By NBF News
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'Success in life is the effective use of time. Each of us is the sum total of what we spend our time on. The person you are today is a result of how you have used your time in the past. 'If you are overweight, for example, it may be because you have spent too much time sitting around eating and watching television, and not enough time exercising and being active in other ways. 'If you are ignorant and lacking in knowledge, you may be spending time on aimless and unproductive activities that would be better spent reading books or going to school. The way you invest your time determines the level of your success.

'Essentially, our success boils down to the issue of how efficiently and effectively we use our time. Learning to establish priorities, or to put first things first, is a critical key to effective time management. Most of us are busy people for whom time is at a premium. 'Remember, however, that busyness does not necessarily mean effectiveness. Successful people are effective people because they know how to set priorities. Priorities help us avoid distractions, focus on the most important things, and get the most value out of our time every day.

'We need to pay close attention to time because time is the true measure of life. Our life on earth is essentially human consciousness residing in a physical body that exists in a linear but finite continuum of time and space. In the life to come, in eternity, time will not be a factor, but now it is. In our physical existence we are bound by the constraints of time. 'Time is also the currency of life. Currency is the medium of exchange used in an economy to purchase goods and services. Just as money is the currency of an economy, time is the currency of life. And just as we use money to purchase things, we use time to purchase life.

'Financial success always involves the wise investment of money to get the biggest possible return for the smallest outlay. In the same way, success in life means receiving the greatest returns and benefits-to ourselves as well as to others - for the time invested. 'Every morning we all wake up with the same amount of time currency: 24 hours. Where we go and how high we rise in life depend on how we spend and invest that irreplaceable currency 'It stands to reason, then, that how we spend our time determines the quality of our life and death. How will people feel when you die? Will they be sad…or relieved? The way you invest your time this side of the grave will make the difference.

'Our quality of life (and that of the people closest to us) is directly related to how we spend our currency of time. We will be healthy, wealthy, wise, and spiritually mature in direct proportion to the time we invest in these things. 'In a very real sense we become what we spend our time on. Time is a precious commodity that must be carefully and wisely invested. 'Because time is currency and a precious commodity, it should come as no surprise to discover that everything and everyone is after our time.

'Modern life is a constant bombardment of voices, ideas, opinions, causes, and expectations, from people in every degree of acquaintance, all vying for our time and attention. Some of it is worthwhile and deserves our attention; most of it does not.

'How do we tell the difference? This is where establishing priorities comes in. Without clear priorities, we run the danger of wasting precious time listening to the wrong voices or allowing ourselves to be drawn in the wrong direction. 'Knowing your priorities will help you evaluate the voices pulling at you and identify those that are the most important. The best way to minimize confusion is to get into the habit of deciding beforehand how you will spend your time each day. 'Personally, I plan out my time and focus for each day the day before. I have found that knowing where I am headed as I go into each day helps me avoid unnecessary distractions along the way.

'You can't give your time or attention to every competing voice, so let your priorities help you zero in on those that are the most important. Let the others go.'

Culled from Applying the Kingdom
Rediscovering the priority of God for mankind by Myles Munroe