planning to set up your own schedule. (pt 2)

Grab that piece of paper and pen you had out yesterday; we're going to finish planning your routine, and then actually set up and implement it!  (If you missed the first two principles to consider when brainstorming for your schedule, check out yesterday's post to get caught up to speed.)


List out every single thing you're responsible for.  Like, everything.  Breastfeeding.  Cooking.  Wiping butts.  Grocery shopping.  Vacuuming.  Getting everyone ready for church.  Folding underwear.  Weekly date nights with the husband.  Write it allllll down.

Now, take a quick second to brainstorm - could anyone else be doing any of these things for you so they're not actually on your list anymore?  Keep in mind that everything costs something  - often in home management the question is, "does it cost time, or does it cost money?"  Those aren't the only costs you might be paying to keep something on your list, but they're definitely major players.  Menu planning saves you money, but costs you time.  Hiring a housekeeper costs you money, but saves you time.  What is each task costing you, and what would it cost to delegate out some of your tasks to others? 

Ways I personally delegate in our current life stage:

*Occasionally paying for groceries at the more expensive store because they will deliver to my house.  (Costs money, saves time.)

*Trading discipleship time with college students in exchange for their free babysitting services so we can go on date nights.  (Costs time, saves money.)

*Asking friends or college students to help fold laundry while we talk/hang out.  (Saves time, costs me nothing!)

*Asking Todd to take over doing the kids' bath night.  (Costs Todd time, costs me nothing except expressions of gratitude.) (*Important sidenote: it is not ASKING your husband for help if he's not 'allowed' to say no to the request.  Feel free to ask him, but please allow him the freedom to choose whether he says yes or no.  Please do not just dump your dirty work on an unwilling outside party.  Ask for help, but be willing to get creative in other ways - without bitterness - if they're not up for taking on your burdens as their own.)

*Giving up making things from scratch that I could buy at the store.  Kombucha, yogurt, fermented foods, baked goods, natural body care items and natural cleaning supplies are all items I used to and/or could make myself, but I now either live without or purchase ready-made.  (Costs money, saves time.)

*The main exceptions to the above rule are making my own bone broth, and cooking our at-home meals from scratch.  (Costs time, saves money.)

*Going out to eat/getting takeout on Friday nights, and grabbing lunch on the way home from church on Sundays.  (Costs money, saves time.)

You get the point.  What could you be paying a lower cost for (in terms of time, money, or other resources) than you currently are?  What could you cross off your to-do list all together and just live without, or delegate to someone else?    Be willing to make painful cuts - I promise that it is the only way to get to a place of rest and peace in your schedule.  It will be so worth it in the long run.  You won't regret it.

Fourth, know your PRIORITIES.

Okay, once you've delegated out, and/or simply gotten rid of, everything you possibly can, look at what is left:  Put all those things in order of importance to you, and necessity to your family.  After the 'keeping the kids alive' items that take precedence over everything else simply because of their key role in the survival of your offspring, what is the one most important task to YOU that you want or need to get done each day?  And then, equally important, ask your husband what his top priority is for your day.  That goes in a top slot as well.  Once everything is listed in order, maybe cross the bottom 3 items off the list altogether, just to continue to make life easier by jettisoning stuff that doesn't actually matter in the long run.  (See? I'm talking radical list-chopping.  Take the plunge.) 

Now what?

Okay, now look at your lists.  Start rough-sketching a routine of your day knowing the things you just identified:  What time will you get up?  Not 'what time do you wish you could get up, if you were actually a morning person?'  But, what is a reasonable time to expect YOU, as the person you currently are, to start your day?  Now start filling in the non-negotiables - meals and naptimes have to happen at set times of the day.  Now figure out where all the rest of those priorities on your list will go in the 'in between' spaces.  If you are most productive in the beginning of the day (as many people are) put more up at the top, and leave more room for rest at the bottom of the page.  Figure out how you're going to get around those 'sticky' spots you identified in your personality or your season of life.

Your end product should be exciting.  Encouraging.  Restful.  Realistic.  If it's not, go back and start at principle #1 again and keep brainstorming how to get it to that point.  Once it looks great on paper - with plenty of room for work AND margin - compare it to what life currently looks like.  If it is radically different, do not try to implement it all at once.  Pick one thing to implement the first week, such as a new laundry routine, or getting more regular about enforcing naps.  Then each week make another change, and another, until you're at the spot where the routine is working for you. 

At the end of the day, just remember that you are not a slave to your time.  You're not a slave to your schedule or routine.  Your routine is your employee, at your disposal, not the other way around.  You should feel like your schedule is pushing you to stay accountable and adding helpful, necessary structure, but never ever running the show.  If that's where you're at, you may need to go back and keep making tweaks until it does work for you.

Okay, you now have a routine that has been realistically thought out and intentionally written down!  You've made steps to start implementing it.  Tomorrow we'll cover what will (not 'might,' or 'could,' or 'has potential to,' but will) get in your way of sticking with it: Laziness, Distractedness, Feeling Overwhelmed, and Inefficiency.  We'll talk about how to deal with each of those.

See you tomorrow!

1 comment :

todd said...

Ecclesiastes 10:10 (your AXE)

If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,

he must use more strength,

but wisdom helps one to succeed.

•Work smarter, not harder

•Work on your life, not just in your life


Proverbs 14:4 (your OX)

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,

but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

•Everything costs something


Proverbs 10:25 (your FOUNDATION)

When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,

but the righteous is established forever.

•First things must come first