In the past, I have attempted to control everything in my life. I have thought I knew everything and what I didn’t know, I would learn on my own.
Then I met someone truly wise about a year ago. He and his wife were trying to declutter their home of some things their two boys had outgrown. There were many toys and clothes that were still in very good shape and would do very well in our foster care ministry, so we asked to have them. He not only agreed, but also helped bring the items to our home in his truck. As he was helping us unload the vehicles of all the items, he said something that changed my thinking tremendously.
“Work smarter, not harder.”
These words stamped themselves into my mind and I still remember them, ponder them and implement them into my day to day life. I have used these words to help me think of smarter ways to keep my home clean, my life organized, in keeping my marriage prioritized and parenting focused.
So how can we work smarter and not harder?
1. Find a mentor. Find someone to do life with that has more experience than you do. We are not meant to do life alone. God has given us community, called the Church, to do life together with. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT). Find someone who will mentor you and show you the ropes. Someone who will lift you up when you fall or need assistance. It is smarter to learn life lessons from an experienced person than to learn everything the hard way.
2. Be proactive. If you want to get ahead in life and not always be stuck running around in circles, be proactive. Plan your day, week, month, and year. Have an idea of where you are headed in life. For example, organizing, cleaning, and decluttering your home regularly is being proactive. It is hard to keep up with every day life as it is, let alone trying to do it all without a plan.
3. Read the Bible. This is the smartest thing you can do each day! God’s Word is full of knowledge, power, and authority. If we are investing in our relationship with God through reading His Word, we are seeking mentorship, guidance, and wisdom from the all-knowing King! It’s so hard to navigate through life. God’s Word lightens a path for you so you know where you should be going.
I could write extensively on each of these points, and there are many more ways we can work smarter, not harder in our lives. The three here that I mention are really life-changing though and I hope they encourage you as they do me!