For those who missed the first two posts in this series, here they are:
Struggling with a schedule
Scheduling issues continued- what are our pitfalls?
This is the week that I am really hunkering down and creating my new weekly and daily schedule, which I plan to post as soon as it is finished (hopefully by the end of this week!).
I thought it might be helpful to share a bit of my process. Helpful for me in that it offers me the accountability of sticking with my goal of completing it this week, as well as with being diligent to do a really careful job of evaluating all of the components that will affect it. Helpful for others to see another very human and flawed mommy, working through her weaknesses, and seeking to be excellent and God-honoring in how she uses her time.
My first task was to write down my downfalls (as I discussed previously), which are procrastination and distraction. I'm sure I have others, but those are the two major ones, for me personally. Next to each of them, I wrote down some ideas for overcoming those weaknesses in the way that I structure and use my schedule.
I plan to begin my week with tasks that I enjoy, as this will help to get my week off to a good, efficient start. Currently, Monday is my laundry/ironing day, and Tuesdays are my deep cleaning days. May I admit that I really dislike most of these tasks? Because I tend to procrastinate, I will spend my Mondays getting to the laundry verrrrry slooowwwly, and therefore very rarely finish it before Tuesday. As a result, Tuesday ends up receiving the brunt of the laundry, and I end up having to bump the majority of my cleaning to Wednesday, and thus my week is perpetually off schedule. Clearly, this is not working.
My new plan is to begin my week with two days that I enjoy- my blog day (which is usually a half day on Fridays), and my cooking/baking day (usually Wednesdays). During these two days, I will also begin to push the laundry through the machines and fold it as I have time, so that by Wednesday, I will be able to complete folding, ironing and putting it all away, and move onto deep cleaning the house.
I currently have a fairly detailed schedule, with items scheduled by hour or half hour increments. I will keep it this way, as this helps to remind me what I should be doing at all times. But, I currently only have my schedule kept in my homemaking binder and loosely in my head. Honestly, I just don't look at my binder often enough to stay on track. So, I will post my schedule both beside my computer, as well as on my fridge, so that I will see it often and be reminded of what I should be doing if I get distracted.
Also, I am planning to make a habit of turning my computer off after my morning computer work, and again after my afternoon computer work. This way I will not be tempted to jump back on for "just 5 minutes" to look up something, or to "really quickly take 2 minutes to moderate my comments" (which inevitably turns into 10 or 20 or even 30 minutes as I become, you guessed it, distracted!)
Next, I wrote a list of things that help me to be more efficient, productive or get a better start to my day. Here is my list:
- Wake up as early as possible (without being extremely fatigued)
- Spend time with the Lord
- Be showered and dressed and presentable (at the very least dressed and hair in a ponytail, if no time for a shower), before my family is awake
- Begin with a tidy house (I am considering adding in a slot for a morning pick-up, instead of waiting until closer to lunchtime or naptime to do it)
- Having my schedule in an obvious place
- Using my timer, especially when doing undesirable jobs (as I learned through FlyLady, anyone can do any job for 8, or 10, or 15 minutes, if you know that's all that you have to do!)
- Go to bed with my kitchen as clean as possible (dinner dishes finished, sinks emptied, dishwasher turned on if full, counters reasonably clear, etc.)
- Start my week with work I enjoy, that doesn't feel overwhelming on a Monday :)
- Schedule/plan my blog times carefully- have specific times for responding to emails, writing posts, reading other blogs, design and improvements, etc.
- Remember that I am more productive in the mornings than the evenings, and that staying up late only makes me tired, cranky and inefficient, and creates a vicious cycle
That's it for today! Tomorrow I will continue with my scheduling process... Until then, I would love to hear from you about how you overcome your weaknesses in order to be productive! What things most help you to be efficient with your time?