Managing Time on the Fringes

The most common complaint about time management is lack of time. With most of our moments already spoken for by the work that pays the bills or the tasks that keep family life on the rails, the challenge is to make the most of our little minutes, the time on the fringes of our days.

For example, if you are an average reader (250 words per minute), 15 minutes per day will take your eyes through 3,910 pages in one year. That’s 20 books! If you struggle to set and keep fitness goals, consider the efficiency of a 20-minute walk.

A Matter of Focus

Like beads on a string, our minutes slide by. Poor, cynical Solomon bemoaned the futility of it all, dismissing his significant accomplishments as a chasing after the wind. Author Annie Dillard speaks a better and more hopeful wisdom:

“How we live our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

If you’re a regular here at Living Our Days, you’ve heard that quote before, and today I’m sharing it along with some thoughts on Time Management over at the writing home of my friend Kelly R. Baker.

Click here to join me as we spend some time discussing the importance of stewarding our time without making an idol of efficiency. Time management in light of the gospel means that God will help me to perform my daily, mundane tasks with Leviticus-Level attention to detail, investing the same purposefulness that transformed curtains of goats’ hair and rams’ skins into a house of worship.

I look forward to your input to the discussion over at Kelly’s place!Managing Time on the Fringes


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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

42 thoughts on “Managing Time on the Fringes”

  1. I loved reading your thoughts! It’s encouraging to me and a reminder to not try and put too much on my plate each day!

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  2. Love this wisdom and insight, Michele! Great stuff indeed and something we all can benefit from. There is no doubt we can lament not having enough time and as we get older we are even more aware of how quickly time is flying and how much less we have than we had hoped. I once heard a high school graduation speaker say: “Do not waste time, for time is what life is made of. What we are is God’s gift to us. What we make of ourselves is our gift to God.” It is the balance of it all in that process where most of us get stuck from time to time (if not continually). Have a great day!

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  3. ‘… But people are not made to be folded’ Thank you Michele for time-worthy reading! My efficiency readily bypasses eye contact with people. Your post has been a good reminder of what God has been nudging me about. Thank you.

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    1. I think we’re wise to view time management as something we pick up in a new way every day. I’m convinced that it will always be a challenge for me, particularly in the area of balance and not making an idol out of my daily do-list.

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  4. So many good thoughts here! And you know I am always drawn to any reference to Elisabeth Elliot. But I so appreciated your own words here: “Balancing the tyranny of tasks and the tenderness of meaningful relationships,” as this is so vital! Thank you for sharing your heart and the Lord’s wisdom that He has given you over the years. Blessings!

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    1. Yup, she’s my hero, too, and her words ring in my head so often in reference to plain old choices in which I’m given the opportunity to “consider it a chance to die.”
      Thanks, Bettie, for taking time to read and share your thoughts here!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Even those with more discretionary time can waste it, I know. I’m retired and it took me awhile to figure out I still needed a plan to be happy with how my day was spent.

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    1. So wise.
      I’m far from retired, but I’ve gone from homeschooling four sons to homeschooling only one, so there are days when I feel absolutely un-tethered. I can see how it would be easy to fritter away the whole day without a good plan going into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes it feels to futile to break all those tasks into small increments– spending 20 minutes everyday exercising, 15 minutes a day cleaning, 15 minutes a day reading, etc. but all those increments really do add up over time. Thanks for sharing with us at Love to Learn. Pinned.

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  7. I find when my priorities are in order then time is not so much an issue. God has a way of sorting it out when we put him first. #ablogginggoodtime

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    1. It’s always a struggle to keep from making “good things into ultimate things.” (Tim Keller’s definition of idolatry.)
      With you in the challenge of it, Donna. Thanks for reading and for your own encouraging writing!

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  8. As you know this comes at a good time for me, whilst I have been struggling with too much on my plate. Managing time and working out where our time is worthy being spent is a must in order to live our days with happiness and purpose. Thank you Michelle, and thanks for linking up with us for #ablogginggoodtime

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