Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney, et al. 96 pages.
Introduction — “We can accomplish everything God has ordained for us to do in this life. …And we can do it in a peaceful, joyful manner and get sufficient rest besides” (13).
Chapter One — Shopping For Time — You don’t get the best deals at the mall or the grocery store without planning out your attack. Neither can you get through life without shopping for time. Plan your attack, and get the best bang for you buck, metaphorically speaking.
Chapter Two — The First Tip: Rise Early (Joining the 5 AM Club) — Getting up early allows you to plan your day, spend time with the Lord, and serve your family better.
Hints from page 38:
- Place your alarm clock in a strategic location, preferably on the other side of the room from your bed.
- Set your alarm for the same time every day.
- Never, never, never hit the snooze button or lie back down to catch a few more winks. The second your alarm goes off is the most critical moment in getting up early.
- Proceed directly to the coffee pot or caffeinated drink of choice.
- Be prepared to feel absolutely miserable for about ten to fifteen minutes. But the misery with God and reap the benefits the rest of the day. Fifteen minutes of misery is certainly worth fifteen-plus hours of peace and productivity.
- Remember that our bodies eventually respond to a standard wake-up time. In other words, it gets easier.
Chapter Three — The Second Tip: Sit Still (Sitting at Jesus’ Feet) — There are plenty of methods to study the word of God, but all recognize the importance of it. And all focus on getting to know God and becoming more like Him. “Sitting at Jesus’ feet is the essential tip to becoming a true shopper of time. It is not, however, a way to gain or lose God’s approval” (48).
Chapter Four — The Third Tip: Sit and Plan (Taking a Personal Retreat) — The author takes two personal overnight retreats each year. Take time to hit pause! Find a place without distractions and go alone! “It’s really simple. All you need is your Bible and a computer or pen and paper–whichever you’re most comfortable with. Begin by listing your priorities. …Although your list may look slightly different [from the author's], it’s important that your priorities come from God’s Word and not cultural or personal preferences” (54). “Once you’ve listed your priorities, create a separate page for each one to use as a worksheet. Then evaluate yourself, prayerfully going through the priorities one at a time.
Under each category, assess how you are doing–what is going well and what needs to change” (55). Then pick one to focus on. Don’t try to change everything at once; you’ll get overwhelmed. Just pick one, work on that, and then move on.
Chapter Five — The Fourth Tip: Consider People (Evaluating Relationships Carefully) — Choose “friends who sharpen” (71), “friends who mentor” (72), “friends who need friends” (73), and “friends who need salvation” (73). Then the tough part, see if you have any friends that are bad company and break ties if necessary. Prioritze your relationships: God, family, then friends. Then evaluate each relationship to see how it can glorify God.
Chapter Six — The Fifth Tip: Plan To Depend (Being Productive in Daily Life) — Plan ahead, pick the best time for each task, and take one step at a time. This chapter also gives tips on dealing with interruptions, busy seasons, and inevitable trials. C.J.Mahaney is quoted on page 87, ”Only God gets his to-do list done each day. We are not God. We are finite creatures with serious limitations.”
Conclusion — The only cure is Jesus.
This book is on sale at www.sovereigngracestore.com for $9 right now. I would highly recommend this book for anyone feeling overwhelmed with life. It’s a quick, easy read that’s full of value. ~Melissa