Each day I have a God given purpose and I must be intentional about fulfilling it. Having a schedule helps me to effectively manage my time, be more focused and provides direction for my day. It brings a sense of order and discourages me from being lazy and idle. “Winging” it every day leads to unproductivity and lots of frustration. With all that said, below are some important tips to consider to help you create a schedule that works for you.
- Have I asked God what my schedule should look like?
We are good at bringing God only the “big” things. However God has specific tasks for us to accomplish each day, which is part of the bigger picture for His purpose for our life. Take the time and ask the Lord what your schedule should look like. This means that you will have to spend time in prayer. Trust me when I say this is not a small matter, seeking the Lord’s face on what you should do and when you should do it makes for a more productive day.
- Ask yourself, “What part of the day am I most energetic and focused?”
Knowing the answer to this question helps you to prioritize doing the most difficult task when you have the most energy. For example I am totally a morning person so I do most of my cooking and cleaning in the morning. If I wait until the evening, I am absolutely drained and the quality of the completed task is greatly compromised because I am tired. I reserve the evening for doing homework with the children, giving them face time and less demanding household task. So often we get annoyed with our children because we see them as distracting us from our work. However when we are careful with our planning, some of this frustrations can be eliminated. I have six children so I realize that even with careful planning, some children are needier than others but a schedule is a great start
- Which tasks do I need to do every day and which ones should be done once a week?
Having established routines is important and it helps to take away a lot of the guess work out the day. I not only answer this question for myself but I also include the children in the process. They also have things that they must do on a daily and weekly basis. Established routines helps to set clear expectations for everyone in the home and minimizes a lot of frustration and repeating of oneself. Note: notice how I said a lot of the frustration and not all….children and adults alike know how to get you to repeat yourself…amen. When you are trying to establish a routine, be prepared to hit repeat over and over again. PRAYEFULLY everyone will eventually catch on to the routines. Be patient and BREATHE!
- Schedule in some me time.
This is so important to do. My me time may just be 30 minutes on some days and 1 hour another. However as a stay at home mom I can become resentful about doing for everyone else and not for myself. I had to get over feeling like this was selfish, it is needed. I typically have my me time while the younger ones are napping. During this time I pick something that will refresh me in some way. It may be browsing Pinterest and admiring all the projects that I can’t fit in my schedule (just keeping it real here folks)…nothing wrong with a little dreaming. I may take a nap, give myself a pedicure or call a friend. But again, this is something just for me.
- Ask yourself, “What are some things that can take me off schedule? In other words, what things distract me throughout the day? What parameters can I put in place to hold me accountable? “
Let us be real with ourselves when answering this question. I know that surfing the internet can be a huge distraction for me and totally take me off schedule. To combat this issue, I put certain parameters in place. I may set a timer to remind me that it is time to get off or I may deliberately wait until I know I have only a limited time because I have to go somewhere. This restricts my time and I have no option but to get off.
During the school year, I try not to turn on my cell phone until I have completed most of my necessary tasks. Having the phone on first thing in the morning can be a HUGE distraction because there is someone or something that is demanding your attention. There are times when I do have to turn it on in the morning when I leave the house. However, I turn it off once I get home because if anyone really needs to get in touch with me, they can call the house phone. I also don’t have Facebook or other social media notifications coming to my phone because it is so easy to get drawn in. Since I am a blogger, I get on Facebook most days to see if I need to respond to any comments from my posts. I try to restrict my time and may only visit my page on some days.
There are times when the unexpected happens and I have to forgo my schedule and deal with the issue at hand. There are also days in which the Holy Spirit takes me off schedule and leads me in a different direction. I try to yield to His voice. So while I promote a schedule, I also encourage you to not hold too tightly to it and miss the voice of the Holy Spirit. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a schedule? What are some of the things you consider when creating one? Do you think that having a schedule is helpful?
Psalm 37:5 (NLT)
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.