5 ways to schedule your time to bring JOY and PEACE to your life

How do you spend your time?  

I'm not exactly sure how I would have answered that question a few weeks ago.  I am aware that I am a pretty big time waster . I also am aware that I spend a lot of time spinning in circles (not literally), filling my life with "busy work" and not actually accomplishing anything.  However, I never really knew what to do about it.

Enter a great book study on 168 Hours: You have more time than you think by Laura Vanderkam.

Reading this book forced me to look at the time I had, look at how I was spending it, decide HOW I wanted to spend it, and make some hard choices to make those 2 things match up.

So I'm sharing my newfound wisdom with you.

1.  Pick your top 5 values in life.  
  • These are the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.  It might be family, faith, fitness, or a specific hobby.  
  • Write them down.  It's okay to have less or more than 5, but don't choose too many.  
  • My top 5 values are:  Faith, Marriage, Reading/Learning, Adventure/Travel, and Home/Family.  

2.  Assess how you spend your time. 
  • I recommend actually tracking how you spend your time for a week.  I used the resource from 168 hours - you can find a download of the time tracker HERE.  
  • It's hard.  It's tedious.  It is no fun.  But this step is essential.  Just do it!

3.  Decide how to make these 2 lists match up. 
  • You will probably be surprised at how you spend your time. You might even be embarrassed.  It's okay.  Go back to your top 5 values and highlight all of the time on your schedule spent on those values.  
  • Make a list of things that are how you WANT to spend your time.
    • Here are a few of the things on my list:  Spend time in the Bible and prayer, Game night with the family, Date nights, Read - by myself and with kids, Write more (here on this blog!), Have one family fun day outing per month. 
  • Be willing to say NO to things that don't fit into your values - especially if they will take a lot of time AWAY from your values.  

4.  Stop multi-tasking. 
  • This is a hard one for me.  I have been conditioned to feel like I am being productive if I am multi-tasking.  However, usually I am just doing two or more things poorly rather than doing one thing well.  
  • I am finding that it brings much PEACE to my life to just focus on ONE task at a time, and doing that ONE task well.  
  • This will decrease the amount of time I waste on social media as I usually find myself multi-tasking by scrolling through social media while doing something else.  

5.  Start a gratitude journal and spend 5 minutes at the end of day writing down 3 things that you are grateful for that day!  
  • Find a notebook and start writing down things you are thankful for every day.  
  • Another idea is to start a #365grateful social media challenge for yourself and post something every day that you are thankful for.  
  • Once you get past the obvious things you are grateful for like family, health, and a home, you might be surprised at what you can find to give thanks for in your life.  


Cathy Murphey said…
I always think I use time wisely, but I'm a little scared to actually track it. Lol! I have a feeling I would be very embarrassed at the amount of time I waste. But your suggestions and observations are spot on and have made me reconsider how I approach my time management.

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