5 steps to quality time

A single hour of committed, focused, just for me time is more precious to me than a whole day with my husband filled with distractions.

When your attention is only half on those in front of you (including God), there is no quality in the time you are giving them, your thoughts and focus are elsewhere.

When you give time with no quality the other person sees disinterest and they are left feeling unimportant. You feel frustrated as you try to juggle everything and keep everyone happy and it ends up that no-one is happy, especially you!

Running around in circles can make you feel overwhelmed, tired and resentful. You feel unsupported and blame people or things for putting you under too much pressure.

Here's the hard part - It's not them, it's you! Sometimes you need to shut up shop.
I know it's not fair, but you're the only one who can make choices about your time.

It's time to take a step back. It's time to get organised and get on top of your time management.

Constantly switching from one thing to another is tiring and confusing - it wastes time and energy. When you're not focused on what is in front of you, everything actually takes longer.

When you are better organised, you achieve a sense of completion. The things you do receive your commitment and focus and the people around you feel valued and important.

Here's 5 simple steps to achieving quality time:

  1. Diary everything - Give everything a time slot, it will seem really silly at first but fill each hour of the day with everything that you need to do. Your time with God, lunch, time with your spouse and/or children, your work, cleaning, shopping - absolutely everything. If you have ever dieted, it is like keeping a food diary.
  2. Prioritise - To get everything in the diary, there may be things that you need to stop doing. Often because we don't put spending time with friends or family in the diary, they usually gets the dregs of what time is left. Sit down with you diary at the start of a week and look at what's important that week, fit everything else around God, family and friends.
  3. Phone off - If you are spending time with someone, turn your phone off. Interrupting your time with calls and texts makes the person you're with feel unimportant. Give them an hour, there is rarely anything so urgent it won't wait an hour.
  4. Focus - If you are spending time with your spouse, children, friend or God, do something that gives you focused time on them. Sit down on the floor to play with the children, it's more engaging than watching a cartoon with them - they get all of your attention and you get theirs. Sit and talk with your spouse rather than trying to catch up whilst cooking or doing chores. Don't multi-task.
  5. Quality not quantity - It is much better to spend an hour each week with your spouse, maybe over a meal, to listen, talk and focus entirely on them - than it is to spend an hour everyday in front of the TV, or while taking calls or on the computer. Spending time in the same room is not the same as spending time together.
Any new habit takes a bit of getting used to but once you're in a routine it becomes second nature. There are weeks when I don't diary my housework, visits with friends or my time with God and I can guarantee those weeks feel more stressful and I don't get half as much done. It will take some thought and some trial and error but it is worth it to make the most of your time.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)




12 comments:

  1. Great suggestions for creating meaningful connections with others. It's so easy to get caught up with getting things done that our relationships suffer.

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    1. Welcome Ginger, I agree, we are always in such a hurry that we often breeze right on through people's lives.

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  2. Thank you for sharing with us at Grace & Truth. This very thing - giving our full attention - is something we're working on cultivating in our home, and I so appreciate the tips you're sharing here! Thank you!

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    1. Hi Rebekah - thanks for popping over. So glad that this was of help. I pray that there will be a real growth out of your cultivation in your home.

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  3. Hi Tania, these are very useful suggestions. It is easy to take people around us for granted including God. I like your #5 most of all.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Ifeoma - number #5 is probably my biggest one - My love language is quality time so I'd rather a little quality than a lot of quantity - thanks for coming over :)

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  4. "Spending time in the same room is not the same as spending time together." This is so true, Tania. It's hard to set everything aside, but being intentional to spend focused time with my husband gives us opportunity for connection that we can't have just by being in the same room together. Great reminder, my friend. : )

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    1. You are most welcome Crystal - in such busy lives it is hard not to multi-task even with our husbands but it is worth carving out the time - thank you for popping over :)

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  5. This is my third time trying to post this comment so I hope it gets through. I had a wonderful opportunity to practice quality time today. At the start of the day I purposed to have my four year old the focus of my day and not just an observer to mommy's activities. Well we had fun fun fun, albeit at the mercy of my computer and housework. But the investment in my son was more than worth it. His countenance has greatly impacted. He is usually a crier if I ask him to do anything. No crying or whining today. Needless to say I am now just getting to my work, it's after 10pm and I'm very sleepy with at least 2 more hours of work but it was worth it. Looking forward to how I'll engage him tomorrow.

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    1. Tyra so glad you managed to comment, what a wonderful example of how we can change the behaviour of another by the focus and time that we give them, I am sure with time there will become an even balance as he learns to give you time too. Blessings to you both and thank you for persevering.

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  6. Hi Tania, I love the Focus tip best. Be mindful and focus on exactly what you are doing otherwise you can find yourself just drifting through the day. It's a very important one for when we are having quality time with God. He will not be mocked!! As you said it's all about developing good habits slowly over time. Thank you for this post.

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    1. Thanks for coming over Charmaine, Focus for me is key because I am a procrastinator any time not minded runs away in a daydream. How right you are about God, he knows the heart of the time we give him!

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