By Dr. Harold Sala, Guidelines International Ministries

Remember how short my time is: wherefore has thou made all men in vain? Psalm 89:47, KJV

“I would really like to do that, but I just don’t have time!” How often have you heard that? But even more personal, how often have you said that yourself? “I just don’t have time.” The fact is you have exactly the same amount of time as does the next person in life–neither more nor less–24 hours to every day, 168 hours to every week.

When you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time,” you are really saying, “I don’t consider this important enough to take time for it!” But, of course, that isn’t always polite or courteous!

I’ve also noticed something: People who are the busiest and accomplish the most seem to find time for things that others never get around to doing. Why? Because they work faster? No! Because they are smarter? Again, no! Because they are better organized? Yes! Undoubtedly.

The individual who has time for what is important has learned some valuable lessons which are not taught in school but are learned by those who succeed in life. Like what? They have found the secret of making time work for them.

The following are simple guidelines which will help you better use time.

Guideline #1: Start on time–wherever you are going, whatever you are doing.Failure to do the right thing at the right time is the cause of most habitual tardiness. It would be well for us as parents to teach our children not only how to tell time, but to teach them proper timing as well.

Guideline #2: Do it now! You have often heard it said that it is not what we do but what we don’t get done that tires us. Procrastination only adds dread and dislike to work that must be done anyway. William Feather said that the problem is that too many of us wait to do things perfectly with the result that we do nothing. “The way to get ahead is to start now. While many of us are waiting until conditions are ‘just right’ before we go ahead, others are stumbling along…. By the time that we, in our superior wisdom, decide to make a start, we discover that the fools, in their blundering way, have traveled a considerable distance.”

Guideline #3: Learn when to say “no,” and when to say “yes.” This is a matter of what you consider to be important. Budgeting your time wisely is as important as budgeting your money wisely. The next time you are tempted to say “I don’t have the time,” ask yourself, “To what am I giving first claim on my time? Am I putting first things first? Could I say ‘no’ to some of the demands on my time in order to have more time to do what is most important?”

Guideline #4: Take time out. “There is no music in a `rest’,” said John Ruskin, “but there is the making of music in it. People are always missing that part of the life melody.” Break routine now and then in order to do something that puts zest back into living.

Time is a fixed income. Rich or poor, genius or simple, each of us has the same number of hours in a day in which to live. Actually when you get right down to it, time does not come to us in days or hours, but just a moment at a time. Your life is made up of what you do one minute after another.

Guideline #5: Never presume upon tomorrow. What is the most important part of your life? Now, today!–because this is the only moment of which you can be sure. Today is the most important day of your life. Think about it, and make it work for you, accomplishing God’s purpose for your life. It’s His gift to you this day.

Resource reading: Genesis 5