On the very first day when God created the earth, He first created light. Then He separated the light from the dark to form the first day. “And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:5). So from the beginning, the 24-hour day became the standard of time for all of creation.
But what if I asked you to choose which of the 24 hours in your day is the most important? What would you say?
I am sure the first reaction would be that it depends on the day. But I want to suggest that the most important hour of the day is not a consecutive 60 minutes. It is two 30-minute segments.
The First Half Hour
The first half of the most important hour of your day is the 30 minutes after you wake up. What you do in that 30 minutes potentially affects the rest of your day.
Chances are your day will prove largely unproductive if you begin it sluggishly or randomly. Conversely, if you spend the first half-hour intentionally, you stand a better chance of enjoying a productive day.
Here’s why it works that way. Our thoughts determined our actions. When we gain control of our thoughts, we master our choices and actions. The Bible calls this “sober-mindedness.” This happens when we control our thoughts rather than letting our thought control us.
Let me encourage you to have an intentional plan for the first 30 conscious minutes of your day. I would suggest starting with a few minutes of Bible reading, maybe a chapter or two. Take a few of those first 30 minutes to consider what truth that chapter has for you.
Spend some time rehearsing your goals and ponder how well you are progressing toward them. Look over to do list for the day. Ask God to bless your day and help you accomplish what He has prepared for you. Remember that He has prepared the day for you and you for the day.
Finally, spend a few moments thanking God for the blessings in your life. Beginning our day with an attitude of gratitude starts your day focused on God. It also sets the course for a much more positive and productive day.
The Last Half Hour
Just as the first half hour sets the day up for success, so also the last half hour provides perspective. We cannot make good progress without honest evaluation. The last half hour before going to bed affords an ideal time to look back on “the day that was.”
You can spend a few moments thanking God for the progress, productivity, and blessings you experienced throughout the day. Ask Him to help you overcome the moments that were not as successful and productive as you had hoped. Allow God to make some adjustments to your thoughts tomorrow to move toward a more productive day.
Look over your schedule for the next day. Prepare yourself for the day before you go to bed. Have your clothes ready, make a to-do list, formulate a plan.
Then, ask God to quiet your mind, heart, and soul for a good night’s rest. That really is the best preparation you can make for the next day.
Our western culture generally considers Sunrise as the beginning of the day. But as we saw in Genesis 1:5, God ordered the day as EVENING and MORNING. Consequently, in Jesus’ day, the new day began at Sundown. They realized the best preparation for the day was an evening of reflection and a night of restful sleep.
Using Your Hour Wisely
How can you think more intentionally in the first half-hour of your day? What changes will you need to make for this to become a reality? When will you start? What are you waiting for?
How could you improve your day by intentionally investing in the last half hour before you go to bed? Turn off the TV, shut down the cellphone and computer. Prepare your mind and heart for the next day. You will be amazed at the difference.
This post originally appeared at Duggan’s blog.