Relational Time Management

Feb 26, 2014 by

clock at the orsay museum


How are we using our time as it relates to relationships…specifically our relationship with God, and family and friends?

“No one has more time than you have. It is the discipline and stewardship of your time that is important. The management of time is the management of self; therefore if you manage time with God, He will manage you.”

– Jill Briscoe (“Before you say ‘Amen’” Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 3)

We all know that adage that none of us can make more time; only manage the time we have. We believe that often those relationships that we say are most important are the ones that most often get neglected.

Many of us evaluate our time as it relates to work. We use time management tools, take inventory on what we accomplish in a work time frame, and even break down our hours into segments to see how effective we are doing. Many studies show how much time is wasted at work in this technologically advanced age of social networking, online shopping, watching videos, etc. That is great to evaluate, but that is not the focus here today.

How many of us evaluate our time management as it relates to our relationships? How are we managing the time we have to invest in our priority of relationships?

For those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers…When and how much time are you spending in developing your relationship with Christ?time blue

For those of us married, and for those of us who have children, what focus has been spent on consciously spending time with our family? We are not talking simply about being there physically, but engaged in conversation and activity with them to develop our relationships.

For those of us who need to invest more in friendships, when do we schedule time to be with those we call friends?

We say it all the time, but recently in a business-related meeting once again it was said, it all revolves around the relational aspect. Building relationships is vital.

J. Oswald Sanders, leadership author, says, “Our problem is not too little time, but making better use of the time we have.”

(Spiritual Leadership, Moody Publishers May 1, 2007 Pg. 94)

We really do choose much of what we do with our time. Yes, there is structure with sleep needed, and work that is expected of us, but what about our “free” time? What do we choose to do with that time?

Let us suggest four practices of effective time management when it comes to our relationships:

  1. Analyze your current schedule. Take a look at time spent investing in genuine relational development…With God, with family, with friends.
  2. Prioritize the important. We can often tell what is important to others by the way they spend their time. Children nail us on this better than anyone, parents, and often call us on it innocently. With whom, or what, we spend our time will tell others how much of a priority they are in our lives.
  3. Formalize a plan. Just like any strategy, game plan, or time management, take some action steps to put the priority of people in place. Write it down.
  4. Finalize a commitment to act. Do it! Have someone hold you accountable. Tell your spouse, children, or friends what you are going to do with them and watch them hold you accountable.

How are you doing managing the time spent in your relationships? If we really want to have a legacy of significance we will prioritize our relationships and invest our time in others. We really are designed to live this life with others. They and you will be glad you did.

~ Jim



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