What Can You Accomplish in a Half Hour?

What can you accomplish in a half hour? The answer may well be, “more than you are currently accomplishing in an hour…or more.” In His new book, The Power of a Half Hour: Taking Back Your Life Thirty Minutes at a Time, pastor and author Tommy Barnett seeks to help people become better stewards of their time and accomplish more in the process.

As one who lives life at a pretty frenetic pace, I was drawn to the book simply by reading the title. I first thought, “I don’t have time to read that book.” Then I thought, “Or, maybe I don’t have time not to.” I am glad I read it. When you are trying to manage the responsibilities of husband, father and full-time pastor, life can get pretty busy. In fact, it can become so busy that it feels overwhelming at times. If you are not careful, you can spend your day paralyzed by the thoughts of all that needs to be accomplished and unable to figure out where to start. Or, you can work in a piecemeal fashion on multiple projects throughout the day and wonder by the end of the day whether you really accomplished anything at all. Perhaps you have been there.

Barnett shows how simply dividing the day into 30-minute increments and setting particular goals for those 30-minute time blocks can revolutionize your day and increase greatly your productivity. And, he shows you how taking small breaks between those blocks can recharge and re-focus you for your next focused block. Applying this method to multiple areas of life, he shows you the impact this process can have on your life in general, your faith, your character, your relationships and your world, all for the glory of God. Most importantly, he shows you the necessity of giving your first and best time for investing daily in your relationship with God, which will point you to the One who alone can give you wisdom and direction for doing everything else in a way that honors Him. As Barnett well reminds us, “God wants to be the center of your life, not to simply be imbedded [sic] in a slice of it.” (34)

Full of personal examples, as well as stories from the lives of others, Barnett takes these principles from ideas on a page to showing the reader what it looks like to really live this way. My biggest challenge has not been understanding what Barnett wrote. It has been putting it into practice consistently. The tyranny of the urgent is an ever-present challenge. However, when I do use this principle, I find that I am more focused and more productive, at home and work. I agree with Barnett: “The choice I made – and which I have never regretted – was to work as hard and smart as I could during working hours and then to fully devote myself to my family during our prescribed family hours.” (118)

If you are looking for some suggestions for how better to steward your time for the glory of God and the building of His kingdom, this book may well be for you. Well, my 30 minutes for this project are up. Time to move on to the next one.

FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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