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The first area I want to look at is your daily schedule. No matter what season in life you find yourself, you need to have a daily schedule. Are your days going the way they should be, the way you want them to? Are you being intentional with your schedule? Or are you just allowing life to happen without any sort of plan?
Let’s dig into this topic today together, an area that we all at times feel like failures, including me!
You NEED a Daily Schedule
I realize that we are all at different places in our lives. Some are stay-at-home moms, some work outside the home, some have children, some don’t, some homeschool, some don’t. But the thing that remains the same in all these situations is the fact that we all need some sort of schedule or order to our days.
Not only is it good for us, helping us to be more productive and focused on our priorities, but it is good for our children too. They need consistency in their day and it gives them a sense of security knowing what the day will hold.
This is another area where we can be tempted to compare ourselves to others, and we just can’t do that! What works for my family will probably not work for someone else. While I want to emphasize the need that we all have a daily schedule, I don’t want you to think that those schedules will all look the same!
No Two Schedules Will Be The Same
It just makes sense that since we all are at different places in our lives, with different job situations, family situations, health challenges, interests, outside commitments, etc., that our daily schedules are going to look very different.
No two schedules are going to be the same! Please don’t look at what someone else is doing and try to copy it. It just won’t work. What I have found over the years is that when I try to do that I just end up feeling like a failure when I can’t get that schedule to work for our family.
Realize that God has made each of our families different and for good reason! He has a special plan for each of our families and our schedules should not look the same. So before we get into the nitty gritty of looking at our daily schedule and getting something in place, let’s go to the Lord for guidance.
Start With Prayer
Before we look at setting up a schedule, begin by spending some time in prayer asking the Lord to give you guidance. Seek Him about those things that should be your priorities right now.
The last thing we want to do is fill up our schedule with those things that don’t really matter. Don’t just keep busy to keep busy. Take some time to write down your priorities — the things that you should be focusing on in this season of life — and use those as a guide when you get ready to set up your schedule.
Set Up Blocks of Time
The best way that I have found to set up a daily schedule is in blocks of time. I have tried to schedule every hour or half hour of my day and it just doesn’t work. Once I get off schedule, then the whole day is messed up!
Blocks of time seem to work the best because I can rearrange those blocks in my day if needed.
Our typical day usually consists of these blocks of time:
- Block #1: Breakfast & Devotions & Chores
- Block #2: Homeschool Time
- Block #3: Lunch & Free Time
- Block #4: Read-Aloud Time
- Block #5: Free Time
- Block #6: Dinner & Family Time
Our days usually move in the order of these blocks. But there have been times when I have had to re-arrange our days. For example, I may swap and have our read-aloud time in the morning and do our homeschool time in the afternoon. Or we may have something that takes us outside the house in the morning. In that instance we will only get our read-aloud time done in the afternoon.
Scheduling in blocks of time allows us to focus on what we are to be doing without being tied down to a specific time frame. I feel we get more accomplished when we don’t feel rushed to finish a certain task by a certain time period. Plus it gives us the flexibility to make some blocks of time longer or shorter as needed.
Now please don’t just copy my blocks of time! Feel free to have some different blocks — some will have a block of time for music practice, or crafts, or ministry commitments, or job-related blocks of time. We will all have different schedules depending on where we are at in life. But what stays the same is the fact that we can all divide up our day into blocks of time and schedule certain things to happen during each block.
Be Willing to Be Flexible
Don’t be a slave to your schedule! Remember that the whole reason for a schedule is to help the days run smoother. There will be times when the schedule will need to be tossed for the day. Maybe you have a friend who really needs a listening ear right now, or you have several children who are sick and need mom’s love and care, or your husband has the day off work and you decide to take off as a family for the day.
While having a schedule in place is a good thing to do, please give yourself the grace to be flexible when the need arises.
Re-Evaluate Your Schedule With the Changing Seasons
Once you have a schedule that is working, don’t think it will remain the same forever. You will find that with the changing of seasons to the passing of years, our schedules will need to be re-evaluated and changed.
We change, our children change, our living conditions change, our income changes, our health changes, etc. Change is a part of life and our schedule should reflect that. Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit. In fact, I have found that changing our schedule up a bit from time to time helps to keep variety to our lives.
I encourage you in the coming week to work on getting a schedule in place. Next time I will look at another “system” that we need to have in place – meal planning!
Until then, spend some time in prayer about your priorities, and then get your blocks of time written down. Post it on the refrigerator to help you stay on track through your day!
Have a wonderful day in the Lord!