Reader’s Question: How can I get more accomplished in a day?
Days are so weird! There are some days where I can get a ton of stuff done and feel great about what I’ve accomplished, and then there’s every other day where I feel like all I’ve done is run around in circles while accomplishing nothing.
I love plans, I’m usually a high school teacher, so my world revolved around plans: lesson plans, schedules, events. But now, I am a stay at home mom with a four year old and an 8 month old. It’s crazy how I could so easily keep a day full of teenage students engaged, involved and orderly, yet I struggled keeping a four year old away from the T.V. and tearing up my house.
So after my fourth month of full-time stay at home mom, and finding myself almost on the wrong side of sanity, I decided I needed to implement some of my teaching world into the home. I realized that I like routine and function best in it, and honestly so do my children. Most people desire structure. Even those off the wall crazy kids who may fight structure tooth and nail, really want and definitely need it. So I Googled toddler schedules for stay at home moms. I didn’t find many, surprisingly, so I took what I liked of the few I found and combined it into our new daily routine. Here is a picture of what our schedule looks like:
As you can tell, it’s a bit colorful and not as neat as I’d prefer, but Eleanor helped me put our new schedule on the poster which is hung in our kitchen. I was so surprised at how excited Eleanor was about our schedule, but of course she was, she now had checkpoints throughout her day which helped keep her focused on what I wanted her to do at that moment.
As you look at the schedule you’ll see I have specific play times slotted out. I did this for my sanity. My daughter, before our schedule, was constantly wanting to play. It was draining, but now she had a designated play time. So she knew that she was guaranteed focused play time with mommy, and I knew it wasn’t going to last forever so I actually played with her during those thirty minutes. I would set a timer on my phone and we would dive into a world of imagination. I actually enjoyed play time. Another thing I scheduled in were two separate hours for cleaning. Before, I felt like I was cleaning all day, but not really getting anything done. But now I can clean in peace because Eleanor is focused on her hour of being able to watch a show and eat a snack. I get so much more accomplished in that hour of cleaning than I ever did throughout a day of distracted cleaning.
Two other important things I scheduled in were family time and Mommy/Daddy time. There were way too many days that those times got overlooked or squeezed in to about ten minutes.
Now I don’t want to fool you in any regards by making you think I stick to this schedule like glue; I don’t. There are days we spend hours running errands, or are up at the church helping my husband plan for a youth event. And there are some days where I take extra time just snuggling my girls on the couch watching a movie and eating popcorn. However, this schedule is a template for my day, something I can always revert back to if I need it, and if our morning is busy we can always jump back to our schedule in the afternoon. The point is, try to organize your time in some fashion or otherwise you will feel as though your time flies out the window and takes all of your sanity with it.
You don’t need to have kids or even be married to benefit from a daily schedule. I encourage you all to try this out and see if it helps.
Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
In whatever you do, give it to God and ask Him to bless it…even schedules. Your time is important to Him. So if you put it in His hands and ask Him to bless your efforts in organizing it, He will.
Hope you have a great Wednesday!
Coming up on Friday: Learning to Accept Ourselves