Squeezing Time

Last week’s sermon was a very powerful talk entitled “What if we all had the time?”  This is a big issue for people today, whether you’re a Christian or not.  How do I make more time?  How do I get the most out of my time?

Two principles stood out to me from this sermon because they look at this issue of time in a slightly different way than most people are trained to.


“I need to find a balance.  Once I do that, everything will fall into place.”  Yeah, I’ve said it too.  If I can just balance everything I’m juggling, I’ll get everything done.  But if you stop to think about what that looks like, you’ll end up with this.

And you know what happens when you drop the ball in one thing?  The entire structure comes crashing down.  Think about it this way.  You find a way to balance all your responsibilities, all the things you want to do, but that balance is actually carrying the weight of those things all the time.  Your strength is going to give out eventually.

This is where rhythm comes in.  Rhythm means allowing time to set things down.  Alternate the weight.  My bulletin’s fill-in-the-blanks say “Divert Daily,” “Retreat Weekly,” and “Abandon Yearly.”  Take time daily to rest or play.  They say if you work with your hands, to rest with your mind, and if you work with your mind, to rest with your hands.  I work with my mind all day, whether it’s writing or interpreting, so my play should involve something kinesthetic, maybe like doing a jigsaw puzzle or some exercise, like dance.

Now even though the Sabbath is a tradition set in place by God, Christians today have a hard time following it.  No work at all for one day?  Crazy.  Impossible.  Well it doesn’t have to be a whole day; it doesn’t even have to be a Saturday.  But our emotional and mental health depends on us taking time to rest.  Stay in bed for two hours on the weekend, reading.  Take a media fast one day a week.  (Most of you probably cringed at that one.)


Hello, big one right here.  I always think in terms of time management.  If I manage my time, I can fit everything in.  But at the end of the day, I’m exhausted.  Did I accomplish my to-do list?  Maybe.  But now I don’t have any energy left for other important things like family and relationships.

Know what fills your tank, and what depletes you.  Got a ton of tasks that wipe you out?  Spread them out over days.  Have a task that fills you up and energizes you?  Do it every day.

If we think in terms of rhythm and energy management, maybe we’ll not only have more success in utilizing our time, but feel better, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

You can listen to or download the full sermon here.

Do you feel like your life is a balancing act?  But does that balance weigh you down and leave you feeling wiped?  Do you take time to recharge regularly, or do you wait for the support beams to crack before you unplug and refresh?  I love hearing from you!

26 comments on “Squeezing Time

  1. I like that idea of rhythm instead of balance. I used to try to write every day like a good little author, and I’d get stuck every third week. Well, every third week in my writing rhythm is reading week. Once I figured that out once I started getting stuck every third week or so I’d just pick up a book instead of trying to force words, and once the week of books was done I was always ready to start writing again 🙂

    And I love taking time away from media 🙂 Hubs and I used to turn off the electricity once a month and just hang out by candle light. It was awesome.

    • How cool that you figured out that rhythm, Becka!

      Wow, turning off the electricity sounds so drastic, but hanging out by candle light also sounds amazing. No distractions at all, not even the clock! I applaud you because I don’t think I could do that.

      • Well, the first time was cause I forgot to pay the power bill on time and the electricity was cut off for the night (oops). But we enjoyed it so much we just kept flipping the breaker once a month.

        Unfortunately the house is more difficult to turn off. But we still regularly sit and talk with no electric/media things going. And cell phones are never allowed at the table (I got in a fight with my dad over that once. I FINALLY got to say “my house, my rules.” ^_^)

  2. Energy management – what a great way to look at it! You’re right, often I should be able to fit in everything on my to-do list easily, yet ther’s always something that doesn’t get done. And this is why! One thing I do that helps for big, or regular tasks like writing or exercise, is always allow at least one day off a week. Your post perfectly illustrates why that’s so effective!

    • Jennette, that one day you take off every week, is it a break specifically from those tasks, or a day off of everything? My problem is I have different types of things to do, and some of them take up a good chunk of certain days, so I’ll make time on other days to do other big things. It’s variety, and possibly that rhythm thing, but it does leave me feeling like I’m not taking a day off.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. My life does feel like a balancing act. Time management is crucial in seeing progress on a daily basis, in my opinion. I have been moving on all cylinders recently and finally enjoyed a recharge session – five days without the computer, a trip to the spa, time with friends and family, and more importantly…as much sleep as I wanted. I needed some sleep.

    What a great post, Angela. Thank you. 🙂

  4. I love the idea of taking a media break. I’ve been doing that more and more lately (for just one day) and it is refreshing. Well, once I get over the guilt of not being here and helping out my blogging buddies. I’m learning that life goes on if I miss one day of social media.

    I’m still trying to figure it all out. Aren’t we all? Thanks for the reminder and great tips. Fill your tank with what makes you happy – so simple and yet sometimes so hard to do. I’m going to try harder to keep my tank topped off with good stuff.

    • I hear you on the guilty feeling, Tameri! I’ve started giving myself permission to not log onto Triberr every single day because it just takes up too much time. I actually wrote this on a sticky note and put it next to my computer (I kid you not), from Kristen Lamb: “WANA means community/team; not an Army of One Angela.” 😉 I’m trying to take that to heart.

  5. Ali Dent says:

    My word for the first point in the sermon is margin. I plan time into my week for unplanned things because they always crop up. I like the word rhythm too.

    For the second point one of my favorite management guys wrote, Getting Things Done and he says we really aren’t managing time because it never changes. There are 24 hours in every day for everyone, always. What we are really doing is managing ourselves. I love this.

    You did a great job of reminding all of us to be purposeful and thoughtful with what has been given to us. Thanks Angela.

    • Ali–yes, so many unforeseen things pop up. I forget which book it’s from, but there’s a chart with urgent/not urgent and important/not important. Like those emails that pop up in your inbox are not important but urgent. And I’m always reading them right away, even if I know I don’t need to.

      Your second point is absolutely right. We also can’t “make time.” What, you can manufacture an extra couple hours? I don’t think so.

  6. Susan A. says:

    Sometimes I’m good at managing my time, and sometimes I’m not. You have some nice points on this post that are worth consideration. Maintaining balance is definitely important because it is not fun when we burn out (not that I’ve done that to myself, of course).

  7. Stacy Green says:

    Love the idea of rhythm instead of balance, and energy management. That’s a big thing for me. I don’t know if it’s fear or just plain laziness, but I go days where I just don’t want to write or do anything. I literally have to force it, and I would love to figure out why that is.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • I hear you, Stacy. I’ll come home from work and sit down with every intention to write, but once I put my fingers to the keyboard, it’s like all my energy gets sucked out. And despite what people may say, I don’t think coffee is the miracle to bringing it back.

      Maybe it’s because our society has us believing that we must constantly be busy and productive. When we don’t allow time to just sit and chill, we get exhausted and our minds refuse to work for us when we want them to.

  8. Great concepts here. As one who was content and always able to go with the flow, once I decided I wanted to be a writer, I gradually slid into ‘lack of time.’ I recently created a separate place and time for something I wanted badly to do, and it relieved all the pressure of “juggling.” Sweet relief.

    Managing energy! Wow! Yes!!! And getting a rhythm. So important. I am scheduling down time on my do list.

    Thanks for sharing the sermon, Angela.

  9. Cassia says:

    This is wonderful, Angela. I wish the sermons I attend would give me something practical and exceptional like this to think on to learn how to conserve energy for important things like spending quality time with the girls and finding a rhythm that works better for all of us. Thank you for sharing this. It’s food for the soul. 🙂

  10. I’ve never heard that about work with your mind, rest with your hands. That’s so true. Needlework and other hand-activities have always relaxed me.

    This is a great post, Angela. Ali already mentioned my two favorite time books: Margin and Getting Things Done. Love the philosophies behind both of these.

  11. […] Wallace really hit the nail on the head with her Squeezing Time […]

  12. Awesome ideas! I never considered time in rhythm instead of balance. You’re right. If we try to always balance, then as soon as one thing falls out of balance everything comes crashing down. I’m going to shift my thinking to rhythm instead. Thanks.

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