How many times a week do you find yourself saying something along the lines of, “I don’t have time for that”? Regardless of your life stage, we all fight this battle. We all feel as if there’s not enough time in the day to accomplish what we want, yet day after day we find ourselves exhausted. We find ourselves exhausted because there’s one thing we left out of our schedules: rest.
For you, college student, you need to hear this. What you do with your time now WILL affect what you do with your time in the future. If you don’t rest now, you won’t rest then. College isn’t just four years divorced from the rest of your life, so you need to seek rest now.
Some of you are with me. You know something needs to change. You’re exhausted, but you have no idea what to do. Here are a few things to help you get started.
1. You can’t change how you spend your time if you don’t know how you spend your time.
You have twenty-four hours every day. It’s what we all have. Pastor J.D. Greear said, “What you do with your minutes, you do with your life.” The average person sleeps eight hours a night. Because you’re in college and go to bed at 2:00 a.m., we’re going to make that six hours. That means you’re working with eighteen other hours. Much of that is spent in class or working. I’m going to be really generous and say that you spend twelve hours either in class, studying, or at work. That gives you six hours to work with every day. Obviously, that includes meals, but you’ve got a solid four hours every day that are open.
Next Step: Look at your weekly schedule and map out how many hours you spend doing different things. What takes up most of your time? How much of your time is available but not being used well?
If you don’t have a weekly schedule, your next step is to make one.
2. You need to create margin in your schedule.
Some of you are thinking, “What in the world is margin?” Think about a piece of paper, or maybe the paper you write where you try to cheat the margins and hope your professor doesn’t notice. The extra space around the edges is the margins. It’s there, but it’s open. Margin is time in your week that is open that you don’t have planned. I would suggest scheduling an hour a day where you don’t have anything planned.
I get it. It’s weird to plan to do nothing, but it’s necessary. Margin allows for you to plan for times of rest and to be available if a friend calls you and absolutely needs to talk to you. Think about the first question I asked. How many times do you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time for that”? The reality is that you probably have time; you just don’t realize it.
Next Step: After you map out your weekly schedule, block off an hour every day that is open for rest or a request from a friend.
Hopefully after doing this, you’ll realize that the problem is not that you don’t have time but that the time you do have is poorly managed. Generosity is time, talent, and treasure. Looking over and managing our time and schedules is an opportunity to glorify the Lord and have time to serve those around us.
-Greta Griswold (College Team)