Photo credit: Hannah Carmichael
Making the most of your time
I’d like to present two main questions in this post: How do you spend an average day, and how should you spend an average day? Everyone knows there are twenty-four hours in a day, but what do you do, and what can you do, with those twenty-four hours? Obviously, a person would most likely not use their complete twenty-four hours of a day, but what can you do with the time you have instead of dawdling with things of little to no long-term importance for your life?
The first question we’ll look at is how you spend your day. A study from the Wall Street Journal shows that Americans spend an average of eight hours and fifty minutes sleeping, and working Americans spend an additional average of about eight hours and eight minutes of working and traveling to work during a weekday. For non-working Americans (young people and retired citizens), the average time spent on sleeping and “personal care” is ten hours and twenty-four minutes, and those who attend school and college spend about seven hours, while senior citizens typically spend seven hours and fourteen minutes doing leisurely activities. Eating takes up time also, and for Americans, snatches approximately an hour and half from a day, and almost forty minutes to prepare and clean up meals. One you add all those numbers up, you’ll find out that that leaves you with a glorified six hours, for most Americans. What do people do with those extra six hours? Leisure (such as watching TV or using other electronics) is normally the answer.
Just for a thought
Now that you know how people typically spend their time, let’s look at how one should spend their time. I’m not saying that you should stop eating or sleeping… Don’t stop eating— that’s kind of important, and so is sleep. Those things are essential to function. However, I am saying that you should evaluate how you spend your time doing things that aren’t as important. Leisure is a wonderful thing, but imagine all the time you could be using to support a cause that means a lot, or working towards a dream of yours, or helping someone in need.
If you look through the Bible you can pretty easily find God’s opinion on the subject of wasting time. In Psalm 34, David asks God to remind him of the temporary quality of life:
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
This verse may cause two feelings— hopelessness, or hopefulness. Hopelessness may arise with the knowledge that our lives are just “moments” to God, but this should actually make us hopeful. We should be hopeful that we have been allowed to live in the first place, and the fact that Jesus has given us life should make us want to do everything we possibly can for Him.
The Bible also says in Ecclesiastes,
“Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go.”
Therefore, we can see God’s opinion on using our time wisely. Although you may only have six hours to spend as you wish in your day, use every minute in those six hours to glorify God. That is why we were made to exist, and that is what we should strive to do.
So, in conclusion, evaluate yourself and how you spend your time, and think about ways you could increase your productivity in your day for the glory of God. After all, He is one who has given us our lives to live!