Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

I apologize, readers, for blogging so infrequently over the past eight weeks. I have been working unusually long hours and have had little energy or brain-power left for blogging. As I get back into the habit, I thought I’d start with a short blog about dealing with over-busy times.

We all find ourselves unexpectedly over-scheduled at times. This blog is about those times. Let me start with a caveat, however. If you find yourself perpetually over-scheduled, may I suggest that you take a time out (yes, you can – really!) and evaluate your life. I truly believe that God is not honored by a life that is perpetually over-scheduled. Some of these tips will help you, but stronger medicine is required to heal the perpetually overly full schedule.

8 Things to Do When You’re in a Short or Temporary Season of Over-Busyness:

  1. Pray specifically asking God where your priorities should be. Ask Him for guidance about the big picture (i.e., those tasks that should be dropped or handed off for a period of time) and ask Him about your priorities each day. Here are just a few ways that God might make His priorities known to you:
    • A persistent thought or leaning toward one project or another.
    • A peace about passing some tasks to others or leaving them undone.
    • A change in your passions for specific tasks.
    • An unexpected person offering to shoulder some task you were wondering how you’d accomplish.
  2. Be obedient – Do those things that are God highlights as priorities. Sometimes you may want to do other things instead. Trust that God knows best.
  3. Act with integrity – Be proactive about asking others to help and advising others when you will not be able to accomplish something you’ve promised. Don’t wait until the last minute or until you’re already late with something.
  4. Trust that God is in control – When we are over-busy, it is easy to become stressed about the many, many things we ought to do. Trusting God brings a confidence that pushes that stress away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reminded myself over the past two months that none of this unexpected busyness took God by surprise. When each person created the schedule that I’m responsible to meet, God knew about it. He will either enable me to meet that schedule, provide someone else to meet it for me, or He will give me the grace to honestly admit that I cannot meet it. Guess what! Even though I am quite tired from my busyness over the past eight weeks, it’s been fun watching Him in action.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up for not accomplishing those things that God has said is not your top priority. I have hated not writing my blog more regularly, but I’ve also been confident that it was lower on the priority list than meeting working deadlines, maintaining some ministry locally, and visiting my parents. It would be easy to feel remorse or guilt for not blogging regularly. To do so, however, would be acting as if God’s priorities for my time were wrong.
  6. Don’t neglect Bible reading. You may not have time to do as much study or meditation of the passages, but be sure to read.
  7. Be thankful. It’s so easy to become overly task driven and forget to pause to be thankful. It will change your day.
  8. Don’t neglect church and continue to observe a Sabbath. Scripture says that we are to observe the Sabbath even during times of harvest. This is a harvest time at work and it is so tempting to spend just a bit of time on Sundays “catching up” so that Monday will be better. Trust me. God knows best and you will be more “caught up” on Monday if you fully step away from work on Sunday. (No, I’m not legalist about Sabbath being Sunday – any day of the week is fine, so long as you are careful to observe it.)

I know it doesn’t seem like you need 8 more things to do when you’re already over-busy. Trust me, put these 8 things first and God will control the over-busyness. Of course that’s not to say you won’t be tired for awhile! Blessings, friends!

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