How Effectively Do You Use Time?

Our health is directly related to how we deal with stress. And time is one of those stresses that affects all of us. How effectively do you use your time? I know I am not always the best manager of my time.

So, I’ve been reading this book called The Deborah Anointing, by Michelle McClain-Walters (she also wrote The Anna Anointing and The Esther Anointing). In it she says,

“The quality of your life is determined by how effectively you use time.”

Notice she says, “time,” not “your time,” Hmmmm….

We feel most stressed when our calendars are so full and we feel like we have to get it all done NOW! So, how can we practically understand time and manage it better?

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Michelle goes on to describe four spiritual seasons of time in our lives. We experience:

Spiritual winter – a time of death to self

Spiritual spring – a time to embrace the call

Spiritual summer – a time of revelation

Spiritual fall – a time of harvest and fulfillment

In the midst of our busy schedules it’s important to keep Christ as our focus. It is sooooooo easy to allow ourselves to focus on things of this world – money, status, reputations, ourselves… (God has been working on my heart on this very thing lately. Sigh.)

Our life here on earth was meant as a preparation period for our eternity. God created each of us perfectly and for His purposes. If what we’re doing isn’t glorifying God in some way, we might need to reconsider if we need that thing. What spiritual season are you currently in? And how can you honor and accept where you are?

Let’s look at 5 ways we can practically keep our focus on God and use our time wisely no matter what spiritual season you might be in.

1.Adequate time with God daily

This is the most important part of our day. Think about this: You have about 8-10 hours of time during the day that are most likely dedicated to someone else – work, kids, whatever. That leaves you with 14-16 hours of time for yourself. Hopefully about 8 of those hours are sleeping. And that gives you 6-8 hours to do whatever else you desire. What are you doing with that time? Cooking and eating, exercising, playing, chores… What can you do so that time with God is your number one, non-negotiable priority?

2. Make a list of our top 5 priorities

I encourage you to take a moment and write down the top 5 priorities in your life. These are the MOST important things. This list will help you prioritize what you say yes or no to. Then use this list. Don’t just make it and put it aside. Allow it to help you make decisions.

3. Take time to breathe

You might be thinking, Carrie, I breathe all day long. I know, I know. But, I’m talking about time to focus on your breath. Every time you breathe in oxygen God is breathing into you His breath of life. Take time for 10 deep, focused breaths a day (at least) and watch your stress melt away. There are many different breathing techniques for different things. If you need help with this please let me know! I’m happy to give you more details, information, or tips.

4. Say no

This might be one of the hardest things for us. Saying no – especially when they are good things! But, it also might be what needs to happen to clear some things out of your calendar to make room for your top 5 priorities. I invite for you to inquire of God first to see if it’s something He wants you to do or not. Is there anything you can say no to today? And I might add – that if you have kids show them how to say no to things too. You will help set them up for success in so many ways.

5. Make a plan and be flexible

It’s important to not be willy-nilly all the time or just live by the seat of our pants. We do need a plan. But it’s also important to be flexible with that plan. Life is uncertain and when we hold on to our plans like a tight fist then we are only causing more strain and stress on ourselves. (Take a moment and make a tight fist. See how that would feel in your entire body to carry that around all day every day.) Make a plan, and allow God to infuse, change, and direct you – even when His way seems way out of the way. His plans are always good!

So, what is one thing you can do today to be a better manager of time?

The Hunger Game

Let’s talk about the hunger game!  And I’m not talking about the great books and movies with Katniss Everdeen.  I’m talking about what happens inside your body when you get hungry.

So, what happens inside your body when you get hungry?  What are the signs your body gives you that let you know you’re starting to get hungry?

(And if you already know the answer to those questions you are ahead in the game!  Soooo many clients I work with struggle to have answers with this topic.)

For me, I get a little rumbly in my tummy, perhaps a slight headache, a little jittery, and if I let it go too long I get hangry.  “Get out of my way!  I’m getting to that food, hangry!”  That ever happen to you?

So, let’s talk about a few ways to avoid the hangry.

  1. When you feel yourself just begin to get hungry it’s time to start planning for food.  That doesn’t mean you have to eat right now, but start planning for it.
  2. Eat when you are a little bit hungrier than when you first noticed you were hungry.  This will keep you from binging or overeating or scarfing down whatever you can get your hands on.
  3. If you wait until you’re hangry you have set yourself up for not being able to control what you put in your mouth.  Your desire for food will be so strong that it will override your desire to eat healthy.

 

The next part of the hunger game is knowing when to stop eating.  Most of us eat beyond fullness, stuffing too many calories in for what our bodies need.  (Ever needed to unbutton your pants after eating? I know, I know!  That ‘whatever food’ was soooo good.  You needed just one more bite.  And one more bite.  And one more bite.  Then you needed to unbutton your pants.)

Here’s a few tips to help you from overeating and needing to wear old lady elastic pants to dinner every night.

  1. Eat slowly and chew your food around 30 times a bite (no matter what it is).  This chewing and eating slowly helps your body assimilate nutrients better so you get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and energy! from the food you’re eating.  You will eat less this way!
  2. Take around 20 minutes to eat your meal. This allows your brain to catch up with your stomach.  It actually takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive a signal from the belly saying it’s full.  And if you eat your entire huge meal in 10 minutes then your brain doesn’t know you’re full until 10 minutes later.  Then you’re unbuttoning your pants!  Doh!
  3. Eat to around 75-80% fullness.  This may be something you have to play with a little to see what is right for you.  The goal here is to eat for energy.  Eat until satiated, but not stuffed.  And this is where eating slowly and taking around 20 minutes really comes in handy.

 

Play this game every single meal! Here’s what you might notice if you do:

  • You’re consuming less food.
  • You’ll be losing weight (without counting calories).
  • You’re digestive system is performing better.
  • You have less constipation/diarrhea.
  • You are able to deal with stress better (I know!  Just from paying attention to your hunger!)
  • Your meal times will be more pleasant.

 

What’s your hunger game status?

How can I up-level my healthy?

Being as healthy as you can be takes time, perseverance, and knowledge.  But it doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are 10 ideas for up-leveling your healthy:

  1. Poop every single day

    I know. I know.  Poop is so terrible to talk about.  But, it’s actually one of the most important things to help you stay healthy.  If you’re not pooping every day then it’s fermenting and rotting in your gut.  Then that ickiness gets absorbed into your blood stream.  Even ickier.

  2. Manage your stress

    Stress is the number one cause of ALL dis-ease.  Stress felt consistently can even alter how your genes are expressed causing sickness, disease, pain, weight gain, and sleeplessness.

  3. Eat organic

    Pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals put on our food sources cause our bodies to have a build up of toxins which cause tons of health issues.  Choose organic whenever possible or use the Dirty Dozen Clean Fifteen list.

  4. Pray and meditate

    Praying and meditating reduces stress.  Plus, the connection to God and learning to love and trust Him during life struggles will increase your faith.

  5. Get good sleep

    Your body detoxes while you sleep.  If you’re not sleeping enough you will likely wake up feeling foggy brained, irritable, and of course exhausted.  The left over toxins build up over time and cause more dis-ease in the body.

  6. Move your body

    Exercise does so much for not only your physical body but your emotional well being too!  Movement releases feel good endorphins that keep us happy and obviously help our muscles too!

  7. Play 

    As we age we play less and less.  We get more serious.  Play allows us to feel lighthearted and enjoy life more.

  8. Invest in your relationships

    Multiple researchers have found that happy, healthy people have around 3 to 5 strong relationships that are nourished often, or daily.  Cultivate relationships with people most important to you.

  9. Drink spring water

    Tap water contains a number of toxic chemicals that most filters can’t remove completely.  Spring water contains essential minerals and is what I recommend to my clients for safe drinking.

  10. Detox your body and home

    Getting rid of toxic chemicals and cleaning products in your home will do wonders for your health.  In addition, your body stores toxins and needs detoxing every so often.  Make sure you detox safely and with guidance if you’ve never done anything like that before.

 

These are a few ideas to up-level your healthy.  Know that creating new healthy habits takes time.  It doesn’t happen overnight and requires one step at a time.  What questions do you have about this list?  What would you add to this list?

Need ideas for implementing any or all of these tips?  Email me for suggestions.