There are plenty of time management books out there, (some better than others), but none that I have found takes a closer look at “how the Author of time managed his time” (intro page) than the book Redeeming Your Time: 7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present & Wildly Productive. Author Jordan Raynor takes you through the gospels, recounting familiar stories and highlighting the ways in which Jesus managed his time.
“The gospels show Jesus facing many of the same challenges we face today as we seek to steward our time. And because he was infallible God, we can assume that Jesus managed his time perfectly, providing us with the ideal model to follow” (intro page).
We can’t do everything. But we can be wildly productive doing the things that God has called us to do in this life, knowing that, what we don’t finish, he will complete in his timeline. This knowledge should free you! God is not interested in the checking of boxes on our to-do lists but rather that we are joyfully doing the good works that he ordains for us in this life. Raynor frames this within the sovereignty of God and the gospel.
Raynor outlines seven principles and includes highly practical tips on how to implement each one. The principle that most impacted me is in the chapter titled “Let Your Yes Be Yes” (pg. 22). How you spend your time reveals what you are saying “yes” to. Drawing from Jesus’s teaching on the topic and comprehensive brain research, Raynor suggests that much of our anxiety stems from having “open loops.” These are things that get tossed in the brain with nothing to latch onto. He introduces the idea of creating a commitment tracking system to catch open loops so your brain can rest.
Since reading this book, I have implemented several practical tips like creating my own commitment tracking system, scheduling time blocks for tasks and projects, and maintaining a system for defining my work using his suggested workflow chart. In doing so, I have witnessed my own productivity skyrocket.
When you practice Raynor’s suggestions, you will see results both in the act of ordering your time and in stewarding the resources that God has entrusted to you. This glorifies God! It’s incredibly refreshing to read a book that provides sound theology on the stewardship of time management and ultimately points back to the Creator of all good things. In his productivity prayer, Raynor concludes, “Regardless of how productive I am, I will know that you love me. May the security of your love make me both peaceful and ambitious to do your will today” (pg. 21).