The best spiritual traditions as well as the human sciences insist on the importance of personal time management. A life cannot be authentic if it lacks a wise relationship with its time.

But we live in an age marked by so much acceleration and speed that we experience the use of time as a pathological threat. Many people say: “I’m running out of time”, “now or never”, “I’m wasting time”, “better late than never”, “I don’t have time”, “time flies”, “time passes, weighs and treads”… If time becomes an idol, it ends up distressing or enslaving us.

We must therefore learn to order our time as a gift and commitment (kairos) so that it does not devour us (kronos). To order time is to know how to discipline ourselves, to rationalise it, to divide it intelligently in order to make the most of it with a view to an end. But without falling into legalistic formalisms. There are priorities that, because they are wise and realistic, we must set and maintain. They take care of what is most central to each day and should by no means be given up. But what order of priorities should we establish in order to live the human and sabbatical demands? Those who wish to organise their time will find the following six priorities, taken from proven traditions, helpful.

  1. Rest. First of all, the body must be given the hours of sleep it needs. If you decide to get up early, you should go to bed earlier. You sleep better in bed. An exhausted person cannot function well in anything.
  2. Physical exercise. The second priority is to give the body the movement it needs: sports, walks, yoga, gymnastics or whatever. Especially for those who sit all day, movement is vital.
  3. Food. Eating is a necessity, but eating intelligently is an art. We must be conscious of what we give our body, when and with whom we do it. Jesus attached great importance to meals.
  4. Prayer. We are created to live with and for God. The best of the day should be for Him. It is difficult to pray when we are exhausted, in a hurry or underfed. Posture, breathing and diet condition religious practice.
  5. Affectivity. Let us devote quality time to the people with whom we live, those who live with us. It is not necessary to dedicate too much time to them, but just enough, with total disinterest, to live together and converse.
  6. Work. This is the sixth priority, although it takes up many hours of our time. Despite this, it should never take precedence. Let us avoid idolising it and neglecting other priorities for the sake of it. And even less so if it is for one’s own exclusive personal interest.

 

Juan Carlos cmf

(PHOTO: Aron Visuals)

 

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