Sometimes it is more than our surroundings that become cluttered. Life can become cluttered when projects and tasks are left unfinished and when we procrastinate in the things we should do. The symptoms of a cluttered life are a lack of energy, little productivity, frustration, consistently feeling overwhelmed, being reactive rather than proactive, and time is easily wasted doing things that don’t matter. Do any of those things ring true for you? I know I can identify. Recently, as more demand was put on my time to write books, prepare new teachings, and travel, all while overseeing two ministries…my life got really cluttered. I definitely became inefficient and overwhelmed. Here’s what I’ve discovered: One of the best ways to overcome a cluttered life (in addition to praying and seeking God) is to develop a new routine. For me, that means I need to organize my week differently. I have to set aside two days a week to stay at home to write and prepare. I have to schedule specific days and times for the things that are important to me.
I encourage you to develop a routine that works for you. For instance, you may set aside every Tuesday at 7:30pm to do laundry. Or every time you get a bill, simply put them all in one spot, and set aside Saturdays at 10:00am to pay bills. Decide when you will go to the bank, grocery shopping, etc. Having an effective routine brings together your “to do” and “when”. It is not enough to have a bunch of “to do’s” in your head. That makes for a cluttered life. It is having the “when” attached to the “to do” that puts you in control and eliminates a cluttered life.
One of the best books I’ve read on the subject of time management is Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management from the Inside Out. In it she shares practical advice on “assigning every task a home”, how to be proactive, how to create a time map and other strategies that fit you.
Consider the fact that time management is ultimately about life management. You have one life to fulfill what God has assigned you to do. Let’s make the most of it!