#1 I’ll remember that
I have a really good short-term memory. I can memorize information for a test and do well, for example. But if my son asks me to buy deodorant, my friend asks if I want to do lunch, and my husband tells me I’m in charge of taking the kids to tennis, I won’t remember. I have to write it down and set up reminders as well.
I know I’m not the only one who forgets. The Israelites constantly forgot what God said and got into trouble. The truth is, we not only need task reminders, but the reminders that come from regularly reading God’s Word.
#2 I don’t have enough hours in the day
I have often been guilty of saying I don’t have enough time. The cleaning, cooking, and other tasks seem overwhelming. Yet God has blessed all of us with 24 hours of time each day. Would He give us more to do than could be accomplished with the time we have? I don’t think so.
God doesn’t overload my to-do list; I do. To make sure we’re doing His work, we have to go to Him every day in prayer. He promises to give us the wisdom we seek. When we’re done trimming the list, we’ll find we have all the time we need to do all He has called us to do.
#3 I’ll get caught up later
One of the things I learned from trying to lose weight for many years is that there will always be a reason to overeat today. We’re very creative at making holidays! The same is true of getting things done. I can come up with myriad reasons why I shouldn’t work on something today.
My favorite reason is because I’ll have more time later. We’ve already established that we’ll always have the same amount of time each day. What we will have more of, if we wait, is work. We should start today, even if we can only spend a few minutes working.
#4 I just need to find the right planner or application
Planners and apps for your phone can definitely help us remember our to-do’s. But they won’t add hours to our day or help us get caught up. If they did, we wouldn’t keep looking for a new one.
The most powerful time management tools are those you already own: paper, a pen, a timer, and willingness to work. Write down what you’d like to accomplish today, set a timer for a reasonable work period before taking a break (5-50 minutes) and get busy!
#5 I’m a procrastinator
As Christians, we would never repeatedly label ourselves a gossip, a liar, or a jealous person. We know that in Christ, we are new creations. The old is gone! But for some reason when it comes to putting things off (which the Bible calls laziness), we are comfortable retaining the label.
Research has demonstrated the power of labels on our beliefs and then our behavior. The more we tell ourselves we are procrastinators, the more we will exhibit lazy behavior. Try on the diligent woman label for a change.
#6 If it is to be, it’s up to me
This has been my lifelong motto and it’s a foolish one. This past year I’ve learned that I am running myself ragged for nothing. My family and friends want to help me; I just rarely let them.
God doesn’t expect us to do what He’s called us to do alone. Moses did this and his father-in-law pointed out that it wasn’t good! When we try to do it alone, we deprive others of the joy of serving alongside us. Today, kindly delegate some of your tasks that don’t have to be done by you.
Reading the Word, praying over our task list, starting today, using simple tools, wearing the right label, and asking for help can combat the lies we’ve believed about time management.
Which of these lies has been the most destructive in your life?
Dr. Melanie Wilson is a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mother of six. She blogs about faith, time management, and homeschooling at Psychowith6.com.