The Importance of Living by Schedule

Something clicked. On a brief walk in the early morning open-air, I ran through the possible topics for this morning’s entry and settled strongly on “scheduling”. On my return, I sat down with God for a few moments and, for the first time in a long time, broke down the remainder of my morning into a schedule.

I’ve been following some of the principles of more efficient time management for awhile now, but until this morning, they just hadn’t been brought together.

Last weekend I joined several of my close friends and family on the last Sabbath of Indiana family camp. While my wife and I had only been able to make it for one day, several of our friends and family members had been there for the days prior. During those days, they’d each been inspired on the topic of time management and scheduling. As a result, upon their return home, they began putting the principles into practice and working to set themselves and their homes on schedule. Their enthusiasm planted seeds of inspiration in my heart also.

A few months ago, my dear wife had put a lot of thought and energy into a schedule for our family which we then proceeded to follow faithfully for about 2-3 days. A busy school life and the slant towards unpredictability that newlyweds are often prone too was set against us and, though we recognized the definite importance, we let our schedule slide.

How many of you have experienced that before? Why is it that time management seems so difficult?

Several years ago (and a few of you faithful readers may recall this) I put a lot of energy into a “mastery of time management”. I had good intentions and did make apparent progress, but I was lacking a few critical ingredients.

As a Christian I now understand it my God-given responsibility to be a good steward of the time and energy He’s given me. To experience continual success, as a husband and as a businessman, I must be a master of the time God has allotted me and not a servant to it.

It’s quite a challenge. It can and must be done, though.

Here’s an outline of the schedule that I’ve set this morning.

4:00 AM – Arise and shine. Get up and begin my morning prayer and study time.

5:00 AM – Prayer and study ends. Go for a short walk. Return and plan the remainder of the morning.

5:30 AM – For the next 2 hours, my time is spent between answering emails, blogging, and working on side projects. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to focus on improving how this particular block of time is spent.

7:30 AM – Walk with my wife.

8:00 AM – Breakfast and preparation for work. Leave around 8:40.

9:00 AM – After prayer, work begins at our office in Jasper, Indiana.

Getting up at 4 AM can be a challenge my friends. Some of you have tried it and, like me, after a good night’s rest, wouldn’t ever think of starting your day another way. Even with good intentions, though, and a recognition of the potential that the early morning offers, it’s not an easy thing.

Each night before going to bed, I pray that God would wake me up the next day and, very importantly, that He would give me the desire to get up. The warmth of bed is inviting when your eyes first open, especially on these cold fall and winter mornings. If I don’t get up immediately, my eyes will close and I will sleep.

God has never let me down. He always seems to know exactly how much sleep I need. Since I began the habit 2 years ago, even on days when I had early morning appointments, I have never had to use an alarm clock. There’s something jarring and unhealthy about the alarm clock suddenly pulling us out of restful sleep into a state of unhappy alertness. In my study of the Scriptures I found testimonies of others that relied on God to wake them up morning by morning (Isaiah 50:4) and I decided to exercise that same faith and rely on God to wake me up. Alarm clock free for all this time, I get much better sleep and no longer dread the early morning hours. Try it and see for yourself.

And with that, I’m off to start on my next morning project. I’ll continue to keep you posted on my progress with scheduling and I look forward to hearing your personal reports as well.

Have a wonderful new day,

Jonathan Wold