Discretionary Time


At different times in life it is not a bad idea to take a look at your life and check what you spend your hours doing. Your time is like money…you only have so much.  Once spent it is gone.

So, what does your day look like?

If you made a chart, it would probably have a third of the circle sleeping (8 hours) like the one here and at least a third of the circle working (8 hours).  That would leave you one-third of your day for eating and deciding what you wanted to do with what we will call ‘discretionary’ time. The stuff you do to live and play and relate.

Hopefully, you will not spend very much time looking for things you had just a minute ago.


Some of that discretionary time is filled with stuff you have to do.  Some may be filled with stuff others want you to do.  Do you know how you use that time?  Do you control it, or is it controlled for you?  Is it used well or is it wasted?

Try this:

1. Pick a day each month…maybe the date of your birthday.  Mine would be the 24th of each month.

2. Chart your day.  How much time did you spend doing what?  Draw your lines. Group by one hour segments if possible.

3. Do it every month for six months and then compare them and see what controls your discretionary time.  May be of interest to you.


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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