Get Out of Time Debt


The day has come,” time guru said,

“To talk of many things”

Of days and nights and choices too

Of calendars and flings

And why our days are taken up

With craziness that chaos brings

If you feel like a hamster running on a wheel with no break or your calendar is filled weeks or months ahead, you’re in time debt. You’ve charged the hours before they have arrived and your days are too filled with activity. That causes stress that makes it hard to follow God’s calling.

Take action:

Limit what you charge. Stop making commitments too far in advance. Live more in the present time. This may mean delegating a spokesperson to attend meetings and answer calls. For example, allow only two major functions to be booked a few months ahead. Keep one weekend (Monday-Tuesday or Friday-Saturday) free every month.

Keep the time for your calling sacred. That means the hours needed to pray and prepare your homily, or other activity you believe God has called you to do, should be scheduled first and not interrupted (except for true emergencies). Allow time to hear God, dream big, and follow goals.

Stop guessing and use a timer to see how long it actually takes to complete regular tasks (even getting up and dressed).

Budget time needed for sleep, eating, family, administrating, baptisms, weddings, and various commitments. Group and delegate what you can, but allow time for your own responsibilities.

Set work or ministry hours. Schedule blocks of time and not detailed days. Daily planners are good for a business but not for individuals. Limit each day to one or two major goals or activities.

Choose which weekdays you can counsel others and have meetings. Schedule time cushions between appointments.

Give yourself a day of rest weekly and take it.

Let others help you. Delegate according to people’s gifts. Spend more time using your strengths and find helpers who are strong where you are weak to help with the ministry.

Karen Whiting ( is an international speaker, former television host, and the author of eighteen books, including Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front.

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