MAKING GUIDANCE & DISCOVERY TIME
- for your Journey of Hope
Key time-related issues for using H.O.P.E. Break Formula steps:
- Hook-up to the Creator: Choosing a reliable Source
- Obey His guidance: Choosing time to receive Guidance
- Praise & Enjoy His guidance and support: Choosing supportive Relationships
Time plays an important role in your successful use of the H.O.P.E. Break Formula. Committing to a reliable Source for your hope involves time to evaluate and verify its credibility – critical to the Hook-up step. Learning about the Creator’s way of living a life filled with hope requires choices to spend adequate time in learning and discovery – a critical part of the Obey step. The Praise & Enjoy step also requires critical choices involving the Relationships in your life.
Time for Step 1) - Hook-up to the Creator: Choosing a reliable Source
Regardless of the source(s) you have used before discovering the H.O.P.E. Break Formula, you will need to take time to verify its reliability, and to defend it from those who would want to discourage you or dissuade you from your hope journey. Time for discovering, verifying, and "accepting" who you are and the purposes the Creator desires for you brings a powerful strength and peace to each day - and your life! Time Hooking-up can bring serenity to your life.
Time for Step 2) - Obey His guidance: Choosing time to receive Guidance
Perhaps the greatest need for time will be in this hope step. It will involve learning, and in some cases unlearning, about what the Creator’s guidance actually is for you. Learning is accumulative and continuous if it is to impact your hope journey. Time for guidance and "change" in your life is mostly about choosing the best INPUTS and increasing them to support and inspire your decisions. Changing, or upgrading your INPUTS will be a powerful part of living in hope. Time Obeying can bring courage to your life.
Time for Step 3) - Praise & Enjoy His guidance and support: Choosing supportive Relationships
All step choices need the sharing of your experiences with others who can support and encourage your journey to hope. This involves the making of relationships which can fill this need. Making time for healthy and supportive OUTPUTS will help keep you on course, and help others as well. Relationships, centered in truly "knowing" others, is a powerful step in loving - that includes yourself, others, and your Creator. Time Praising & Enjoying will bring wisdom into your life.
Ways to “take” and/or “make” CRITICAL TIME for the H.O.P.E. Break Formula.
The Easiest Way
TAKE TIME: If you are blessed with free time, you can schedule (take) the time you need.
An Almost Easy Way
MAKE TIME: If your schedule demands are full but 1) events are time-fillers, 2) events can be canceled or shortened, or 3) events can be “repurposed”, you can rearrange (make) the time you need.
A Sure, but Sometime Difficult Way
MAKE & TAKE TIME: If your schedule demands are full and cannot easily be rearranged, the following process can help you find (make then take) the needed time you need for your hope journey.
First, it may be helpful to look at a few realities about time management.
- To be able to prioritize events, you must first be clear about your goals.
- To keep from regressing (losing your gains), you must be committed to your goals.
- To realize your goals through time management, you must move events from “to do lists” to “scheduled” time slots. (i.e., move events from discretionary to nondiscretionary time)
- To be successful, you must act on ”important” events over (prioritized, scheduled before) those seemingly “urgent” events.
- Remember that the most powerful source of “making time” is “elimination” of unneeded events.
A Process for Making and Taking time:
It is best to follow ali the steps, however use all or part of these steps, depending on your understanding of yourself, your preference to planning, and your support in accomplishing them. Some prefer to reverse the order and fill in the earlier parts, skip hard parts until later and fill in the easier parts first, or do a quick fill-in and place details in later. Do what makes sense to you in making and/or taking the time you need for your hope journey.
Make-Time Task 1: Review these general categories. How do you view your life balance and categories of life and events? Personalize them - reword, combine, split, or add to your sorting categories to match your life and terminology. Consider this starter list: Leisure & play, study, work, sleep, health, hygiene, eating, family, parenting, caring/serving, friends, groups (clubs, school, church, etc.), support, discussion, reading, study, and alone time.
Make-Time Task 2: Make a time map of your routines. If each day is the same, it is easier as you can duplicate them with slight variations to reflect your month. If your schedule is complicated, map the whole month. You can choose a longer time horizon, but usually one month’s map is sufficient.
Make-Time Task 3: Do a quick analysis of how your time is being used.
- Look for balance in the general categories. Are the ones you want there?
- Identify a benchmark; what does your time usage say about your goals?
- Boldly review your time: are you pursuing your goals? What is missing? Extra?
- Clarify your goals “in writing”, including your H.O.P.E. Break goals.
- Prioritize your goals, and commit to accomplishing (scheduling) your top choice(s) “first”.
- ALWAYS schedule with “pencil”, or with the ability to “edit”.
Make-Time Task 4: Sort your time map. Looking at the categories you have edited, label each of your time events by category. You will need this for batching, reprioritizing, elimination, etc. later. Be thorough when you do this step.
Make-Time Task 5: Revisit “rearranging”, or making time: Are 1) events time-fillers, 2) able to be canceled or shortened, or 3) can they be “repurposed” – that is, can you rearrange (make) the time you need[LG2].
Make-Time Task 6: Do the hard work. If you have not found the time by this point, you need to start the pruning process to align your time with your goals. The more “survival” events you have (parenting, income earning, legal demands, skill challenges, health issues, etc.) you have, the more difficult your task may be. However, this will just change the strategy you choose, and which process listed below that you find most helpful to use, or use first. They are listed in the order that is usually most productive, but choose the one that is best for your situation. Start with the easiest first, or just move through the list. Keep your balance and priority lists handy, and make scheduling choices for them first. Leave as few items as you can to general “to do lists”. Even consider making appointments with yourself for important items so they do not get missed and you can defend your “absence” to others with dignity.
- Elimination: Be bold here. You will fight habits, comfort, routines, peer-pressure, guilt, pride, maturity, obsession, addictions and a host of other things. It is often a soul-searching process. Try it. You can add most events back to your schedule later if you find they were really necessary. This is often the toughest time-maker to accomplish, but often the most productive as well.
- Repurpose: This can be a fun and creative process with many surprise outcomes. Many have found new and deeper relationships when involving others in their goals. It sometimes puts you into a leadership, and not just a follower role. You will be amazed at how much time this can repurpose for your priorities.
- Multi-task: Similar to repurposing, it adds the dimension of accomplishing two goals with the same task. Some commuters find time to study, sleep, eat, communicate, etc. with a little preparation to gain value from otherwise wasted time. Some leaders involve their families to get “time” with those they love while volunteering or even working. Review your time map for the advantages of multitasking.
- Batching: Time management experts find that batching, putting similar or linked items together, saves loads of time. Rather than make two trips, make two stops if they are close (or not). Making calls? Try doing as many as you can at one time. Baking for an event? Do some prep for your next meal(s) if you can while the ingredients are out. You get the picture.
- Efficiency: This may involve lots of variables, but is a great time-maker. The time of day, the location, the resources available, the ability to prepare, etc. all make a difference in how much we get done, the quality of our outputs (errors avoided), and the impact of our energies. Consideration of the needs of others, timing, sequence, tone, alertness, etc. all matter. Be honest about yourself and others as you schedule, and you may find greater efficiency adds to your available time.
- Delegation: Letting others do it for you, or even work with you, can free enormous amounts of otherwise lost time. Some things you should not delegate, but when you can, do it. Swallow your pride, let others get credit, and take your reward – getting more time for your priorities.
- Other: No one knows your time more than you! Find you own creative ways to make your goals happen. Never forget to get guidance from your Creator. His resources are unlimited!
Make-Time Task 7: Publish your reworked plan (schedule). Share your goals often, as others may surprise you and pitch in to help you. It also helps you say focused by reinforcing your life’s purpose and your journey to hope!