Some students are exceptionally good at managing their time. They find a way to go to their classes, hold a part-time job, sleep well, exercise, eat right, spend time with friends, and of course, enjoy many organized functions with their church communities while.
The other 99% of humanity is not.
While leading my missional community, I was a pretty busy guy. All of the things listed were on my docket of activity, except for: sleeping well, eating right, and spending time with friends outside the church. God help me, I liked my videogames, crappy movies, and 2 hour naps after eating @ McDonalds. I wasn’t driven by academic success, and wasn’t old enough to understand the delicacy of the body. As a result, I’d say I walked around at about 70% all the time. Just enough to pass my classes, get some workouts in, and fulfill my commitments to church and work. Everything else fell straight to the wayside.
3 Tips to Managing Time on Mission
In retrospect, I understand that there are a handful of things that would have really improved my quality of life and ability to impact the world outside church communities.
My old friend Jaeson Ma often urges students to aim for an even split between the time that they are spending with people inside the church, and outside of it. This often requires stepping away from organized church activities to make room for relationships outside of it. Trying to do 100/100…it doesn’t really work.
More recently, I am beginning to lament the amount of time I spent walking around in college feeling dead on my feet. Sleeping on a regular schedule, 8 hours a night will leave you much, much more productive with the time you have. Instead of wasting a day sitting around and avoiding work, you will have the ability to be productive with the small amounts of time that you have. Seriously, it will change the way you interact with people, your job, and quality of life. Not sleeping will leads to the illness, injury, and stress that invites depression and bad decisions. Mom was right, get over it.
3. Inviting others into your lives, Meeting them in theirs
This is a two part method of spending time with others, while not adding more on your plate. Simply inviting people to do everyday things that you would normally do on your own (working out, eating meals, studying), can both keep you on task and deepen the relationships that you have with others. Meeting others where they spend time does this as well. Try studying at a pub or hookah lounge instead of just coffee shops if you are over 21. Go to a party instead of watching a movie so you can meet others. Workout at the school gym, instead of on your own at home. Always be putting yourself in the position of running into people and enjoying community. Be intentional about not being an island.