Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise. This statement emphasizes the benefits of proper rest. Adequate rest does wonders for your mind, body, and heart. Lack of rest can lead to irritability, irrationality, and even insanity. Ok, the last one may be a stretch, but sufficed to say sufficient sleep enhances the quality of life. While 6-8 hours of sleep will positively impact your life, what you do with the remaining 16-18 hours also matters.
What do you do with your time? Go to school? Go to work? Attend church? Eat? Exercise? Surf the internet? Walk around the mall? Scroll through social media timelines? Play video games? Gossip? Pray? Study the Bible? Learn another language? Read a new book? Indeed, answers will vary. There is a time and place for relaxation and reasonable levity, but these can easily become the norm and not the exception. What are the consistent time-consumers in your life? Some of these are necessary and beneficial, such as going to school and completing homework, dating your spouse and feeding your babies. However, other activities drain time that could be better appropriated.
The Bible admonishes us to use time wisely. This counsel is offered in light of a sobering reality: the days are evil. What do evil days and time management have in common? Put simply, evil days are a sign that time is running out! As Jesus' Second Coming draws near, every second literally counts. How can we use time wisely?
First, set personal goals. Between sleep, school, work, and dinner you may not have a lot of time, but do not throw what remains to the wind. Instead, galvanize the shrubs of time by setting personal, measurable goals. For example, use thirty minutes after dinner to take a walk. Shave ten minutes off your daily social media devotion and spend it in prayer and Bible reading. Instead of watching you favorite reruns, call a family member or close friend.
Second, implement boundaries. Youth are normally encouraged to set boundaries, but adults should have boundaries too. One of my college professors allotted thirty minutes a day to check emails. What wasn’t read and responded to within this time waited until the next day. He placed boundaries around his time. When done well, implementing boundaries will reveal how much time you actually have.
Finally, and most importantly, glorify God. What you do with your time really is a spiritual matter. Life is a melody of rhythmic breaths set to metered time. The challenge is, we don't know when our song will end. So, make meaningful music with the time you have!
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15, 16