So this is the post in which I discuss time management, Or in my, case, the LACK of time management abilities I apparently took on as a skill set sometime between starting college and age 30. And in the spirit of cutting myself a wee bit of slack, I will say that in the last decade or so there have been a fair amount of external issues that have affected my ability to set and keep a schedule. Maybe you identify with some of these?
- A baby
- A move
- Another baby
- Another move
- A new business venture
- And another business venture
- A dog…make that 2 dogs
- Another move
- A major, life-altering medical issue
- Another baby
- Another dog (because we be crazy)
These are just the last decade’s highlights…and I am sure your highlight reel is peppered with similarly schedule-upsetting things. As life changes, it just becomes impossible to stick to the you-centered, uber-efficient lifestyle that we all once enjoyed.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be good stewards of the time and the schedules we currently have.
We are, after all, the captains of our ships, and even though the wind may blow us off of our planned course at times, the very act of intentionally planning our days will cultivate a time-management discipline in our lives and in our family’s lives.
My goal for this week is to TAKE BACK MY FAMILY’S TIME.
A lofty goal, to be sure, and definitely not one I am delusional about mastering in the next week. But I do plan on taking steps to be the planner and scheduler my family needs me to be. I can’t let the kids dictate our time…that would be foolish. And I can’t expect my husband – who is the breadwinner for our family – to be the planner of our days on top of his job…that would be unfair. No – it falls to me to help give myself and these people I live with and love a safe home environment that is gently structured and as consistent as possible. Life is crazy enough without living in the chaos of a home that is run willy-nilly.
I have three plans for sticking to this goal of taking back our time.
Fully Embrace Queen Elsa In All Her Knowledge And Wisdom
– Elsa and Jen Hatmaker have some similar theologies. Sure, one is a fictitious Disney princess and the other a globally recognized writer and speaker, but they are soul sisters, my friends! Jen’s new book “For The Love” talks about how we need to free ourselves from what we think we “should do” (all the external pressures we and other people wrongly put on us) and dive headfirst into the things that are the best for the season of life we find ourselves in. If, say, scrubbing the tile grout daily is just too much for you to take on with newborn twins, LET IT GO sister. If you find yourself as a newly single parent, forget saying yes to all the little “favors” people ask of you – LET IT GO and feel free to instead focus on the things that make your heart feel whole and healed. Whatever it is that is just too much for your time and your sanity in your current season of life, release it and move on. The world won’t end if you say no to an invite or let someone else step up and be the teacher’s helper next week. And if you don’t believe Elsa and Jen Hatmaker, then take it from this lady:
Find A Way To Loosely Schedule My Days
– I thrive on schedule. And honestly, everyone does. Even if you think you live best on the wings of the wind, blowing wherever you wish without a care in the world, the truth is that even you, my free-spirited sister, crave consistency on some level. Kids are especially wired this way, which is why I feel a deep need to create at least some semblance of a schedule for my littles. That and the fact that my oldest will be in First Grade this year, and never before have we been at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. As in: “Do we really have to be somewhere at 8:20 am…again? For how many months?” Yeah…I need an intervention before school starts or we may just all lose our ever-loving ish before the second week even begins. To help wrap my mind around my days filled with the crazy things little ones bring to the table, I decided to think about what we find ourselves doing most days…from there I wrote them on cards, with ideas for “fulfilling” those “tasks” written on the back. I plan to use these throughout the day to help me keep the kids moving from one activity to the next without a lot of whining and aimless wandering thrown into the mix; I will let them pick a card and then they can pick something on the back to do. By the end of the day, we will have (in theory) gone through the cards and found a little more peace and a little less whining. The cards look like this:
Make Time For Special Memories
– My kids love to play games, and so does my husband. Everyone also likes riding bikes and going for walks. BONUS – those more active things also help me ward off unwanted pounds due to my love for butter and the fact that 30 is sneaking up on me like a creepy stalker from a horror film. So my plan for this week is to make a conscious effort to do something every day that gets us out of the house and gets our bodies moving. If we end up staying in some nights an playing family games, that’s all good too. Those memories will last long after the warmth of our Montana summer nights has faded, and I want to claim as many of those memory-making moments as possible.
I will let you know next week how this week played out. Wish me luck (and a whole lot of patience).
I sucked this week. Like, failed horribly. We did cards ONE DAY OUT OF THE WHOLE WEEK. By Friday I wanted to cry and then came Sunday. Blessed encouragement and a reminder that failure is not forever. So this week I will start anew, with moment-making at the forefront of my planning, and not an attempt to control the chaos…because the crazy will happen regardless, and if I focus on creating pockets of peace and a consistent, loose schedule, I have a feeling the crazy will calm down a bit all on its own.
Here’s to second chances 😉
See also: My Search For Peace Amid The Crazy