“Not Enough Hours in the Day? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Time,” Ensign, February 2019
When we plan our lives and use our time wisely, the Lord will bless and magnify us to better serve in His kingdom. Applying the following principles1 can help us have a productive life and prepare us for exaltation.
With every major goal we set, we can break it down into three types of goals. Then we can determine what daily tasks we need to accomplish to achieve our goals.
Long-range goals. These are overarching, major goals. As an example we may set a goal like “have a professional career in which I can provide for myself and those I’m responsible for.”
Intermediate goals. These are more specific goals that lead you to reaching your long-range goal, such as “earn a college degree.”
Short-range goals. These goals you can complete in a relatively short amount of time. Completing them moves you closer to completing your intermediate and long-range goals. An example of a short-range goal might be “never miss a class this semester.”
Daily tasks. The things we do daily should lead us to achieving our goals. A daily task might be “complete class assignments that are due tomorrow.”
The model provided above can be used to set goals in all areas of our lives. Elder Robert D. Hales (1932–2017) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled us to focus on these four areas:
Educational, personal, and career development
Citizenship and social development2
As we are setting goals in these areas, we should keep this counsel from President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in mind: “Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting.”3
When we set righteous goals and manage our time well to achieve them, we become more like Jesus Christ. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “I thank [Christ] for his marvelous management of time, for never misusing a moment, including the moments of meditation. Even his seconds showed his stewardship.”4