Staying on Schedule
Someone found my blog by searching for the phrase, “How to do what my schedule says.” Because my husband Gregg pretty much rocks, some something something SEO something optimize something has me really high up on search engines. (Can you tell which one of us is the actual brains behind this operation?) So, even though I’ve never talked about staying on schedule, I’ve simply provided you with my schedule, I still was in this person’s search parameters.
You can make schedules all day long. The challenge comes in implementing the schedule. Here’s the way I’ve looked at it: I’ve thought about how a hired housekeeper for a large home is able to stay on task, keep it immaculate, and cook meals in the process. The answer is: she doesn’t play around on Facebook all day, she doesn’t watch television in the middle of the morning, she doesn’t read a murder mystery in the middle of the afternoon — the housekeeper clocks in at a certain time in the morning, performs the daily tasks as the job description requires, and leaves in the evening. When I worked, I was able to do my job efficiently and exceptionally because I worked – all day long, I worked. I had a schedule, I kept it.
That’s the only way that you can consistently keep and maintain a housekeeping/laundry schedule – look at it as a job.
For me, though, the really cool thing is that it isn’t a job per say. I can’t be punished or fired for not performing my job. So, if I get home with my 14-year-old daughter from an away softball game at 11:00 pm on a Tuesday night, and I have to be at the soup kitchen at 7AM Wednesday morning, and I get home from the soup kitchen and cook Passover dinner for friends and family members and finish dinner with just enough time to get to church 5 minutes late, and get home from church at 9:00 Wednesday night, battle two toddlers to bed by 9:30 and sneak a 10 minute call in from my husband who is in Afghanistan before I crash into bed, then it’s okay that my kitchen looks like this on Thursday morning:
While I approach my housekeeping duties with the mindset of a job, I still have personal freedom within my life. If I get off schedule, it’s a simple matter to put me back on schedule. It’s all about how I mentally view my day. Diligence will get me back on schedule, and I can quickly right the kitchen to what I consider my standard.
If you’re having a problem keeping on schedule try a few simple things:
- Make sure your schedule is reasonable. You aren’t super wife/mom and shouldn’t try to be. It took me WEEKS to perfect my schedule. I shifted and adjusted to make sure that each day was doable and not exhausting.
- Set timers. Approach your task on schedule and set a timer for the time you have set aside for such task. Eventually, the habit of working on that task will be created and you won’t have a need for a timer anymore.
- Wake up each day at the same time. Try to wake up before your household typically gets up so that you have time to prepare yourself spiritually and mentally for the day ahead.
- Know what your schedule holds for tomorrow so that when you begin your day, you know what to expect of your day. For a long time, I had my schedule hanging up where I could see it, so that as the day wore on, I knew where I should be and what tasks should be accomplished at that time of day.
- For me, there is nothing more time-sucking than online on a computer. I realize that. If I think I can spend 5 minutes checking email, it’s more realistic to expect that I will spend 20 minutes or 30 minutes. Find the areas in your life where you’re losing and wasting time and learn how to close them. Be diligent about that, and work those areas into your schedule – staying strict about what you allow for yourself and the time for which you allow it.
- Make sure there is free time written within the schedule. I have lots of play time with the boys and personal time with Kaylee in my schedule. I also have ‘easy’ days and harder days, giving me freedom to goof off if I need it.
- Don’t beat yourself up or get discouraged if you get off task or off schedule. You aren’t punching a timecard in a factory.
I haven’t found that for me “keeping home is worshiping God” that a lot of Christian homemaking blogs talk about. But I do believe that maintaining a clean, ordered home is our responsibility. If you learn anything at all reading Leviticus, you’ll learn that God pushes a focus on cleanliness, and like the diet found in that book, it’s for the benefit of health. If your home is clean and run on a good, reasonable schedule, then the environment for your family is less chaotic, healthier, and everyone functions better. YOU will also discover much less stress in your life if your home is run smoothly.
More important than any of that, love your husband and love your kids. Allow yourself to stop washing windows to put a puzzle together with a child. Stop a task to focus on your teenager. Let the dishes sit to cuddle with your husband. Realize that those relationships are far more important than your schedule. If you have a newborn, things are going to go undone – and that’s fine. If you have a teenager with an unreasonably hectic softball schedule, things are going to go undone and that’s fine, too. It will all come together eventually.
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