Once I started my Ph.D. research in January, I reached a new level of “busyness,” working 5-10 hours per day on my dissertation. I reached out to a close friend to give me advice on removing the “clutter” in my life. Here are seven things he told me to do:
1. Honor God first. Daily Bible reading and prayer should never take a back seat in your life.
2. Put a hold on wanting to be perfect. You don’t need to cook a 4-course dinner for two friends. A pizza, salad, and a bottle of wine will do; the great conversation is what’s important.
3. Let things go. Don’t analyze your day and every relationship, trying to figure out what will happen next or how you can make things better. Careful introspection —figuring out how you can be more like Christ in every situation is very good. But instead of dwelling on events, examine them, make necessary adjustments in your life or faith, and move on.
4. Don’t plan ahead. This sounds counter-intuitive, but don’t plan ahead! It drives your friends crazy when you want details so far in advance. With overbooked schedules, plans often go awry. Be more spontaneous; trust your friends and that God will take care of your plans!
5. Clean up your email. Unsubscribe to all the marketing emails, group distributions and random emails. Block senders you don’t know and write rules to move unwanted emails to your delete folder automatically. Unsubscribe from all your daily meditations except one or two.
6. Keep focused on what God wants you to do. Don’t log into your FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and LINKED IN accounts and check your phone constantly for new messages looking for some excitement in someone else’s life. Log into social media once per day when you post your blog, but keep focused on what God has asked you to do; don’t worry about anyone else’s life.
7. Get intentional about relaxing and having fun with your Christian friends. In today’s frenzied world, no matter how busy you are, make time to be together, share your faith, and laugh with your friends.
I have a great friend that has saved me from my “busyness;” now I have more time to serve God.
Would any of these suggestions free up your time, too?
Blessings, my friend,