Time Management

By Janelle Pollard

As a nurse, time management is very important. There are often more tasks to do than it seems I have time for. Generally, what I do in the first 2 hours determines how the next 10 will go. Some mornings, I get right to work, doing full assessments on my patients, filling out their whiteboards, and bringing their early medications with a fresh cup of ice water. Now, I’m ready to take on my next task of charting all that I just did. Because as we nurses know, “if it isn’t charted, it didn’t happen!” If every shift started out this seamlessly, I would never need to stay a single minute late. However, it’s rare that something doesn’t pop up unexpectedly to throw me off my game. A patient rings the call button, “I need my nurse in here right now!” I drop what I’m doing and run to their room, expecting an emergency, only to hear, “I need you to scratch my foot.” Or maybe, upon assessing a patient, I notice her breathing is very labored. She’s more lethargic than an hour ago and her oxygen level has dropped. I stop everything else and this patient becomes my top priority. When all is settled down and she is better, all of my other patients’ medications are going to be late. Now, I’m behind on charting and still need to give insulin before lunch arrives. But what about my lunch? Because now I’m starving and can I even be a good nurse if all I can think about is my growling stomach? Well, it’ll have to wait because my goal has now become to everything without having to stay late.

This is a real world example of what happens in life. If everything could just go according to plan, we would have all the time in the world to prepare for the life after this. But does it ever? That’s a big NOPE. Life gets busy. Each day brings a new challenge or change to our schedule and we constantly have to alter our plans. Priorities shift and sometimes things that are the most important get put on the back-burner because we “just don’t have time today.” But after days and weeks of being on the back-burner, these “priorities” become no more than a small check at the very bottom of a seemingly endless to-do list. This is precisely how the devil wants it to be. A slow fade. If for months or years, we were in the habit of daily Bible study, constantly in prayer throughout our day, and then all of sudden that all changed from one day to the next, it would be very noticeable and we would work hard to get back to our happy and healthy state of equilibrium. But when this occurs over time, it’s less noticeable and sadly, bothers us less.

In healthcare, we talk to patients a lot about preventative measures. We give prophylactic treatments. Keeping you healthy by staying ahead of the problem is almost always better than treating one after it’s already become one. The same goes for us spiritually. How can we prevent this from happening to us? How can we manage our time and our lives so that our top priorities stay at the very top?

  1. Pray about it. Ask God to keep you diligent in your prayer and study. Ask Him to make you more aware of how you are spending your time.
  2. Plan your time. If you don’t already have a planner or some kind of daily agenda, consider it. Write out at the beginning of the week, how you will spend your time and include time each day for Bible study.
  3. Find an accountability partner. If you know someone who is grounded in daily Bible study, consider asking them to be an accountability partner with you. Ask each other each day or each week how their doing in their studies and pray for each other.
  4. Do a Bible study on time management. The Bible has plenty to say on how we spend our time and reading about it will be a great reminder for us! Ecclesiastes and James are a couple that come to mind.

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

-Ephesians 5:15-17

Image from Corporate Finance Institute

What Matters in this New Year

By Chelsea Pollard

We’ve experienced some interesting things in the past few years, don’t you think? Some of it has been unpleasant, but I have seen so many good things come out of it. We’ve grown closer to our friends and family. In general, being kind to the strangers all around us! In times of struggle and disaster, helping the community in a very hands on way. Maybe we got caught up in some of the negativity in the beginning, but more and more I’m seeing positivity and the spread of it! At the start of a new year, I like to read over some of my favorite verses. These verses help me in a lot of different ways, and I’d like to share them with you.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Father who is full of mercy, the God of all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“Don’t worry—I am with you. Don’t be afraid—I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will support you with my right hand that brings victory.” Isaiah 41:10

“You comfort me in my suffering, because your promise gives me new life.” Psalms 119:50

“My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give my sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of my hand. My Father is the one who gave them to me, and he is greater than all. No one can steal my sheep out of his hand. The Father and I are one.” John 10:27-30

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. In Christ, he chose us before the world was made. He chose us in love to be his holy people—people who could stand before him without any fault. And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. This was what God wanted, and it pleased him to do it. And this brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely. He gave us that grace in Christ, the one he loves.” Ephesians 1:3-6

“The Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need. He gives me green pastures to lie in. He leads me by calm pools of water. He restores my strength. He leads me on right paths to show that he is good. Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave, I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies. You welcomed me as an honored guest. My cup is full and spilling over. Your goodness and mercy will be with me all my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house a long, long time.” Psalm 23

I want to start out the new year remembering what’s important. Rather, who is important. God’s love for us is so much more than our human brains can imagine.

“The only one who truly loved me to death.”

Inspiring or Draining?

By Kathy Pollard

There are several variations of a quote that goes something like, “People can inspire you or they can drain you…choose wisely.” Sage advice if it’s true that we become like the people we spend the most time with. We need to invest in relationships that will bring out the best in us, and be careful around those whose disagreeable traits could rub off on us.

Don’t you think it’s pretty easy to tell the difference? When I think of those who inspire me, I can rattle off several reasons why. The same goes for those who drain me (that sounds harsh, I know). Here’s how that looks to me:

Inspiring

  • expresses love
  • encourages
  • compliments
  • looks for the positive
  • cheerful disposition
  • instills courage in others
  • sees the good in others
  • expresses gratitude
  • patient
  • smiles
  • warm
  • pays attention
  • brings people together
  • engages
  • tries new things
  • shares
  • speech reflects a Phil. 4:8 mind

Draining

  • complains
  • criticizes
  • points out the negative
  • finds fault
  • fuels drama
  • angers easily
  • impatient
  • gossips
  • self-absorbed
  • always a victim
  • puts others down
  • sarcastic
  • argumentative
  • interrupts
  • moody
  • distracted
  • doesn’t do anything they don’t want to

With as much grace as possible, you can probably think of the people in your circle and see which list they tend to fall under. It’s a fairly easy discernment to make, right?

Okay, having said all that…it wouldn’t be very fair for this quote to be so one-sided. Otherwise it becomes a selfish exercise.

You’re good for me. Let’s hang out.

I’m tired of your constant griping. Buh-bye.

The rest of the quote should be something like, “You can inspire others or you can drain them. Choose wisely.” Perhaps this should be our greater focus. Instead of inspecting the strengths and flaws of others, what if we looked a little closer at ourselves in light of those two lists? Ah, but this is not as easy to discern because I know the excuses behind my complaints and criticisms. I know I’m exhausted, or in the midst of a trial, or disappointed, or having the worst day ever… Whatever the reason, the effect is the same. My attitude impacts those around me. With every encounter, I am defining myself as an inspirer or a drainer, and I am the only one who chooses which it shall be.

I know which one I want to be. How about you? No one’s going to perfectly live out the inspiring list, and I know for a fact that there are some doozies on that drainer list that I need to work on. Let’s commit to bringing out the best in each other, okay?

Happy New Year, friends. 2 Cor. 4:16!

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