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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”