There is no better time to figure out our ideal schedule that the present. When 0ur minds are open to the possibility of change, these 8 steps I am sharing will ensure that we a schedule that works for us–and not the other way around. Too often I’ve felt like I am a slave to the schedule, hurrying through each day just trying not to let something fall through the cracks. It’s enough to exhaust even the most organized of people. What we want–what we need- is a schedule that is flexible, God-centered, and brings out the best in us.
8 Steps to Your Ideal Schedule
When embarking on any major change in our lives, we should seek God’s will and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Success lies in this step. It is where we change the attitude and focus of our hearts in order to facilitate change as we seek to find our ideal schedule.
Often times we feel overwhelmed and stressed because our priorities get out of whack, and we have too much “stuff” in our lives that we don’t need. Setting our priorities will allow us to discern what is necessary from what is extra.
With our priorities in order, we get a better feel of where it is we want to go. We can set goals for the different areas in our lives, which allows us to see which activities will help us accomplish said goals. Also, motivation is very important. If we don’t have a good reason for doing something, we probably won’t do it.
We’ve already completed the first 3 steps:
After completing the first three steps, it’s time to find out what our ideal schedule looks like. Now, this will be different for everybody. No two lives are the same, so no two schedules will be either. Some people are early risers, some aren’t. Some people have one kid, some have ten. Some people work, some don’t. Which goes with our 4th step . . .
4. Consider what type of families we have.
For a schedule to work, we have to take into account our families. If we have a family of non-morning people, scheduling a bunch of activities first thing in the morning is not wise. We’d want to allow them time to wake up and become human. Daddy works the nightshift, and we homeschool. It’s probably best to do quiet subjects in the morning while he’s sleeping–or maybe even reserve that time for running errands. So, we need to jot down some facts about our family–or certain people in our family–that pertain to making the schedule.
5. Weed out the unnecessary activities.
This is the time to really start chopping. We’re decluttering our schedule! First, we make a list of all our activities in any given week–this includes house cleaning, family time, me time, even the most mundane of activities. Then, we pull out another piece of paper and divide it into 2 columns: Necessary and Extra. With each activity, both at home and outside the home, we have to run it by our priorities and goals. If it is necessary, we put it in the necessary column. If it is not, we have to decide whether it is an extra or something we can get rid of it. Then we either put it in the Extra column or leave it off the new list. We’ll use the Necessary/Extra list in the next step.
6. Write it down!
Now comes the fun part. Fill in your schedule! Find a schedule paper of some sort, preferably one that is divided into either hours or half-hours. Start with your Necessary list and fill in each day Monday-Friday. Put in the activities that have definite times first, and then fill in around them. Make sure to put in stuff like house cleaning and family time. Be flexible! If you think something could take about 45 minutes, give yourself an hour. This allows for extra time in case it takes longer, and it ensures that you aren’t rushing from one activity to the next in a crazy, stressful manner. Once the schedule is filled it with the Necessary activities, then look at what’s left. Do you have room for extras? If you do, start filling in. Don’t think you have to use all the items from your Extra list–only what will comfortably fit.
7. Use resources to stay on track.
I use Cozi calendar app/website to keep my family together on what is going on and the important things on our schedule. Flylady is a great website if you think your house is hopeless. Don’t be afraid to make little to-do lists for daily routines until you get into the habit. A home management binder is a way to keep everything in one place–family schedule, bill tracking, cleaning lists, etc. Figure out what you need and then find a resource to help.
8. Pray! Again.
Phew! You made it through the whole process of writing a schedule that will work for you. It’s not perfect, and it may need some tweaking as you use it. Make sure to allow time to reevaluate and make changes. Most importantly, though, pray! You’re going to need strength and wisdom, not to mention perseverance to ensure this new schedule works for you. God is on your side.
If you’ve gone through the process with me, how are you feeling right now? Have you started making changes? Let me know how you’re doing. I’d love to offer encouragement and support.
Ralene Burke @ Making Your Work SHINE!