Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Dedicate Your Time

Do the tough tasks in the name of someone you love.

A concept I often suggest that always gets many positive responses from those who have tried it is the idea of dedicating time. It’s a wonderful way to get a task done or to make the best use of time you might otherwise waste (and regret it).

It’s all well and good to say we should do worthwhile things for ourselves–but the truth is, we often don’t do that. However, most of us are willing to do things for those we love or who we admire and respect.  The concept is particularly useful for doing something we know they would want us to do–even though we might be dragging our feet.

Don’t want to get on the treadmill? Dedicate the time to your son, for whom you want to be a healthy role model. Or, to your spouse, for whom you want to stay attractive.  Or, to your parents who aren’t able to exercise at all anymore. Exercise in their names and it will be easier!

What about these?
Do you dread the thought of starting that work project?
Do you wish you didn’t have to go to the meeting?
Don’t want to interact with that guy you can barely tolerate but who sits next to you at work?
Are you tempted to keep procrastinating on the work you dislike?
Don’t want to sit down and pay bills?
Don’t want to clean the house?
Don’t want to wash the car?
Don’t want to iron?
Don’t want to eat a healthy lunch because the other food on the menu looks so good?

Dedicate the time to someone who you want to have feel proud of you; someone you want to honor; someone who means so much to you that you will do for them what you might not do for yourself.

Another reason to dedicate your time to someone you care about is that it will give you a strong sense of having them right there with you at work or in the exercise room or the kitchen. I have had many pleasant hours with my mother, who passed away over a decade ago, because I often dedicate my housecleaning time to her. (She was a terrible housekeeper, so she doesn’t appreciate it all that much, but I do!)

The next time you’re stalling on accomplishing something, when you need to rush and get something done, or when you want to make the wise choice instead of the tempting choice, stop for a few seconds and dedicate the next hour or ten minutes or that project, to someone you care about.  When you’re done you will feel even closer to them and you will have spent your time well.

August 19th, 2009 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 14 comments


  1. Oh Tina, I almost cried when I read this! My Grandma loved to iron and have even the sheets nice and pressed. I often think about her when I iron, but I’ve never thought about dedicating the time to her! I love the idea! I love ALL of your ideas! 🙂 D.

    Comment by denisek | August 19, 2009

  2. What an awesome idea! Thanks for this unique motivational tip!

    Comment by Jennifer | August 20, 2009

  3. Blatant apple polishing….I dedicated the last hour to you and replied to emails without cussing out anyone. Do I get extra points?

    Comment by wiseacre | August 20, 2009

  4. Tina says: Thanks Denise, Jennifer and Wiseacre (I think.)
    I’ll dedicate the next few hours to all of you, because I have a large list of thing that must be done today or else. You’ll be my inspiration to get focused. 🙂

    Comment by TLR | August 20, 2009

  5. This was a warm and encouraging post, Tina. The idea of dedicating exercise time is something I’m going to try starting today.

    Comment by S.K. | August 21, 2009

  6. Hi! I dedicated the last two hours of work today to my baby son. I found myself having more energy and smiling more. Great idea! E.M.

    Comment by Boots | August 21, 2009

  7. Tina, this is a wonderful concept and potentially very effective in many areas of life.

    Did you know that professional musicians often do the same type of thing? Many symphony members pick out someone in their mind to whom they dedicate a particular performance. It may be friend, family, patron, or simply someone they spot in the audience at that performance. They do this for the same reason – as a aide to focus their playing by reminding themselves that they are doing this for others.

    Some years ago I did a funeral for a symphony member and received a very nice thank you note from a violinist who told me she was dedicating a performance to me in accordance with this tradition.

    Thanks for this excellent post.

    Comment by Jeff Adams | August 23, 2009

  8. Dear Tina….I dedicated my life to God when I was 30 years old (a long time ago) and have often found it to be the only way I could get through a trying situation. I don’t think it detracts from that for me to simultaneously dedicate portions of time to those I love or want to honor. I’ve done that several times since reading your post last week and felt better because of it.

    It is also yet another way to keep my heart and mind set on something that is worthy of my devotion. Blessings on you for reminding me. Don

    Comment by Don R. | August 23, 2009

  9. Tina says: Thank you Don, for your comments–they mean a lot to me.

    Jeff, I have dedicated many hours–entire days–of my work to you, as I’m sure other have! I didn’t know that about symphony members though, but that’s a great idea for all of us. Thank you very much for sharing it and for commenting.

    Comment by TLR | August 23, 2009

  10. Tina says: E.M., I didn’t mean to leave you out of my acknowledgements! I realize that some writers on sites of this type don’t respond to comments, but I always do. I often send emails as well–which I’ll do to you! Thanks for reading and for commenting.

    Comment by TLR | August 23, 2009

  11. Ms. Rowe, I was checking your website for the free PDF about church security and have enjoyed the entire site. Of all the posts, this one that I saw first is probably my favorite. I sat for ten full minutes thinking of the people I want to remember with dedications. I sent you an email about the security manual and appreciate you providing that service to so many people.

    Comment by Brother Bob | August 28, 2009

  12. Tina says: Thank you “Brother Bob” for your comment. I hope you’ll visit the site often. I’ve sent the security material. Thanks again! T.

    Comment by TLR | August 28, 2009

  13. This idea has given me a reason to do several things I was stalled on doing. Your site is very inspirational. Sandy

    Comment by S.H. | September 6, 2009

  14. Tina,
    I agree with the comments. It has helped me push my exercise harder, and it does make it easier.
    Thanks for the tip.

    Comment by Michael | September 12, 2009

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