4 Steps to Clear More Space in Your Life and Regain Control of Your Time

Take Action and Budget Your Own Calendar Before Someone Else Does

If life was a trip we’d plan it accordingly. We’d decide how much time was allotted for the work of travel, for the spiritual renewal of sleep, for the fellowship of dining, for the play of sightseeing, and so on. But why don’t we do a better job at planning our life: the time spent for work, renewal, fellowship, and play?

Regain Control of Your Time

Maybe we think we are an infinite resource of energy and that we have all the time in the world. But we aren’t, and we don’t.

Earlier, I listened to a few school teachers state they had so much work required of them that 50 hours a week plus all day Saturday was needed to teach a class of kids. Their stress level was extremely high. The tears and pain of not having time for their family, their spouse, or themselves was depressing. They felt their life was completely out of control.

And they’re not alone. Are they?

Everyone seems to want a piece of us. No one seems to understand we are only one person with limited resources. (And sometimes we don’t recognize that ourselves.) But if we aren’t proactive in planning our lives, everyone and everything else will plan our time for their own advancement.

We must take action and regain control of our calendars now, or we’ll fall off our rocker.

Let’s go back to the beginning of our why. Why we do what we are doing. Find clarity about what’s important and what our calendar should actually look like.

Wasted Areas

If you’re like me, you’re guilty of wasting time. I’m always falling for the trap of clearing the red dots on the top right of all those apps on my iPhone. My one minute to check for something important turns into a drain. Two or three hours later and I’m late to an appointment I had scheduled.

I need a budget for my time. It’s works for money, so why not for our most important resource: time. I’ll have to fight for it, it’s not just going to be given to me or just happen out of nothing. It will mean disciplining myself to schedule appointments and meet those appointments.

Scheduled Appointments

I hate to let others down by missing appointments or poor planning. I don’t want others to think less of me. With every appointment on my calendar I set no less than 2 alarms to remind me. I try to make my appointments a high priority. So why not schedule appointments for the things that are most important to me? An appointment is an appointment even if it is scheduled with myself.

Scheduling Priorities

We have different priorities and areas of life we want to be better at. I can’t tell what those are for you, but for me they are:

  • Spiritual pursuits
  • Family
  • Work and Business
  • Friends and Service to Others or Ministry

But when I get sick, the priorities on the bottom of the list fall off first. The sicker I am the more stuff drops off. And I’ve been sick enough to have the whole list mean absolutely nothing. At that time I had only one pursuit, beg God to help me feel better. I did everything I could think of to take care of myself. Therefore, I learned that in order to take care of my priorities, I must take care of myself first. I try to:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Engage in stress-relieving downtime: To take a mental vacation from stress, I read some fiction, take a walk outside, enjoy scenery, Laugh with family and friends, watch a movie (comedy, not stress-filled movie), play Nertz, Pigtail (a variation of Mexican Train), or other physical games.

Here’s the crux: if you’re always working, always stressed, always answering to what others think your life ought to look like, you’re going to end up sick. Stress causes strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, weight gain, depression, self-loathing, and more.

As women, we know our stress steals our best for our family. And as men, who think they must suck it up and deal with it to provide for their family, stress steals their health and ability to provide. No one can be of any real value by killing themselves with stress.

So let’s take action and get a handle on budgeting our calendar.

4 Steps to Budget Your Time

I’ve heard the parable of putting the big, most important stuff in my life first. Then moving down through the lesser things until I reach the bottom and add the smallest more insignificant things last. That’s my method of planning my time and scheduling my calendar. Below are the steps.

  1. Schedule important activities first These are the ones that move you toward your goals to make you a better person, better friend, family member and business person, put them on the calendar and don’t miss your appointments. (date night, spiritual pursuits, work, family activities, planning)
  2. Schedule the other needed activities Those that must get done but don’t improve your life goals. (shopping, laundry, cooking, etc)
  3. Schedule Play time The remaining time is for play. Fun with friends. Half-day trips. Special family projects.
  4. Share your schedule and new calendaring with family or friends. Ask them to help you maintain the new emphasis in your life.

Those are the steps I use to try to order my life, clear some space, schedule my calendar, and regain control of my time. I’m not great at it yet, but I am learning to be stress free.

Question: Are you good at making the best use of your time? Have any tips we can glean from you? How do you deal with stress? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

3 Steps to Make Better Decisions and Decide What’s Right for You

And Your Ministry Business Life

A million choices stare us in the face everyday, whether it’s to order a cheese burger with tots or a chicken & kale quinoa bowl, or deciding whether to make a bold move in our career or relationships. We all have many decisions to make.

Make Better Decisions

Too Many Choices to Decide

Big choices. Little choices. Lots of insignificant choices. All of which pile up to make a mountain range of decisions by the time we die and dirt is thrown over us with some nice words. And all those choices shape us somewhat into who we are and who we are becoming.

So how do you know you’re making the right decisions? How do you know what’s right for you? And help me out, what’s your decision making process?

Some really struggle with making clear decisions. Ever rode in a car with a group of hungry people none of which can decide where they would like to stop and eat? (Picture my family here. No kidding, like vultures saying to each other, “Whatcha want to do?” “I don’t know, whatcha want to do?”) Not being able to make decisions can be frustrating.

Now Don’t Start That Again

The Jungle Book vulture’s right. There are better ways to make decisions. I’m not a professional decision maker and my husband might would tell you I’m the worst. Why I can have that same car conversation with no one else in the car but me. But I’m trying to make better decisions and here’s a few tips that I tell myself:

  1. Stop Surveying Others. You don’t need social proof to make a decision. Simply put, you don’t have to have everybody sign off on what you should do, where you should live, what job you should take, what color to wear, which jeans to buy, or any other decision that’s yours to make. It’s yours. So don’t be a survey junkie. That’s just another way of procrastinating. And you’ll also have to realize that you can’t pass the buck or blame anyone else for your decisions. They’re yours. So take responsibility and move on.
  2. Decide Already. Here’s the kicker: you already make decisions. Everyday. You decide to wake up. You decide to eat. You decide to hang with friends. You decide to work. So stop putting your decisions off and make them already. Once you begin exercising your decision maker, you’ll gain more confidence in your decision making ability. Here’s a tip: examine all the decisions you already make. See. You’re a decision maker. So confidently make those decisions and you’ll become better at it.
  3. Check with The Helper. Don’t try to find all your counsel outside of yourself. In order to find what’s right for you, you have to check with the helper inside of you. Everyone has a conscience that knows intuitively how to guide in our choices. And additionally, since you are a believer in Jesus your conscience is redeemed which then works together with the Spirit of God to lead in knowing what you are to do and how to make wise choices. So pray. Seek for, and listen to, that still small voice of God in the inner self that is your helper. (If you don’t have a redeemed conscience and want one to make your life more meaningful, make that known in the comments and I promise to personally contact you.)

There you go. A few tips to help you make decisions faster and with more confidence. So when hunger wins in the car of life, you won’t have to devour the seat cushions due to lack of decision making. Not making decisions is often making bad decisions.

No matter what you’re working on at the moment, every decision, big or small, that you make on a daily basis really makes a difference. They matter. Any one of them can forever change your life.

Question: Are a strong decision maker or have learned to make good decisions? Any tips or strategy you use that you could share? Which statement will strengthen your decision making ability? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why You’re Stuck, Discouraged, and Unsuccessful?

One Trick Anyone Can Use to Become a Winner

No matter whether you’re a leader, entrepreneur, parent or financier, worry isn’t productive or beneficial.

Don't Worry

Actually, fretting is quite detrimental to our efficiency and health. It’s a trap that stalls us and keeps us from fulfilling our potential and divine calling. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as negativity dominates and impedes success: closing of deals, mentoring, goal setting, or gaining financial stability.

What Does Anxiety Do For You Anyway?

  1. Worry Accomplishes Nothing. Worry, anxiety, and constant fretting doesn’t produce the great effect we desire. Instead, they actually reduce our effectiveness. Our time, energy and focus on worrisome possibilities rob us of using those same personal resources toward accomplishing our purpose and calling.
  2. Worry Destroys Health. A constant state of anxiety causes stress that is told by the lines on our face, the tone in our voice, our negative attitude, and our lack of joy. Living with stress, which I define as the lack of control in inevitable circumstances, is killing us physically and emotionally.
  3. Worry Removes Potential. Fretting, questioning everything, and mistrusting everyone is a sign of weakness. It makes us unfit for action and removes our ability to make wise decisions. Our struggles cause us to spiral in ineffectiveness.

So, how can we beat worry and become a winning warrior?

Don’t Worry. Be a Warrior.

A warrior fights. He uses strategy, smarts, and obedience to complete his master’s mission. He gives all his strength and effort in order to succeed. In complete faith of the master’s plan, he obeys and leaves the battle results to his master. Worry has no place in a warrior.

People of faith also have a mission and a plan with no place for worry’s trap. We are forbidden from being restless, filled with anxiety and confusion. Jesus said, “So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?'” (Matt. 6:31). We simply must not worry about these things because he has plans for us (Jer. 29:11).

To beat worry, it’s critical to know the secret of living in peace in the midst of hectic work and life demands. And that secret is to keep obeying and fighting toward the good we know and trust God to work out the rest. The results aren’t really in our control anyway. We must trust God and have faith in his plan.

To equip the warrior in you for the battles to come, I’ve curated some peace-giving, faith-instilling, and courage-infused words.

  • Trust God, not yourself (Prov 3:5-6)
  • Don’t be anxious, instead pray (Phil 4:6-7)
  • Don’t be afraid (Pr. 3:25)
  • Anxiety weighs you down, a good word makes you glad (Pr. !2:25)
  • Pain can’t compare to the joy that is coming (Rm 8:18)
  • Don’t fear, God is with you and will help you (Is. 41:10)
  • Cast cares on God because he cares for you (1 Pet 5:7)
  • Be strong and courageous for God is with you and will not leave you (Deut. 31:6)
  • When afraid, trust in God (Ps. 56:3)
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient, and pray always (Rom. 12:12)

Question: What keeps you from being anxious? How do you conquer worrying? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

A Guaranteed Strategy for Your Best Year Ever

You do want to guarantee some success during this year, right? What if you found a sure-fire method to do so? Would you give it a go?


God tells Abram in a Biblical example of how to have the best year ever.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3 (Emphasis mine)

The key to success isn’t

  • in your culture,
  • or in who you marry or how your kids turn out,
  • or all the stuff you can accumulate.

God told Abraham to leave everything familiar and comfortable then focus on on him instead. Success boils down to putting aside your will and picking up God’s purposes.

When God becomes first, we’ll always guarantee our success.

The guaranteed strategy for your best year yet:

  • Put aside your will and seek out his will
  • Turn loose of your desires and take up his desires
  • Drop your plans and join his plan
  • Leave your map and journey on his map

Question: Ready for a great year? What else could you relinquish to let God lead? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Love, Mercy, and Discipline

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
I say; The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
(Lamentations 3:22-24)

Suffering and discipline are inevitable, because we are prone to bad decisions and faulty thinking. But God redeems our messes.

Morning Mercies
God’s heavy hand of discipline and his allowance of tough circumstances and suffering are to produce in me his likeness.

But no matter what comes my way, either by my own bad decisions or another’s, God will never forsake me. For he has chosen me. He loves me.

I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)

Question: What difficult circumstances are shaping you?
How have you become a better person because of suffering and hardship? Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or you can leave a comment by clicking here.

PENCON Editor's Convention

PENCON Editor’s Convention

Event: PENCON Editor's Convention
Topic: Business Plan: The Effective Way to Grow a Powerful Ministry Business
Sponsor: The Christian Pen
Venue: Hilton Garden Inn Austin NW/Arboretum
Location: 11617 Research Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78759
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Register for a free e-Course on how to grow a ministry business. And to book for speaking, contact me.

If we, as the church, do not get back to spiritual vision, glimpses of heaven, and an awareness of a greater glory and life, we will lose our faith. Our altar will become nothing but cold, empty stone, never blessed with a visit from heaven.

Joseph Parker, nineteenth century preacher
Streams in the Desert (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 421