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Practical Planning

May 31, 2021

This post is by Briane Kearns.

An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security. (Isaiah 32:8 NET)

Have you ever seen a demonstration of how many balls can be placed into a big glass jar? First in are large tennis balls, and only a few fit. Then ping pong balls are added, and 7-10 fall between the tennis balls. Then marbles are added, and they fill in around the tennis and ping pong balls. Finally, small metal BB’s are poured in and fill all the spaces. The large tennis balls that went in first determined how many of the other balls could fit into the jar.

Our time each day is a bit like that jar. It is limited and finite, and we are generally trying to squeeze as much into it as we can. You can plan your time by putting the “tennis ball” activities in first and then filling around them.

First, intentionally plan four things.

  • Plan your rest - when you will go to bed and when you will get up.
  • Plan your nutrition - what healthy foods you will eat to fuel your life.
  • Plan your God time- personally connect with God every day.
  • Plan your move time- walk, work out, move that body to health.

Put these events into your day like appointments that you must keep. Write them in ink! It is all right to give yourself a range of time within which you will do them, but these items need to be “anchored” in each and every day.

Next, create a weekly plan list. Break down the things that need to be done on a regular basis into daily goals and determine a realistic number of events per day. These are your ping pong balls! Spread chores, tasks and recurring errands like groceries, meetings or cleaning out realistically across four days of the week. Other items must be plugged in daily- meals, carpool, bath for littles. Be sure to add items you need to complete in order to move a dream forward or accomplish a goal you have for your life. These are just as essential as practical plans.

Use services and technology for as many things as you are willing and comfortable doing. For instance, I realized that 30 minutes of online shopping for groceries saves me 3-4 hours each week and I can use that time for other things. I use Alexa to build my grocery list, my daily to do list, travel items list and many other things. I have found that when I can say “Alexa, add butter to my grocery list” and then refer to the list for online grocery shopping, I am most likely to get the things we need. I use Alexa reminders and my phone calendar for appointments and other activities.

The fifth day of the week is your overflow day. Items or events that pop up during the week, or that do not get finished on the first four days roll to the fifth day. I also like to add fun things like meeting a friend on this day.

Saturday! If you work outside your home, as I did for decades, your Saturday list may be really full. It may have chores and errands, or it may be full of children’s sporting events that fill up your day like big tennis balls! Manage your Saturday carefully so that all it becomes a resource in life, not an endless list of things you must do.

Sunday is for your rest and rejuvenation. Sunday is not a rollover or overflow day. As much as it is practically possible, leave your jar empty on Sunday. Let Sunday (or whatever day you Sabbath) be the day you recharge your soul and your body.

Sabbath rest is an essential part of God’s plan for your life and for His creation. Jesus taught that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) God actually planned a rest day for us! I have learned from experience that if I do not intentionally rest, recharge and practice Sabbath every week that I am worn down, frazzled, unfocused and less productive the other six days of the week. So, I plan to rest.

Try these planning steps and let me know how your weeks go!

“Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3


Briane Pittman Kearns is a Jesus loving first born who celebrates being a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and two time breast cancer survivor.

She loves teaching others that the Bible is relevant for today, her family, laughing with friends, encouraging women in their faith walk and being a southerner. She holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. You can find more of her words at www.BrianePittmanKearns.com, and her teachings on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/briane.pittman.kearns/

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash


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