How to Balance Studying with Other Activities

October 6, 2021

It’s deep into the National Bible Bee Competition study season. You may have started school for the fall, while still having NBB studying, family life, church activities, and a job on top of that. Whatever combination of those responsibilities you have, the truth is, it’s not practical to spend every waking moment studying for the competition, nor is it healthy.

While time in God’s Word is important and extremely beneficial, a balance must be had so that those around you aren’t neglected. It also gives the opportunity to apply what God is teaching you right now through Scripture in your everyday activities. Here are just a few things to consider as you are trying to manage your time in a God-honoring and productive way. Thank you to our Alumni Service Team member, Jeremiah Wilkerson, for giving the base for these practical ideas!

  • Prayerfully consider which is the most important – school, NBB, or work. This may change on a yearly basis, or even by the month, depending on what you need to be most committed to. 
  • Remember, only five will place in finals. Focus on spiritual growth and spend less time on minor or obscure facts if your NBB studies get in the way of other things and you’re forced to cut back. 
  • Set lists of tasks in order of importance, and complete them in that order (for example, you may want to have learning the memory passages as first, study passage next, etc, or whatever you deem most important).
  • Your list isn’t set in stone, so while you don’t want to just throw it out the window, remember to roll with what life brings. In addition, don’t be afraid to switch up a system if it doesn’t seem to be working well.
  • Don’t stress about all that you have to do; it doesn’t fix anything. 
  • Multitask. Listen to the study passage while you’re at work or doing chores around the house. Study in the car when you’re not driving. Memorize while going for a morning run. Think about activities you do every day, and consider how you can incorporate NBB study into them.
  • Don’t study NBB and school materials at the same time. Have different parts of your day set aside for each task, like NBB in the morning and school in the afternoon.
  • It’s vain for you to rise up early and stay up late (Ps. 127:2), so pick one. 
  • Make sure you’re not skipping meals!
  • Don’t let your family fall to the wayside, and pay attention to their needs. Carve out time to spend playing a game, going on a sibling date, taking a walk together, or whatever your family will see as meaningful. Remember to still help with chores around the house, as tempting as it can be to neglect everything in order to study.
  • Enjoy things! Even if you have too much studying to do, go take pictures of the sunset, listen to music, or spend some time on a hobby you like. This will give your mind a rest and allow you to be even more productive when you are studying.

Whenever you’re feeling discouraged about all you have to do, pause and pray for strength. Take some time away from studying, and simply meditate on God’s Word. Take to heart the words of Paul: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

Written by NBB Alumna: Ruth Derby

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  1. Anne English

    Thank you for these very practical and helpful insights!

  2. Rebecca

    Thanks for these tips and reminders! I wish I had read something like this when I was competing. I don’t regret any time spent in God’s Word but I do regret how I neglected family relationships in pursuit of perfectionism. The goal of our instruction is love!

  3. Grace

    Thank you Ruth and Jeremiah for this post! It was VERY helpful!


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