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Jim and Michelle Duggar - with child #20 on the way - are experts at time management. (And I think I'm busy?!)

Last week I posted five time-management helps that actually work for me. Following are my final five.

For those who asked about my photo of the Scottish sundial, the inscription reads: “Neither can the wave that has passed by be recalled – nor the hour which has passed return again.”

There’s nothing new under the sun (dial), of course. People have been frittering away time ever since Eve wandered away from her gardening to shoot the breeze with a serpent.

 I’m a slow learner so the following tips may not be new to you, but they help a recovering procrastinator like me keep my sanity at least some of the time:

(5). Pull the plug. No TV. Nada. Zilch. Ten years from now I will not regret that I didn’t watch more television. I get my morning news from the Chicago Tribune and during the day online news alerts will warn me if a tornado is bearing down on Wheaton or aliens invade the planet. 

(4). Buy in bulk. If I could invest in stocks I’d put some money in Costco. They sure have plenty of mine. But for a family who likes to open our home to groups and guests, I can’t do without the place. Once a month I make a lunch-hour run to stock up on canned pet food, TP, paper towels, greeting cards and staples. It keeps me out of stores most of the rest of the month.

(3). Take 5. Five-minute jobs that is. I have a natural tendency to recoil from clutter, rationalizing that I’ll get to it when I have time. That moment may never come. So I’m learning to do what I can for five minutes while I’m waiting for a pot to boil or before I leave for class. Gradually the piles are getting smaller.

(2). Refill your own well.  You can’t fill others’ cups if you’re spiritually dry yourself.  Corporate worship, personal quiet time and making memories with Mike are priorities for me. If I neglect those key relationships in order to try to meet everyone else’s needs, I will soon run dry.

Speaking at the Catalyst conference in Atlanta last month, Andy Stanley commented: “You can’t shut it all out but you can’t take it all on. You do for the one or the few what you wish you could do for the many. You can empty your own cup but you can’t fill up somebody else’s life.”

 (1). Show up for your life. Attend to the moment you are living right now wherever you are, whether you’re commuting to work, caring for a child, or tackling a project. Savoring time is the best way to save it.

And what if you heartily dislike the life-season you’re in and wish it would pass more quickly? We’ve all been there. Some days you just want to close your eyes, click your heels and wish yourself out of your present state of mind.

Choose to live life with your eyes wide open instead.  When you’re caring for that child, study his face. If you’re helping someone else, remember how often you’ve received assistance. And on that commute to work leave the radio off and savor the silence.

My friend Pam sent me a tip for a future post. Anyone else have a favorite time-saving or savoring tip to share?