How to Make the Most of One Day

My youngest daughter, Jamie, sent me this quote today. I have read it several times and thought you might enjoy this:    

“This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will, I can waste it, or use it for some good purpose. But what I do with it is important, Because I have exchanged a day in my life for it! When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. I hope I will not regret the price I paid for it.”

So how can we make the most of a day?

1. Invest in things that matter. Are you a student? Study! Do you have a job? Do something productive. Are you a writer? Write a sentence, a paragraph, or a page. Yet be sure to invest in something greater than yourself. Invest your life in the things of God. After all, you were created for a great purpose — to live for the glory or honor of God.

2. Communicate love, care, respect, and encouragement to the people in your life who mean the most to you. Why use a day to be rude, insulting, or critical? Is there someone who you need to re-connect with? A family member? A distant relative? An old friend? A phone call, a card, an e-mail can be very, very significant.   


3. Place in your mind thoughts that are uplifting, inspiring, and godly. Think about God and all that he is. Read something that challenges you to think. Have conversations with people who cause you to think. Instead of focusing on the negative, think about all that is around you that is good and right.

4. Do something for your own renewal. Read your Bible. Walk. Go outside. Throw a ball. Read a book. Go for a drive in the country. Play with children. Go outside and look at the moon and the stars. Pay attention to what is growing and alive. Do something that will renew and refresh.

5. Serve someone. Do something for someone else. Pay attention to the opportunities that may be right in front of you. You don’t have to go to an impoverished country in order to serve (though that is certainly a good thing). Look for opportunities that God places before you everyday.


What helps you keep your focus or perspective during the day? How do you make the most of your day?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of One Day

  1. Jim, this is great. All five suggestions are wonderful. Right now I’m doing a couple of things — using Phyllis Tickle’s The Daily Office, so I spend a little time in prayer at noon and five instead of just in the morning, and trying to work on my new book on churches and money FIRST thing every day.

  2. Margaret, thank you for this very encouraging comment. I also want to thank you for passing on some details about your daily schedule. I do think that it helps to occasionally be able to look over each one another’s shoulder to see how we manage ourselves on a daily basis. (Such as you choosing to work on your book first thing every day.) On another note, I think I told you that we are using your book in the mentoring group that I lead. One of the guys began reading your book and sent you a note. He was quite impressed that you promptly responded to him.)

  3. I used to simply make and keep lists of things that I wanted to do, things I thought I should be doing. (“Lists” seem so trite to me, but I make and use them anyway). What I found was that I took on the easiest items, the things I was most attracted to naturally. Not necessarily bad, but I put off the tough-yet-important stuff. Then it dawned on me to prioritize my lists and to make sure I went after the things I believed were truly most important, no matter hard they seemed. Some items at the top of my list seemed so daunting that I had to have conversations with myself about convictions and values. “Do I really believe this is that important?” This practice has actually helped me . . . some of the time. 🙂

  4. Frank, I appreciate you talking about the way you work and deal with a day. I relate to what you say regarding lists as seeming to be trite. Yet, like you I have found that if I don’t have some kind of system or tool to work with each day, I then come to the end of a day and feel frustrated that I didn’t seem to get anything done.

    I appreciate your comment regarding the importance of giving some sense of priority to what is on your list. Otherwise, as you note, it is easy to get parked on the easier tasks while the important tasks may remain untouched.

    Hope you are doing well.