Do you ever stop to consider the near-infinite amount of resources, tools, and information that many of us keep in our back pocket? Our phones (along with our computers and other devices) are extraordinary works of technology that can help us in countless ways. And yet, so often they end up wasting our time instead of giving us time. Today, we’re going to discuss some practical ways your technology can be used as a time-saver instead of a time-drainer.
Method 1: Schedule Priorities
On Tuesday, we discussed how to recognize our main responsibilities—now we need to actively live that out. Otherwise, that information is wasted. One of the best ways to make time for your priorities is to put them in your calendar, digitally or otherwise. And here’s a bonus: scheduling a time for your priorities should be a little easier now that you’ve established what your “prime time” is after reading Thursday’s LIO.
Once you’ve scheduled in your responsibilities, I highly recommend setting a reminder for them. If you’ve put your responsibilities in your phone or computer calendar, you can set an alert for each event. You can also use your phone alarm or a physical alarm to remind you.
Here’s a personal example: since our primary responsibilities are those as children and followers of God, I schedule my devotional time every morning from 8-9 (my prime time). I have it in my computer and phone calendars with a 15-minute warning.
Method 2: Create Accountability
So, you have your responsibilities in your schedule and your reminder goes off. If you’re like me, sometimes you just ignore it and go on with whatever you were doing. This is where communicating your schedule and prime time to others can be helpful. Tell your friends and family members about your intentions to read your Bible every morning at 8, go jogging at lunch every Wednesday, or whatever it may be. Then, ask them to help keep you accountable. This can be an in-person reminder, or it could be a text or phone call—whatever works best for you. I use an app called Habitica to keep track of my daily responsibilities and whether I’ve done them.
Method 3: Limit Distractions
One of the biggest downsides of constant access to our phones is their ability to distract us from more pressing responsibilities. While it’s good to make technology work for us, it’s also important to make sure it’s not working against us.
For me, constant communication through texts and phone calls is distracting and sometimes draining. As a result, not only do I put my phone on silent when I’m reading my Bible, but I also respond to my texts, emails, Facebook messages, etc. all at once, once a day. Obviously, I make exceptions to that rule, but because I’ve communicated this to my friends, they don’t worry or get upset if they haven’t heard from me in twenty-four hours.
Maybe social media is a major time sink for you. Try only allowing yourself to use Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for 30 minutes, once a day. You can also make social media just a little harder to access by deleting those apps (or at least moving them to a screen you don’t look at as often).
Once you’ve scheduled your major responsibilities and reduced your major distractions, you can see more clearly how much time you have in your calendar and whether you truly have time to say yes to other concerns.
Review what you’ve learned this week: What are your primary responsibilities? What energizes/drains you? What is your prime time of the day?
What are some of your primary distractions?
Is technology a time-drainer or a time-saver for you? If the former, how could you change that?
Schedule times for your primary responsibilities in your calendar.
Communicate your schedule with a couple of friends or family members who can help you be accountable.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the time and tools you provide us with. Please help us to use them for your glory and Kingdom. Teach us to manage our responsibilities and distractions wisely. May your will be done in us and through us. Amen.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton Lechner is a college grad currently working at her local library. In her spare time, she volunteers as an ESL teacher and freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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