Monday, January 20, 2014

Time.

I've always wondered when life won't feel so busy.  I think the answer is.. never.

So I've just decided to accept it.

Something I know will forever be a challenge of mine is TIME.  Being productive, not procrastinating, managing time well... all of the above.

With that, I know that the best way to keep myself on track is to have schedules.  I wrote about how David and I look over our weekly calendar on my "Your Life on Your Fridge" post here.  That helps a lot with knowing the MUSTS for the week--like scheduled appointments, dinner plans with friends, birthday parties, etc.

But what about all the other million things I need or want to get done in between those MUSTS?

This week I'm tackling some to do list goals by scheduling them into each day.  Things like washing our pillows.  Cleaning out the car.  Or finishing our Christmas letter (gulp.)

I like to think about goals in terms of "things I can get done in the morning with Ellie," and "things I want to focus on during nap time/at night after E's down."

If I set an actual time for something, that goes even better because I have a way to gauge how I'm doing with my day--just check it against the clock.  When time starts to get away from me, the schedule can pull me back and keep me on track.

Keep in mind, these are things that work with my struggle to stay on task.  This wouldn't be good to do if it leads to feeling pressured or constricted by the time.  I keep it flexible for myself--looking at it like it's approximate--and if I don't get something done one day, no worries--I just look and see where it can fit another day.  The idea is to intentionally take that time to look and plan how or when to get something done.

Quick example--I've noticed how much I struggle with replying to emails.  So that means I need to schedule a time that's uninterrupted to do that each day.  Like the morning before Ellie gets up.

To find time slots where I can fit things into each day, I decided to break down a typical day.  With this "template," I'll be able to find places to put things in, like "buy birthday gift," or "order pictures online," or "plan week's meals."

Here's the break-down of Ellie's and my typical day that helps me stay on track...

Ellies & Mommy's Day
6am - get up before Ellie to have coffee and some time to journal, read God's word, and talk to Jesus :)
6:30am - check emails and reply to two
7am - get dressed, brush teeth, wash face, contacts (while E eats cheerios and a banana on my bed with a show)
7:30am - get E dressed (potty, put pjs away, put laundry I did night before away in her closet)
8am - make breakfast
8:15am - Brekkie (do E's hair while she's still eating)
9am - wash breakfast dishes, empty dishwasher (put on music or a show on laptop to enjoy the time!)
9:30am - start load of laundry, tidy a bit
10am - Snack time for E while I do some sort of exercise (Pilates, cardio, or weights)
10:45am - E's rest time - put on a show (Signing Time) :)
11am - make lunch
11:30am - Lunch
12pm - craft or activity
12:45pm - E clean up toys                                                                                                  
1pm - Nap time (switch over laundry to dryer or hang dry)
1:15pm - my coffee and bagel time; read blogs; watch a show; browse Instagram
2pm - Work/prep for the week's Little Sign of Mine class
3pm - snack and craft or activity once Peanut's awake
4:30pm - put on a show for E so I can cook dinner
5:30 or 6pm - Dinner (take vitamins)  Then clear dishes together, put food away; E plays till bath (needs to put away toys before bath)
6:45pm - bath time
7:15pm - get E ready for bed
8pm - Bedtime for E

So there you have it.  It may not look loose, but it's fairly loose so I can have time for other things, too.  I also like to be ready to scrap things if a friend calls and wants to go to the park. :)

What next?  I have this schedule written down in a notebook on the left--and on the right I'm listing the things I hope to get done this week.  Then I'm going to go to the week's calendar on the fridge and jot down what days (and what time of days) I'd like to do each thing.

Do you have some tricks to helping you get things done?  How do you organize your time?  I'd love to hear!

Here's to a productive week!  Happy Monday. :)

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