“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” Luke 14:28-30 (NIV)
It’s no secret that to be successful with your finances, you must plan where you will spend your money before it winds up in your bank account. We should apply the same disciplined approach to our time. After all, unlike money, we can’t earn more time, so we should be even more inclined to budget our hours than our dollars.
If you followed Jesus’ lead that we explored a few weeks ago, you should have clear boundaries outlining how much time you have dedicated to be productive in a given day. With these boundaries set, your commitments collected, and your essential few projects and tasks identified, it’s time to enter into a more granular planning mode, determining how you are going to spend each hour of each day. I love Jesus’ words in Luke 14:28: “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” The way we “calculate the cost” of our productive activities is by budgeting our time, ensuring we have “enough to complete” the things we have committed to.
So, what does this look like practically? For me, I spend the last 30 minutes of every work day identifying the most essential tasks and projects I want to accomplish the following day and planning out how I will allocate my time to accomplish those things and everything else on my calendar. This way, when I sit down at my desk the next morning, I don’t have to waste precious mental energy thinking about what I will do next. The decisions have been made. Now all I have to do is execute.
All throughout Proverbs, God reveals the wisdom of conservatively planning out how to spend our time and money. When planning out your days, be intentional about underestimating what you can accomplish in a 24 hour period. Human nature is to overestimate what we can accomplish in a given time period. Simply being aware of this will help you make wiser decisions in planning out your time. It’s far better to end the day with unexpected free time than to not accomplish what you set out to.
Remember Jesus’ warning in Luke 14:29-30: “For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” Not doing what we say we will do is harmful to our testimony to a lost world. Plan your time well to ensure you can finish what you’ve committed to start.