Consider: How Should I Manage Time?

The short booklet How Should I Manage Time? by Ryan M. McGraw has this to say about intentional living:

Now that we understand the biblical principles of the value of time, we can consider how to manage our time in a God-honoring way. We must distinguish between principles derived from Scripture, the fact that we must apply them, and the varied ways in which we may apply them. For example, we must meditate daily on the Word of God (Ps. 1:2). we may do this by prayerfully reading through the entire Bible in a year or through some other method. We may read at different times of the day and more at some times than others. Similarly, using time well means being intentional with how we use time.

If our wise priorities show up in what we do all day and each day, we are living with intention.

These books are only set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.

FYI: Learning

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

Encouragement — life-long learning is always in season

Benefits

Break it down — why learning is good for the whole person

Homeschooling — a mom on benefits of raising children who continue learning, hopefully motivating parents to lead by example

Not just for men — well-written encouragement to broaden our horizons

Heavy research — showing who and why and what results came of continuing education, personally and professionally

Resources

Online — 10 online educational sites

Udemy — a plethora of online classes

A Healthy Mind

…mens sana in corpore sano. (Roman poet Juvenal)

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37

When we think of health, we tend to think of physical health. It has a tendency to be front and center — sometimes due to serious health concerns of loved ones, sometimes because of the neighbor who bought stock in the gym or the many ads containing people who seem bursting with physical fitness. We also periodically think of our spiritual health — usually related to how daily devotional times are going. Mental health also comes up, but it’s often related to our churning emotions or simply needing a day of rest rather than medical issues.

Our physical health does have value on this earth. When our muscles are strong and our systems healthy, we have the energy and strength needed for our God-given responsibilities.

But how often are we concerned with how our brains are working, whether our thinking is sound? Once out of the educational environment, it doesn’t come up that often until old age approaches.

It should. I am intrigued by the studies that explore how mental activities affect the health of the brain, specifically related to age and Alzheimers. I am a little confused, though, by how we tend to think that we can set cruise control after the first 20+ years until we think we are approaching the last 10. That can be a lot of years, which would be many wasted opportunities.

So much could be said on this topic, but I will simply beg this:

Stretch your mind AND stretch your muscles. Work your brain AND workout at the gym. Both will have lasting value when driven by transformed hearts striving to love God with all that we are.

There are many ways to do this, from reading a book to doing a daily crossword to taking a class to memorizing Scripture to engaging in adult conversation. Learning a new language or a new skill will really stretch you, but the rewards match the effort. However you can, please find some ways that work for your current stage of life.

FYI: Reading

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

How To — a variety of ways to read

Making a Habit — you want to read, but are you?

It’s Important — “There is a reason societies and civilizations throughout history have treasured the written word. It is art—beautiful and awe-inspiring for its own sake. It deserves our attention, our contemplation. Literature’s imaginative and creative power—the way it opens our eyes and sharpens our perceptions of the world—is highly valuable and unique.”

Bite-sized recommendations — 3 books with daily snippets

How to Make Time — encouragement with benefits and tips to make a habit

“Real” Books — why a paper copy of a book may be better

Reading Old Books — the value an older book has over a new release…and more encouragement to read

A Further Summary of Benefits — Reader’s Digest weighs in

Audio Books — how listening can redeem time — And Again

 

Reading

I am a bookworm. I LOVE books. They are a pleasure to read, touch, see, sort, collect, buy, smell. The only downside I’ve found is the risk of a paper cut, but that’s what a Kindle is for! Yes, I love e-readers, since they also unlock the treasure that is a book, but I will not digress further…

Bias aside, I will happily argue the benefits of reading and encourage you to read a book. Yes, it takes time, but consider the value of using some time this way.

Exercise Your Mind

The act of reading exercises your brain in a way that normal daily use does not. Absorbing the words on the pages takes mental effort — which is good! Focusing on a train of thought for page after page takes concentration that we rarely exercise anymore in the age of tweets and sound bites. As you read, you interact with the author’s thoughts and confirm or formulate your own. This time to think is priceless.

Open Your Mind

Very few of us are able to experience as much in person as we can peek into through a book. As Emily Dickinson said so well,

There is no Frigate like a Book  
To take us Lands away,  
Nor any Coursers like a Page  
Of prancing Poetry –   
This Traverse may the poorest take         
Without oppress of Toll –   
How frugal is the Chariot  
That bears a Human soul.

Help with Learning

You’d like to know how to better serve the nutritional needs of your family? There are books that delve into that topic and help you understand the science and benefits. Your good friend recently moved to Kenya? You can gain a better understanding of her new life by reading about the country and culture — through nonfiction and good fiction.

Reading also expands your vocabulary and boosts your writing skills. You may not be an author, but writing is a valuable tool at various points in our lives. Being able to wield it better will yield better results from that communication.

Promotes Good Health

There is promising research that reading helps with brain cell health, building up a reserve you may need in the future. Taking the time to read also helps reduce your stress level, and we are all familiar with the negative health effects of stress.

Provides for Social Interaction

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, especially in a work of fiction or a biography, helps you see from another perspective. This helps you understand the people around you better; you gain empathy.

The more you read, the more you have to talk about. Small talk at your service! Your conversations will be richer, and you will have more to add.

Book clubs are also a great way to meet new friends, maintain relationships, and inject social time into your schedule. The fact that you read a book in the process is a bonus. If you have a good library system available, you can reap all these benefits for a minimal financial investment.

And More

There are more detailed benefits and plenty of research on the topic, but hopefully this is enough to get you thinking…and maybe even enough to get you to pick up a book. Enjoy it!