If you could make your job less stressful, would you?
I’m sure everyone would answer that question the same way—yes! For the average person, life continues to get more complex, stressful, and frenzied. Anything that can be done to decrease stress is a blessing.
One of the best ways you can decrease stress is by learning how to properly manage your time, and a major tool to a successful time-management strategy is something I call “selectivity.”
Do you remember the Bible’s description of Martha doing a lot of good things that nevertheless prevented her from receiving from Jesus? (See Luke 10:38–42.) She did so many good things that she didn’t have time to sit at Jesus’ feet to experience His presence or receive the direction He would bring. Martha needed to be more selective. Had she employed the principle of selectivity, then she would have made some good choices like Mary did. She would have been seated at Jesus’ feet alongside Mary, enjoying the presence of God.
Choose What You Do
Every day on your job, you’re going to have the opportunity to do a lot of good things, maybe even needful things. But if you don’t cultivate the habit of selectivity, you’ll never have enough hours to do everything you need to do. Your job will become so complicated, you won’t even want to get up in the morning! Philippians 1:10 puts it this way: “That ye may approve things that are excellent.” I also like the Amplified Bible’s rendering of this scripture. It says:
So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best].
God tells us we must be discriminating and selective in choosing how to spend our time. I encourage you to spend time planning what you do on the job. Be aware of the things that would bog down your workload or frustrate your job down the road.
And, no, I’m not telling you to say “no” to your boss if you’ve been asked to do something. I’m thinking more about how you spend the time you do have control over. Would some type of organizational system like file folders help you do a better job? Could non-work phone calls be quicker so you can get back to work? Should you really say “yes” to being on another committee or do you already have enough to handle?
You can’t do everything. Your life would be a mess if you tried!
What Are Your Priorities?
While you are being selective in your priorities at work, be aware of the priorities God outlines in His Word for our lives. God plainly tells us some things that are more important than others. For example, our relationship with Him is to be paramount. Everything about our lives hinges on our fellowship with God.
Sadly, spending time with God is usually the first thing most people cut when their days begin to get complicated. They either completely cut out their time with God, or they cut it down to an insignificant fragment of time. It’s no wonder people often suffer from overly complicated lives.
Start your day off right. Spend time with God in prayer, in the Word, and in worshiping Him. What better way to go into your work day than encouraged in your spirit? Also, spend time praying in the Holy Spirit and listening to Him. Let Him organize your work for the day; He will show you how to be selective so your time on the job can be spent well.
Be selective about your time, not only on the job, but also in your life. Put God first, next your family, followed by your ministry, and involvement with your church. After attending to these responsibilities, give time to your vocation, and lastly, to your recreational time.
As you do these things, you’ll see that being selective about your time is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress in your life.