February 25th, 2010

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Time Management and Discipline

There is something to be said for being able to not only manage your time, but keeping to the schedules you create. Discipline is a necessary aspect to any part of life whether it be keeping to a bible study schedule that includes giving the first ten percent of your day to being in the Word and prayer or making sure you are on schedule to meeting a deadline.

What keeps us from being disciplined? More importantly, why do we allow ourselves so many times from being able to meet these deadlines? I could claim laziness is the issue here, but many of the people I know who have problems with time management are not lazy people. They just have trouble making and keeping to certain schedules.

Perhaps it is habit? I know this holds true for me. Keeping at a good habit (or putting a stop to bad ones) requires more discipline than I have. For me it's a matter of changing the way I think of and look at problems. I know who to turn to, and I know how to ask for the help, so why don't I? Partly, I imagine, it's pride. I've been used to doing things on my own so long that just giving up any sort of control is extremely hard. It isn't impossible though.

There is also at work here a lack of motivation despite knowing the benefits of being able to discipline myself in this way (yes, I'm focusing on myself here as I cannot and will not speak for anyone else, though if you'd like to chime in, I encourage you to comment). Knowing in the flesh the benefits of discipline in all forms is excellent. I have some semblance of this discipline when I'm at work, but when I'm on my own time? It is very telling as to what my motivator is, and that's sad. I need to change my motivator from money to God in this issue, as I have for others. How I spend my personal time is just as important to Him as how I spend my time on the clock is to my employer (more so, really).

How do I change this? How do I bring in discipline and tune out distractions? In my current setup I do not see a way of doing this. My living space isn't as private as it needs to be. I have no way of shutting out the rest of the household and devoting that time, without human distraction, to where it needs to be. Sure I could go into my nephew's room while I work on my bible study and use it as a prayer closet, but that is only one thing I want to be able to discipline myself in. What about work? I do a lot of work from home (right now it's all volunteer, but I'm hoping to start networking some on Facebook and Twitter to gain some paying work), but again, there is distraction (Facebook and Twitter, family, pets) everywhere!

How do you close out distractions at home to be able to do the work you need to do? I have one or two out options, but they aren't entirely viable (at least not right now). For one, some of the projects I have taken on require me to remain available online and or by phone. So I need to be able to manage my distractions at home. I would rather not have to print up a schedule and make signs posted around my living space just so I can work in peace (even with them, I still wouldn't get that peace).

Right now, for me, it comes to eliminating an ever changing array of distractions. With that would come with the discipline to continually manage those things. I just don't know how to do it. Perhaps I'm not asking God the right question. Or perhaps I'm still not opening myself to that answer.

Well, it's time to at least start my laundry. Perhaps there's an answer somewhere in the laundry bag of dirty clothes as I sort through them and make sure I have something clean to wear for tomorrow (pondering getting a little dressed up, but haven't finalized a decision).

Talk to me, friends. Tell me what you do to successfully manage your time? What are methods you have used to discipline yourself?

[tags]self[/tags]

Originally published at Ameliorations 1.0.