are not our strengths. This one is interesting because it’s something we do almost without realizing. I used to be super independent and prided myself on the “I can do it by myself” spirit that I carried. Thankfully, the Lord really helped me to see how much I needed my husband and others. Now, I am totally okay with the idea that there are things that I am not good at doing. I also realize that spending my time (and money) on things that are not in my wheel house of strengths is a waste of my time. I can’t tell you how much I have spent over my lifetime buying paint supplies, art supplies, etc. I am not an artist! I don’t paint. And yet there I was in hobby lobby wasting my time (and did I mention money!). I don’t want to live in regret, but I wonder what would have happened if I had put pride of not wanting weaknesses away and instead spent my time investing into my strengths. Don’t let that be you, sis! Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
2. Daydreaming is number two. Our mind is a wonderfully curious thing. It’s amazing how in control our thoughts can be and yet how out of control our thoughts can be. I catch myself day dreaming all the time. Have you ever played out a conversation in your head. You play out a scenario. You know what you will say, you plan out what they will say. We can spend so much time letting our mind wonder around creating these scenes in our mind. Now, I’m not saying that we can’t every have some breathing room and space for our thoughts to drift. I’m on board for drifting, but I want us to just be aware of when we are unfocused and for how long. Day dreams are fun, but they don’t get you anywhere. Real dream and goals are a much more productive place to place your thoughts. If this is your struggle, this verse may help to keep you focused on what’s important. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
1.And the number one time killer in your life is…you already know this one, social media and entertainment. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Netflix and Youtube. Those are the giants that will stomp out your time so fast. I have fallen victim so many times to the way that these platforms can so quickly steal the time out of my day. Video, memes, clips, trends and new releases. They are fun entertainment, but they should definitely have their place a little lower on the list of our priorities. Let’s not fall into the trap of watching people on social media busy living their lives that we fail to live our own. Netflix and Youtube, may have some content that will add to your quality of life in some small way, but they will never add time back that you lost surfing their many offerings. Ephesians 5:16-17 speaks of “making the best use of your time..” Much of our time spent in front of a screen would be better served elsewhere and that is the truth.
If you, like me, fall into one or more of these categories, there’s hope! Some of these are behavioral patterns and some are cognitive patters. Like any pattern or habit, they are hard to change. But it’s not impossible.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12
What’s the remedy? How to we change a fully formed habit? God’s Word is always where we should start because it is transformational, renewing the mind. First, we have to realize that our days are numbered and as it says in Psalm 90:12. We are not promised any one of them. When we do that, the next step is gaining a heart of wisdom or in another version of the text, applying our hearts to wisdom, When we see the truth of God’s Word, we have to apply our hearts to the Word.
I want to give you a practical step to take in order to apply your heart to God’s Word. I want to challenge you to pick out the area (or areas) mentioned above where you see yourself wasting the most time. Grab that scripture verse and blast it everywhere. Put it on your phone lock screen. Write it on sticky notes. Get it tattooed on your forearm. Okay, don’t do that last one. Just, you get the idea. Set up reminders around your home and around your environment that will help keep you focused and purpose driven.
Today can be a new day. Tomorrow can be a fresh start. Now is the time to stop wasting your precious resource. Take the reins on your life and honor God with your time.
Do you identify with one of these areas? I would love to hear from you! Let chat in the comments.