Tag Archives: time management

31 Days Unplugged – Day 25 – Working for God’s Glory

24 Mar

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If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a stay-at-home-mom.  Since that is my life and it is what I know, that is the viewpoint with which I have approached this month of unplugging.  My sister pointed out to me that maybe I needed to keep people who work outside the home in mind, and then my Sunday school lesson last week directly addressed this problem, so I felt this post was meant to be!

According to Forbes, 64% of people spend time on non-work related websites while they are being paid to work.  That is almost unbelievable, isn’t it?

There are so many Bible verses that tell us that this is wrong:

Colossians 3:23 instructs is to “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

2 Thessalonians 3: 6-9 really lays it out for believers, saying “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.”

It is not right to waste our time at work, guys, for a couple of reasons. First, it is a bad example to unbelievers.  God has placed us in whatever position we are in at the moment for a specific reason, and we need to always be aware of that. We need to always work for God’s glory.

Secondly, when we are at work, we are being paid to work.  Even if you aren’t being held accountable to the person who is paying you, you will be held accountable by God.

Challenge #19 – When you are on the clock at work, do not look at any websites that are not work-related.  Don’t do any online shopping, return a Facebook message, or quickly check your Twitter feed.  

While I won’t be personally completing this challenge (since I obviously don’t work outside of the home) I know that this will be really difficult, especially if you are in the habit of spending a lot of time online at your job.  I know that you will find it beneficial in the end, though.

Let me know how it goes!

 

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31 Days Unplugged – Day 21 – To My Blogging Friends

20 Mar

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At this point in the 31 Days Unplugged Challenge, we have cut down our use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I am including Pinterest) to 25 minutes or less a day.  We have deleted time-wasting games from our phones and computers.  We have cut our time watching television in half, and we are paying attention to how our family uses technology and hopefully cutting them back, also. We are spending more time in prayer and studying God’s word, we are enjoying meals with our family, and we are helping other people.  We are doing CRAZY things like reading books, memorizing scripture, and giving our family unstructured time each day.

Today, I would like to address an area that may not apply to everyone. This post is for my blogger friends.

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As a blogger, I know how it can become an obsession.  It can take up a lot of our time to get that perfect header and the perfect picture with the perfect caption. This month and last month for me, especially, I personally have spent a lot of time on my blog.  It takes a lot of work to post every day, after all. Kind of goes against my whole unplugged idea, doesn’t it?

One thing I love about blogging is the creative aspect of it.  I love taking pictures and writing, so this is the perfect outlet for me.  I also really enjoy reading other blogs and the whole community of bloggers that is formed. I have made some good friends through my blog.

However, I realize the need to rein in the amount of time I spend on my blog, and that I need to be careful to not let it take up the time I am saving during the day.

Challenge #17-If you have a blog, document throughout several days how much time you spend on your blog and cut back on the time you are dedicating to it.  Do you check your stats a million times a day?  Do you perhaps post too often?  Maybe you can schedule posts in advance to save yourself some time during the day?

I truly believe that blogs are a good thing that can be used for forming community, for helping people, and for spreading the love of Jesus, but they (not unlike any form of social media) can also be time wasters.

31 Days Unplugged – Day 14 – Television

13 Mar

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At this point, I am more unplugged that I ever thought I would be!  As a SAHM, I sometimes miss the human interaction that the Internet affords me, but I am happy that I am spending more time on things that matter.  My house seems more peaceful and I feel much less stressed out than before.

Today, we are taking it to an extreme.  I want you to think about how much television you and your family watch.  While doing some research for this post, I found some really interesting information.

Did you know that the average American spends up to 34 hours a week watching live TV?  That’s not counting movies and what we watch on the Internet.

One study found that for every hour spent watching TV, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. (To put that into perspective, for every cigarette smoked, life expectancy supposedly decreases by 11 minutes.)* Can you believe that?!

There is tons of research out there that shows that we make unhealthy food choices while watching TV, and of course we get no physical exercise while we’re sitting on the couch.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out this article.  It has tons of really interesting info regarding the pitfalls of watching too much television.

So today’s challenge deals with the amount of time we spend in front of the TV.

Challenge #11-Keep a running tab of how much television you and your family watch today.  Just keep a post-it on the kitchen counter and make a note of times that the TV is on.  At the end of the day, look at how much time you spent in front of the TV, and make a plan to cut that time in half.  

If you’re anything like me, a trip to the library for tons more books is in order!

*from http://greatist.com/happiness/how-much-tv-too-much

31 Days Unplugged – Day 8 – Take Care of Yourself

7 Mar

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Welcome back to my 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  As you are spending less time online and more time living abundantly, I am sure you are finding more time in your day, time that was previously being wasted.  For today’s challenge, I am going to give you something to fill up a little of that time!

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

Do you take care of the body that God has blessed you with? For some of you, the answer may be yes.  If so, that is great!  If the answer is no, this challenge is for you!

Challenge #7-Spend at least 20 minutes doing some sort of physical activity.  Take time that you used to waste online and use it to be a healthier person.  Take a walk outside, stretch, do some jumping jacks and sit-ups.  Whatever you want to do!

If you don’t know exactly what to do, here are some short YouTube workouts that I like:

This is an easy and short (seriously 5 minutes) yoga video that I enjoy.  It will get you stretched out and you can do it anytime.  My kids love doing it with me:

This video will get you some killer abs:

Here’s a good video if you’re trying to get ready for bikini season.  The instructor has a little dog sitting in the background, and now every time I do a workout Charlie asks, “Where’s the cat?” He thinks there should be a pet in the background of every workout video!  I really like this workout:

And, lastly, this is a short cardio workout.  Fitness Blender is a great resource on YouTube for workout videos:

You can mix and match these to make a pretty effective workout, or you can just go to YouTube and search for short workouts.

If you want to REALLY unplug, just go outside and play with the kids-a game of tag or hide and seek is a wonderful workout (or some sledding for my northern friends)!  Or, take this a step further and sign up for a 5K-there are tons around all spring and summer, and you’ll be helping out a worthy cause in addition to getting in shape!

Some Quick Pics of Our Days

6 Mar

While I have been unplugging this month, the kids and I have been having a great time.  We’re spending lots of time reading and playing and visiting with friends, and I have been taking a lot of pictures with my actual camera instead of my phone.

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The kids have been doing a lot of “kindergarten” work, as Charlie calls it. This morning, he told me he was going to start raising his hand if he had something to say.  Seeing as he has never stepped foot in school or preschool or anything like it, I don’t know where he got that from!

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We have been taking some naps, too!

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Maddie is such a little helper! She helped me make scrambled eggs this morning.

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And a little tea party to get the day started!

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Our days are going very well, and I hope yours are, too.  For those of you participating in 31 Days Unplugged, I would love to hear what you’re doing now that you have a little more time on your hands!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 6 – Other Time Wasters

5 Mar

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As you have spent less time wasting time on the Internet, do you find yourself looking to other sources of mindless entertainment to fill up that time?  It would be really easy to replace one bad habit with another, so today’s challenge meets that issue head-on.

Challenge # 5-Delete all games from your cell phone and computer. Candy Crush, Flappy Bird (or whatever it’s called :)), Angry Birds,  and anything else that you use as a boredom-fighter.  You will know what you need to do!

What?  Seriously?  I have devoted days of my life to reach level 165 on Candy Crush Saga!

Yes, I am serious!

Ephesians 5:16 tells us that we should be “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Is spending hours of your day playing a game that has no meaning whatsoever making the best use of time?  Time that has been given to us by God?

I don’t think so, and you probably don’t, either.

This is a tough one for a lot of people, so you will be in my prayers today!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 5 – What to do with all that time?

4 Mar

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Welcome back!  We are on day 5 of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  At this point, we have unplugged from all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) during the day.  We are still using these things after the sun goes down, but we are dedicating our days to God and enjoying the abundant life he has promised to us.

If you’re like me, you are finding yourself with some extra time on your hands.  By cutting down on time in front of the computer or staring mindlessly at my cell phone, I have lots of time to do other things, even some things I have been putting off by saying I just didn’t have time to get to it.

Throughout the month, I (and some great guest-bloggers) am going to be giving you some inspiration for things to do to fill up the time that you will inevitably find throughout your day.

Challenge #4-Do something you have been putting off for awhile.  This could be cleaning or organizing, calling someone, writing thank you notes, ironing clothes, whatever it is you have been procrastinating.  You know, the thing you think about every day, but never seem to get done?

I have been wanting to organize my jewelry box for weeks, ever since I got a wonderful new (to me) jewelry box that was my grandma’s.  I have been keeping my jewelry stuffed in a drawer in our bedroom, and it was so messy that I could hardly open the drawer, and a lot of my jewelry was turning into a tangled mess.  I didn’t even want to wear any of my jewelry because it was such a hassle to get to it!

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry...

This is my messy drawer full of jewelry…

...and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

…and my beautiful, organized jewelry box!

I feel so great having this done, and all I had to do was take 15 minutes I would have otherwise wasted scrolling through Facebook.

Ephesians 5: 15-16 says “So be careful how you live.  Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

So let’s spend our new found-time wisely!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 2 – Let’s Live Abundantly

1 Mar

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Well, we did it!  We went through one entire day, from sun-up to sun-down, without using social media.  I hope that you found it to be as uplifting as I did.  It is not easy, but spending that extra time with God made it worth it.  

I would love to hear about your experiences yesterday-please leave a comment below letting me know how yesterday went for you!

For today’s challenge, in addition to continuing without social media from sun-up to sundown, I would like for us all to memorize a piece of scripture that means so much to me when I feel tempted to give in and waste my precious, God-given time.

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Abundant is defined as “present in great quantity, more than adequate, over-sufficient, well supplied, abounding, or richly supplied.”  I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of life I want!  I don’t want to be satisfied with an adequate or sufficient life, I want an abundant life!

…and God wants that for us, too.

All we have to do, guys, is stop giving in to the thief that is coming to destroy that abundant life.

Challenge #2    I challenge you to memorize John 10:10 today.  Write it down on post-its and put them around the house in places that catch your eye.  Be sure to put one of those post-its on your computer.  When you are tempted to quickly check Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, say this verse to yourself and imagine what God wants for you.  

Have a great, abundant day!

31 Days Unplugged-Day 1

28 Feb

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Thank you for joining me today for the first day of my 31 Days Unplugged challenge!  Remember to grab the button to the side and add it to your blog if you are joining us for the challenge!

How much time do you waste on the Internet? I am not talking about checking e-mail for work or working on an online class or finding a recipe or anything like that.  I mean how much time do you waste on things that have no real benefit to your life? Time that could be better spent elsewhere?

Do you pick up your phone every time you walk past it to check the Facebook feed?  Do you spend more time trying to get the perfect picture of your kids for Instagram than you actually spend playing with your kids? Do you play Candy Crush at the dinner table?

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

Life is short, guys.  We need to spend it on things that matter.  God has a purpose for each of us, and we don’t need to get distracted from that purpose. Let’s reclaim that time that we are wasting and use it to fulfill our calling.

Challenge #1-From sun up to sun down, for the entire month of March, do not use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (or any other form of social media that you are feeling convicted about).  Instead, during the times when you would normally use these forms of social media, I ask you to pray.  When you think about picking up your cell phone or opening up the laptop, spend that time with God. These prayers may lost only a few seconds.  Ask God for strength and knowledge and peace, and for direction in how you spend this time that you are reclaiming. Pray for the other people that are joining you in this challenge, as well.

Good luck, everyone!

31 Days Unplugged-Let’s Do It!

26 Feb

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I spend a lot of time on the internet.  I am addicted to Facebook, probably Instagram, too, and I love to read blogs.  I do have a Twitter account, but thankfully I can’t quite figure out how to use it, so I don’t spend too much time on that at this point.

Don’t judge me.  I am a stay-at-home mom, and I get bored sometimes.  I enjoy the adult interaction that the internet affords me.  Anyway, don’t act like you aren’t on Facebook all day, too.  I see you on there.

All jokes aside, though, I do recognize that this is a problem.  My children are growing up so fast, and I don’t want to waste a minute.   I don’t want to be crabby when they interrupt me when I am reading my “friend’s” latest rant or the funny meme someone just shared.  I want to be present in my life, not my “friend’s” made-up online life (let’s be honest, what we put out there is not who we really are).

Have you noticed all of the things circulating on Facebook and other forms of social media that are basically telling people to get off of the Internet and spend time with REAL people?

This one is fairly popular:

And here’s another:

There are tons of videos out there, urging us to cut down our time on the phone and computer.  There are inspirational blogs and quotes and pictures of kids being ignored by parents on cell phones.  Isn’t it ironic that the message to unplug is so prominent on social media?

The real question is this: when are we going to listen? How much of our life are we going to waste before we act? I say no more.

Ephesians 5: 16-17 says, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Are we making the most of the time that God is giving us?  Are we neglecting the things that God has given us to do, so we can spend our precious minutes scrolling mindlessly through the newsfeed?

I truly believe that we are being distracted from the work that God intends us to do for Him, and it is time to do something about it.  

“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”   James 1:23-25

Let’s listen and obey.

Throughout the month of March, for 31 days, I am going to challenge you to unplug, to spend your time in your real life with your real people.  Every day I will have a new post on the topic of unplugging.  Sometimes it will be a new challenge for you, sometimes I will offer suggestions for things to do to fill up the time you will inevitably find, and on some days I will have guest bloggers sharing their stories of inspiration.

When I mentioned to a few friends and family members wheat I was planning, they pointed out the hypocrisy of my 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I am trying to encourage people to read my blog so they can be encouraged to spend less time on the internet?  For that reason, I will keep most of my posts short and simple, and I will release them at 9:00 every night.  That way, you can spend only a few minutes reading my blog, and you can read it when it best fits into your schedule.

So let’s do it.

Join me on March 1st for the first day of 31 Days Unplugged, and your first challenge!

**Some housekeeping notes:  If you are joining me on this challenge, please grab my 31 Days Unplugged button and share it on your blog if you have one.  

I would love to hear from everyone about your experiences throughout the month!  Feel free to comment on Mommy in Bonlee’s Facebook page, or in the comments section of the blog.  I would love to hear from you and someone may be encouraged from your story.  Please remember that I will be participating in the challenge, also, so I may be slow getting back to you!

On March 31st I will be holding a link-up to share everyone’s stories of being unplugged, so please link-up your blog on that day!