“Guard well your spare moments,” Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, “They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
I think of my spare moments much like I do my loose change…discard them as not big enough to be worth my attention…but in actuality they add up just like those nickels and dimes sitting in my piggybank.
How can we use our spare moments to advantage?
Plan If I don’t plan what to do with my spare moments then they will be frittered away. So I’m taking some time to break down my projects into small pieces that can be done in a few minutes.
For example I need to get a book out of a box to review it. That takes only a second.
Create a Time Budget Just like a financial budget tells my money where it should go, a time budget does the same thing. Just like I pay tithing first, I could set aside time for Heavenly Father first. And just like the windows of heaven open and pour me down subtle blessings when I pay tithing, I’ll likely get subtle blessings from spending that time with Heavenly Father.
One of those blessings comes from memorizing scripture.
“Great power can come from memorizing scriptures,” Elder Richard G. Scott reminds us. “To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change” (“The Power of Scripture,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 6).
So I definitely want to put that in my time budget and it can be done in those golden moments of time that pass me by. If I plan for it, that is.
The other things I spend money on also have parallels in the time budget. Rent=housekeeping, Groceries=prep and cook food, etc.
At the moment my time budget would be overspending in junk-food entertainment and not keeping track of those ‘cents’. I want to turn that around and put more into ‘savings’–not that we can save time like money but we can invest it in the future through working on talents and skills, relationships and memories.
Ask ‘What Do I Want the End Result To Be’? On Saturday what do I want to have accomplished with my week? What does that look like? I would like a clean house, an easy-to-make supper, and time to read. I would like have created two easy-read children’s books based on two of my semi-famous ancestors. I would like to have spent half-an-hour each day in prayer and gospel study.
How am I going to get there? Schedule cleaning time throughout the week, look up a crock-pot recipe, buy the ingredients, choose which book I want to read on Saturday evening. I have my scriptures and other gospel study tools on my phone and about 40 minutes of transit time a day to spend on reading them if I desire. I could get out the materials I need to review for the two ebooks. Outline them. Dig out the photos, etc.
If I have these goals and steps in mind as I go throughout my week I can make use of those golden moments of time instead of letting them slip away.
What about you?
- The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos–short, uplifting vignettes perfect to have on as you prepare for the day.
- Time Management 101: Creating a Time Budget–a great post by Amy Andrews.
This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!