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Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I Discovered About Managing Time

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What I Discovered About Managing Time -  Lisa U Maki


I have designed training programs, seminars, and workshops on Time Management for various companies and organizations. It was one of my most "in-demand" programs, other than stress management. I took pride in not only being a good Time Management trainer and teacher but a practitioner as well.
With the busyness of my life then, as a single mother of two boys and the owner of an HR-OD consulting firm, I had no choice but to manage my time wisely. Everything was scheduled and organized meticulously so as for me not to miss anything. Had you asked me then what my best secret was, I would have told you... I make a rigid schedule and stick to it. There was no way, back then, when you can just pop into my life without letting me know, or at least setting an appointment. You have to be in my calendar. I didn't want it to be that way but I had no choice back in those days.
My high efficiency in managing time made me very credible in conducting my Time Management seminars and training programs. However, down the road, I started questioning my own efficiency. If I am really good in managing my time, how come I am so stressed out? How come the people closest to me felt that I was pushing them away? I knew I needed some balance, but I didn't know how to add another balancing act to all the different roles I was trying to fulfill. I felt I was juggling several balls in my hands, and if I add one more to it I would drop all of them.
Everything I was doing was priority. Being a dad and mom at the same time was priority. Raising my kids on my own was priority. Making money to support my kids was priority. Maintaining my business was priority. Every client's need was priority. Going to the gym was priority. And then there were family and friends who also needed my time and attention. I hardly had time for myself. Sleeping for six hours was a luxury for me. Weekends were spent with my children and family, and some work I had to catch up on. It was super hectic!
Then lo and behold!... My own exhaustion over everything that was going on in my life made me run to a bookstore for some self-help book. The title sounded perfect for me... Do Less Achieve More. I didn't even know it was some spiritual book. I flipped open the page that night and the title said... Surrendering to the Divine Will. I closed the book and started crying. I prayed... Lord, teach me how to surrender to You. God surely heard that prayer and He opened doors for me to receive Him as my Lord and Savior, and to surrender my life to Him completely.
As I begun to learn more about Jesus and how He operated here on earth, and as I started to learn more about Scriptures, my total concept of time management changed. What I will be sharing with you next are principles on Time Management that I have learned from the Bible - principles which I never knew before because my whole mind was distorted.
1. God is the author of time.
There I was trying to manage my time, not knowing that it is God's time that I should have been following. I was trying to control my time instead of allowing God to lead me in His time. And the only way that any of us can operate on His time is if we become sensitive to His leading, His voice, His Holy Spirit. This comes as a result of knowing God more intimately through prayer, study of His Word, and fellowship with other believers.
When I began to understand this, I became more serious in seeking God and His perfect will for me. I spent hours early in the morning asking for His clearer guidance on every decision I had to make and every step I had to take.
I became very sensitive to the Spirit's leading, and peace became my utmost indicator if something was from God or not. I also began to realize that if something is from God, then He also gives us the strength, capacity, and ability to handle it. This means that if I take a project that is not from Him, then I will end up so stressed out.
2. In God we should put our full trust.
Just like me, I'm sure that there are others out there, and maybe including you, who are "proactive doers". We don't wait for people to tell us what to do. We do what needs to be done. In my case, I knew that nobody but me would support my children; nobody but me can manage my business; and nobody but me can attend to the needs of my clients. It was all about Lisa, what she needs to do (according to her), and what she can do. Accomplishing things on my own actually gave me self-fulfillment, but it also gave me a lot of stress. It was pretty obvious that I didn't want to rely on anyone but me. It was my way of being in control. Self-sufficiency became my by-word.
It took some time before I was able to LET GO AND LET GOD. Though I was fully surrendered to Jesus, this concept of letting go was not very easy for me. Everybody I tried to rely on in the past failed me... my dad, my ex-husband, and some friends.
God surely tested me in this area by taking my clients away from me, and eventually my business. He called me for full-time ministry and taught me how to totally rely on no one but Him. My self-sufficiency turned into Christ-sufficiency.
As l learned to let go and let God, my stress became lesser and lesser as well. A Scripture that spoke clearly to me at that time, and which continues to speak to me until now is...
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:26-30)
It dawned on me, after reading that Scripture for the first time, that God was the Father of my children and that He was going to take good care of them.
As I learned to trust God more, He also started entrusting more to me. He gave me stewardship of several ministries, and eventually gave me the freedom to do some writing business on the side. He opened fresh new doors for me without me even doing anything. He leads, I follow. He closes doors, I submit. He opens doors, I enter.
3. Put God first and everything else will follow.
I mentioned earlier that everything was priority for me... my kids, business, clients, family, and gym. God was definitely not my priority then. This was so stupid of me and was the reason why I was all stressed out.
Matthew 6:33 says: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these other things shall be added unto you.
I was actually doing the opposite... seeking the added things and pushing God aside.
As I became more immersed in the Word of God, and as I was studying the life of Jesus, I noticed something so relevant to time management. Jesus spent hours praying to the Father, alone in the mountains, then went back to where the people were and healed, cast out demons, taught, preached, and performed miracles in a matter of minutes. The secret to His power and doing so many things quickly and efficiently was in His prayer time. His disciples themselves asked Jesus to "teach them how to pray". They didn't ask Him to teach them how to heal or perform miracles. They asked Him to "teach them how to pray" because they have observed Jesus and knew that it was His prayer life that made all the difference.
I began to practice this for myself and it surely produced great results. I started waking up an hour or two earlier than my wake-up time only to spend quiet time, alone with God, in prayer and study of His Word. Early mornings, around 4-5 were the best time for me because the children were still asleep and everything was just so peaceful. Through my constant prayer life I was able to lay my plans before the Lord and He caused my thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so my plans were established (Proverbs 16:3). The busier I got, the more time I spent in prayer. I became even more effective in managing time, less the stress I used to have.
Today, years after I have discovered the greatest Time Management tips, I am still awed by how much tasks we can accomplish with no stress, if we just let God be God. Jesus said that His burden is light and it is!
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/ Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_U_Maki Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6676241

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