Ah, I love this post already. I need to give a back story of the title.
So I woke up one morning, early per usual, and after spending some time in prayer, I could not move on to my other planned activities from an intense overwhelming weakness, so I shut down and went back to bed for about 90mins, I woke at 5.30am and instantly felt the weight of my day fall on me. I needed long stretches of hours to accomplish a few things and I feared I was already falling short.
Instantly, the Holy Spirit whispered these words to me
Pockets, Blocks and Stretches
Boooooom. This post was birthed.
Now let us dive in…
In every season we find ourselves, our time is something we need to brutally guard so we can do what God expects of us as we immerse fully in that season and become…
Sadly, time is the one thing all of us think we could do with more of.
Like you, I struggle and literally have to FIGHT to keep time working for me.
I love to have LONG STRETCHES of time, without interruptions, to pray and then do DEEP WORK.
This is PRIMARILY why I wake up early. If I wake at 2am, I can have 3 to 5 uninterrupted hours alone before I have to either join an early meeting at 5am, or have to start my domestic waka at 6 or 7am.
When my kids go to school, I have another STRETCH of 5 to 6 hours to do deep work and strategic thinking.
By 2pm usually, I am done with the best parts of my day and can actually rate my day then.
After 3pm especially, I just let the day flow without a rigid routine.
This is my life and what my current season (and maybe previous 52 seasons) look like.
I am a STRETCHES kinda Jesus Girl
You may be like me, or you could be in a season that lailai you cannot even find 2 straight hours to sleep, talk less of pray or work.
Maybe you have a new baby, or twins like one of my best friends Vee (love and strength, baby), with a toddler or two to care for , alone.
You may live with your parents and because you are under their roof, they do not understand why they cannot summon you at any time.
Maybe you have a job that demands off and odd hours, which are also unpredictable.
Or maybe, you have yet to train your brain to be DISCIPLINED so you have the attention span of a squirrel and can hardly sit still for 10mins without fidgeting.
Either ways, unlike me, and beautifully you, you are the BLOCKS or POCKETS kinda chick.
If you are a BLOCKS chick, then you may not have 2, 3 or more hours at a stretch, but every here and there, you have between 45 and 90mins. Then you would have to work with it and rock it out beautifully to stay fruitful.
I will share some practical tips below.
But let us turn our spotlight to the POCKETS chick.
Ha, let us call her P.C
The P.C is like my friend Vee. You can only afford POCKETS on time here and there, anything between 15mins and 45mins to get anything done. This is where a lot of moms with new babies and toddlers are.
Now, side note: we TRAIN children please. I am not here for moms with kids who should have been trained. Nah. Google and let the HS lead you to Christian articles that can help you TRAIN your kids. I also recommend Susanna Wesley’s biography by Eric Mertaxes. Her story is BRILLIANT!!!
I am talking about moms in a FULL ON mommy season. Your kids for now, run the TIME show and you have to go with that flow.
Operative word: FOR NOW
And the thing is God truly is the God of our GAPS and GRACES us for every season, whether it affords us STRETCHES, BLOCKS or POCKETS. He fills every gap.
No one is better than the other please. Your blessing and fruitfulness is in your OBEDIENCE to stewarding each season and the time it affords you right, like God dictates.
While I have most of my real estate in STRETCH TIME Street, I have a few bungalows and cubicles, even shacks lol in BLOCKS and POCKETS time streets.
The dynamic year 2020 showed us that much when it comes to staying flexible.
OK now, let me share the ONE PRACTICAL tip that helps me in EVERY SEASON
Read this SLOWLY
Plan your hours and activities ahead, no matter the amount of time you have.
30mins can work for you if you plan it well
4 hours can be lost on you if you leave it to chance
The magic is in the systems you create as you plan
And planning will not look the same for all of us.
The concept is to have a LIST of all you have to do, RANK THEM IN PRIORITY and as time, whether pocket, block or stretches opens up, you use your list and do what you need to do in that time frame.
This takes discipline and thankfully, we can all train ourselves into being disciplined
Like I said, it looks different for all of us…
I recall when I worked in the United Nations and lived with my SIL in Abuja, work would close at 5pm and in Abuja, EVERYONE closed at 5pm for real, unlike Lagos lol.
So once the office was empty, I would flip from work mode to Personal and Spiritual development mode and for, sometimes just one extra hour or 90mins, I would read, pray or just do any personal activity to better my life.
Because my SIL had 2 kids under 3 at the time and I used to crash in her living room so I had zero privacy, so I had to make do with my BLOCKS, even though I prefer STRETCHES
As a new mom, I have had many many POCKET DAYS, where all I can afford would be 15mins to pray or read a book. To pray, I have always loved to use Pastor Chris’s tongues which I found on YouTube, then time myself as it is for 15mins too. I just keep speaking in tongues with him till it ends.
Till tomorrow, I use POCKETS to get a ton of reading done. My toilet moments are spent usually with a book. I could read a chapter or 3 in those 5 to 7mins pockets and make such progress I would not have made if I was relying only on 30mins BLOCKS.
Now the BEST part about this system is that we can apply it to ANYTHING
Instead of doing NOTHING or just letting our NOT ENOUGH hours slip by, we can be intentional about planning and then creating a system around our STRETCH, BLOCK or POCKETS of time
It can work with workouts. Can’t afford the gym hours? Do a 7min workout daily and BE CONSISTENT
It can work with prayers, and I have this post here to help
It can work with catching up with friends. Yes we are all busy but schedule a quick 10min phone call and nurture those friendships. Of course, spouses can use this too.
(PS: A single chick is reading this and wondering why spouses cannot just have stretches especially when and since they live in the same home, but don’t worry mama, we dey wait you hehe)
It works with housework. You may not have a full day to do deep cleaning but you have 5mins pockets after brushing your teeth to clean the sink, and another 5mins after bathing to quickly wash the toilet bowl you already sprinkled harpic into before jumping in the bath.
It can work with parenting. Personally, I am using POCKETS to help my 5 year old with his Nielsen handwriting. Even if for just 10mins a day, I make him practice and that makes such a HUGE difference.
I would LOVE to have STRETCHES but that cannot work.
It can even work with sleep. I have found that a 30min cat nap at 5pm gives me energy that can carry me for an extra 1 or 2 hours after 8pm when my body typically starts to shut down
At work too, a 15min shut-eye at noon (plus the right diet mama) can power you for the next 3 work hours
Like I said, it works with everything
TIME left on its own, is never enough so let us DISPENSE with that excuse already
If you do not have STRETCHES, you should have BLOCKS and if no BLOCKS, I am sure we all have POCKETS
The koko is HAVE A PLAN for what to do when those pockets, blocks or stretches pop up, and because you have a plan, you are so focused when they come and you find your productivity level increasing as you stay consistent with all 3 as they present
I want to end with this beautiful story in the Bible that God opened my eyes to recently
Luke 9: Feeding of the 5000 men
13 Jesus responded, “You have the food to feed them.”[g]
They replied, “All we have are these five small loaves of bread and two dried fish. Do you really expect us to go buy food for all these people? 14 There are nearly five thousand men here, with women and children besides!”[h]
He told his disciples, “Have them all sit down in groups of fifty each.”[I]
15–16 After everyone was seated, Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, and gazing into the heavenly realm he gave thanks for the food. Then, in the presence of his disciples, he broke off pieces of bread and fish, and kept giving more to each disciple to give to the crowd. It was multiplying before their eyes! 17 So everyone ate until they were filled, and afterward the disciples gathered up the leftovers—it came to exactly twelve baskets full!
I love how they were complaining they didn’t have enough food (time for us) and Jesus said YOU HAVE THE FOOD (TIME) TO FEED THEM (DO ALL I WANT YOU TO DO)
I love Jesus. He is BRUTAL and GANGSTA lol
So He blessed it, which is what we do when we wake daily.
BLESS the day, Sis
Then using a PLAN, STRUCTURE and SYSTEM, He distributed it and the food WAS MULTIPLYING before their eyes.
This rhema needs a different blog and I will do it later, by God’s grace
My point is, a system and plan literally MULTIPLIES time
Can’t wait to jump back with a fresh Spirit-led blog
God bless you.
Living her BEST LIFE
My sister girl Oge interviewed me for her podcast on parenting and I thought she had the MOST BRILLIANT awesome questions. I listened after it launched and my answers certainly came from the Holy Spirit. I am not even that smart lol
Here is the link
Feel free to share too