– by Magdalene Victor
Imagine your life as an hourglass. The sand in the top bulb represents how much time you have when you’re born, the sand at the bottom represents the end of your life and as the sand flows down, it symbolizes the passing of time in your life. Just like the sand in the hourglass keeps moving steadily, so does your time and life. It keeps moving forward and can’t be paused or reversed.
Time is the building block of our lives. That’s why what we do within the limited time we have on earth is paramount. Jesus showed us how to live our lives within the limited time we have. He came to the earth to give his life for the salvation of humanity. He spent about three and a half years teaching and helping others and achieved His purpose for coming, even amidst distractions.
So as a follower of Jesus, you must not waste time at any stage of your life because your purpose is time-bound.
Moreover, many things are best learned when you’re young. Lamentation 3:27(AMP). says, “It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke [of godly discipline] in his youth.” Sadly, some are in their prime yet are wasting the precious time they have. Others who are older wish they had the opportunities that younger people have.
I believe embracing accountability can significantly help you. We live in a generation where everyone wants to be the boss and do whatever seems right to him or her. Most young people perceive submission as usurping their rights, so they frown at any conversation around accountability.
I recently had a conversation with a dear brother whom I noticed was always late to church services. During our conversation, I asked about the reason for his lateness. He admitted to struggling with time management but promised to improve. However, when I suggested that he be accountable to someone older, who would check on him regularly and help him improve in this area, he immediately expressed his reluctance to be accountable to anyone. Accountability is crucial in time management.
How does being accountable help you in managing your time better?
- Accounting for your time
Accountability is important in ensuring you do well and excel in time management. The mere thought of someone asking you to account for your time is sufficient to motivate you to manage your time well. Many older individuals like myself mastered time management because we were held accountable by our parents and other authority figures. They checked on us and asked us to give an account of our schedules, which kept us in check and motivated us to do well.
The purpose of accountability is to help you, not to hurt you. Willingly accepting to be supervised is a sign of wisdom and not weakness. Accepting accountability will make you humble and shield you from the missteps and shortcomings characteristic of our generation.
To use your time well and get a lot done, it’s important to ensure you complete your most important tasks daily. Spending time with God should be the first thing on your daily to-do list, followed by other important tasks like maintaining personal hygiene, healthy eating, studying, exercising etc. Leisure activities should come at the end of your list. Remember, all items on your list do not carry the same level of importance so, you must allocate more time to the most important tasks.
Once your priorities are in the right order, accountability can help you to maintain your priorities and prevent you from slacking off or becoming disorganized.
- Avoiding disruptions
It’s important to understand that efficient time management requires protecting your plans from unnecessary disruptions caused by others. You should learn to refuse unplanned requests, even from friends, that might significantly disrupt your schedule and hinder you from completing your important tasks for the day. However, it’s okay to pause your plans to assist individuals genuinely in need of your help. But you should be cautious of those who try to divert your attention with frivolous demands.
When declining impromptu interruptions to your schedule, you should be polite by making statements like “Oh I’d love to help, but I fear today is not feasible,” “I’m so sorry, but I can’t make it today,” or “I hope we can reschedule for another day.” When an offer will be detrimental to your plans, you must learn to say “No” without feeling guilty. Else you’ll discover you’ve wasted too much time trying to please others.
It’s important to use your time wisely while you’re young because as you get older, it becomes harder to learn new habits. There’s a time for everything, just like the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1. Being good at managing your time takes practice. Make a plan and follow it. And to do all of this well, it’s helpful to be accountable to someone who’d help you stay on track.