Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Make Your Schedule Work for YOU!
Every discussion I’ve encountered concerning schedules often has at least one person (often more) who say, “I just can’t stick to a schedule” or “I prefer more flexibility”. This is all well and good, but we still need some structure or we will whittle away time with laziness, selfishness, or busy-ness. In case you’re curious, I have definitely been guilty of all of the above! So they say, better to have a plan and not need one than to not have a plan and need one.
If you’re a writer, working in time to write/review/read/study the craft is necessary. If you work outside the home, making time and inventing way of accomplishing household tasks is a must. If you’re a homeschool parent, it’s likely that you’ll lean towards focusing too much on school or not focus enough as you let housework, activities, etc take over.
We all need some sort of routine to keep us on track. The key is finding the schedule that will work for us, not just a schedule that will make us work. So here is my 10 Steps for Creating YOUR Schedule:
***First, you will need a pencil/paper, a calendar, appointment book (if you have one), and some time to sit alone (or with your spouse) and think/talk.
1. The first step is to make a list of everything you need to do during a TYPICAL week. If you have a few things that happen on a regular basis in a month (but not necessarily every week), list those as well. This should be as complete as you can make it. Be sure to include stuff like housework, grocery shopping, church, etc.
2. Next, put that paper aside, and on a separate sheet of paper, consider your priorities. List them, leaving a few spaces between each. Based on Biblical principles, mine looks something like this:
*My Health (if you knew all my health issues…)
*Church activities (not church itself)
*Other activities (FRG, MOPS, etc)
3. Now, assign each of the activities from the first list to your priorities. What this exercise does is find areas in your schedule that are unnecessary or not being used adequately. This is just a visual for you and something to get your brain firing up before you start making your schedule. For instance, I recently cut out most of my TV time, because I found that I could have more time for both my kids and my writing, if I put that aside. Sounds like a duh-thing, I know. But sometimes you don’t want to give up shows you like. Now I just stick to two or three favorites, which I DVR so that I can watch them on MY time.
4. Pray over your lists. Take the time to consider what is important and why. Does Sally really need to be in soccer, dance, AND cheerleading at the same time? Would it be better for spouse to pick up Bobby from football on his way home from work, so that you can squeeze in 45 minutes of exercise/cleaning? Make notes as they come to you, but don’t start trying to work a schedule yet. To keep from making any rash decisions, these thoughts need to stew and simmer until…