Back when I officially left my corporate job and began freelancing full time, I figured that I’d have a much easier time carving out room in my schedule for Bible reading, devotions, and prayer. After all, I was no longer on call 24×7 and I was not away from home twelve to sixteen hours per day. However, I quickly discovered that time management for Shaun the freelancer could be just as challenging as it had been for Shaun the contact center manager.
The most important first step was to set aside time in my daily schedule that was specifically devoted to my quiet time regimen. For me this tends to be in the morning between five and six AM. Armed with my trusty cup of coffee and my Bible (NET Bible or ESV), I’m ready to dive into God’s word and spend time in prayer. And while this works most of the time, there are those days when some pressing work catches my eye first thing and before I know it the kids are telling me to come down for lunch. One of the unique challenges I face in my business is that I have a number of customers based in the UK, so those wee hours of the morning are sometimes the only chance I have to connect with my British counterparts across the pond.
Right now, I bet a number of you are pointing a finger at the screen and telling me that my time with God aught to come first no matter what. And while I wholeheartedly agree, the reality of it for me was that the needs of that pressing work kept me mentally distracted all throughout my quiet time. That wasn’t a good thing either, so I began to wonder which was the lesser evil. Here are some of the options I came up with for this problem:
- Even though I’m distracted, be diligent about doing my devotions/quiet time first thing no matter what.
- Skip devotions/quiet time that day.
- Find a more convenient time in my schedule for quiet time/devotions.
After a bit more thought, I decided to scrap all three of those ideas. Instead I opted to schedule a backup quiet time. Most days I still do my regularly scheduled quiet time before six AM, but on those days when my schedule and to do list seem to take on a life of their own as soon as I walk into the office, I rely on my backup quiet time. What I’ve found works best for me is a time right after lunch. This has helped to remove all of the guilt and frustration I felt about missing my quiet time on those days when my schedule gets derailed. In the end, my quiet time happens on a much more consistent basis, which was the goal along.
Do you have a backup quiet time? What helps you be more consistent with spending time in the Bible and in prayer? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
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