Time Wise

One of the most important aspects of achieving success in time management is the development of a time policy.

A time policy is a guide to scheduling in which you reserve periods of the day for specific activities. This habit reduces the brain’s start-up time. If your prime time is the midmorning or late afternoon, set your priority tasks and quiet-hour time accordingly.

The quiet hour is your time of peak energy during which you give uninterrupted attention to your prior­ity task for the day. If the hourly cost of your secular employment is $10, the hourly cost of your prime time is $20—get the idea? Don’t waste precious quiet-hour time by working on mundane tasks; utilize this time for tasks that are important, perhaps diffi­cult, and those that have eternal consequences.

Following these principles will lead to accom­plished goals:

  • Regularly review long-range goals for your per­sonal life and ministry.
  • Spend a few minutes thinking about and plan­ning your day before you begin it.
  • List your tasks and activities in order of priority and concentrate on those at the top.
  • Keep and use an ongoing “to do” list.
  • Handle the most important tasks of the day when you feel the most alert.
  • Group similar tasks together.
  • When you’re working on a large project, break the task into small chunks and work on one piece of the project at a time.
  • Keep reference materials, such as Bible study guides, various Bible versions, Spirit of Prophecy books, and important manuals within arm’s reach of your primary work area.
  • Organize your working tools, such as church directories, books, pens, rulers, telephone, and Rolo­dex so that they are ready to use the minute you need them.
  • Maintain a simple but well-defined filing sys­tem, in which you place all loose papers and materi­als.
  • Skim magazines, journals, and reports to learn key information.
  • Use waiting time and travel time to catch up on reading.
  • Develop backup plans that can be quickly and easily implemented if your original plans don’t work out.
  • Keep your secretary, assistant, and/or teachers informed about your work so they can handle minor tasks in your unplanned absence.
  • Stop working on a task when you begin to feel stress or a loss of energy.
  • Systematically assess where and how you spend your time.
  • Take time each week to determine whether you’ve completed the goals you had set.

Remember, time means more than money; time is part of your life that you’re giving away. The more organized you become, the less effort it takes to be­come even more organized. You’ll have more time for the important things in your life.

*Reprinted by permission from Sabbath School Leader­ship

Faith Crumbly
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists