Redeeming your time for what matters most (Part 1).

Posted on Posted in Wise Living

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy a little more time? If you could, how much would you be willing to pay for two extra hours a day? What would you do with those two extra hours? Would you finally start doing that one thing you keep saying you need to do, but just don’t have time for?

In reality you can’t buy more time. You only have 168 hours a week like everyone else, and that’s all. But what if I told you that you could redeem, or pay back some of those hours and finally start doing the things in life that really matter the most? The good news is you can and here’s how?

Ephesians 5:15-17 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Three things to note from these verses:

  • Wise living doesn’t happen accidentally. Instead you have to “look carefully ” at  how you spend your life, so you don’t end up wasting it like a “fool”.
  • Plan the important things that matter, or they will be eaten up by the urgent. The phrase “making the best use of” is translated from the Greek word ἐξαγοράζω which means to “redeem” or “purchase”. Through planning your time, you can actually redeem it or buy it back for things that really matter the most.
  • Don’t just live, live on purpose. Through examining your life and planning your time, you can stop merely existing, and start really living for God’s greater purposes.

Now let’s divide your life into three imaginary boxes.

Box A [Important]. These are the things that matter the most, yet you are most likely to skip.

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This box includes things such as your relationships (God, family, friends), your health (exercise, sleep), and your own personal growth (time to learn, think, plan, and grow).

These are the things that matter most and have the most long term impact over your life, yet they are also the easiest to compromise or neglect. These things are also hard to maintain and require resolve, discipline, and determination; yet the benefits of doing them far out weigh the effort.

So why do these things often get skipped? It’s because they have very low visibility or accountability. For instance, if you miss your quiet time or skip date night with your wife, who’s really gonna know (besides her)?

Box B [Urgent]. These are the things you have to do, because skipping them will get you fired.

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This box includes things like work, chores, to-do list, etc. We hardly ever forget to do these, because if we do, someone will find out.

Box C [Easy] These are the unimportant things, that somehow you always find time to do.

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This box includes things like TV, social media, internet, news, sports, hobbies. etc. Like box A these have no accountability, but they are different from box A in that they are easy, rather than hard. Because they are easy, you will find yourself wasting hours on them, swiping your thumb on your phone or the remote.

Let’s look at these boxes again together. 

Box A [Important] – The things in life that often get skipped because they are hard and have very little accountability.

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Box B [Urgent] The things that are also hard, but you always get done because people are watching and holding you accountable (like your boss).

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Box C [Easy] – The unimportant things you gravitate to because they are easy and fun. 

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Now that you have examined these blocks of time that make up your life, the question is how will you plan to make sure you are doing the important things in box A that are really going to matter to you on day when you look back on your life.

Take a few minutes and begin thinking of ways to redeem the time you waste in Box C [Easy] that you could redeem and use for Box A [Important].

In my next post I’ll give you 6 practical tips for redeeming your time for what really matters most in life, because the truth is, if you don’t plan for the IMPORTANT (Box A), the important will get skipped for the URGENT (Box B) and the EASY (Box C).