Helping people organize their day is one of my favorite things to do. That's why I just had to join Lacy at Catholic Icing today. In fact, I like it so much that I currently have a workbook in process called "A Plan for Joy in the Home" to help people work through the various components of their day and get them more organized.
I got started with scheduling my day a number of years ago when I had too many kids that I was trying to homeschool at once. My schedules have evolved over those years to the point where now I can pretty much make one up in my head without too much trouble. I get into trouble, however, when I think that I am following that schedule in my head and I realize that I really am not following any schedule and just trying to wing it. When we wing it, we don't get as much done in a day and life just seems more stressful.
So, over these years I have come to realize how important it is to know what your priorities are for your days and then to organize them into a workable schedule. I've recently read a few blog posts about how schedules can be restrictive and cumbersome. For example, "what if I don't want to fold the laundry at 3:00?" I look at my schedule as a guideline for my day. I realize ahead of time that most days won't go exactly as I had planned, but my schedule gives me that lifeline to grab back onto when I feel as if everything is out of control.
Let's say we are all set to start school and someone comes to the door and ends up staying for an hour. Well, there goes my plan for the morning. At that point I have a few options:
1. I can get all worked up about it and throw off the rest of my day.
2. I can look to my schedule and decide one of two things: I will pick up where I left off and just make up the stuff that we missed the next day or I can go back to where we were interrupted and skip something later on in the day.
In this way I've just used my schedule as the tool it was meant to be. If there is a day that I have something scheduled that I don't feel like doing (and it isn't crucial that I do it :) then by all means I skip it. No one says that just because it is in a certain time slot that you are forced by pain of death to do it that day. HOWEVER, don't make a schedule and then just ignore everything you put on it! That would be pointless.
To that end, I have a basic schedule that I follow all the time, while only portions of it change depending on the time of year. Here is my skeleton:
* Get up before the children and say my prayers!! This is the absolute cornerstone of my day - a non-negotiable if you will. Without this quiet time of prayer, the rest of my day definitely does not go well!
* Everyone up, breakfast, morning chores, Mass
* Back home to do school work - if school is in session
* Afternoon school work, free time, my time to do phone calls and paperwork, errands, etc.
* Dinner prep, dinner, clean up
* Free time, rosary, bed for kids
* Time with hubby, prayers, bed for me :)
If you are looking for help with these areas of your life, might I suggest that you click on the facebook link on my side bar so that you can "like" my website page. This way you will find out when my book "A Plan for Joy in the Home" will be available to purchase. This plan has helped many moms already to lead a more organized and joyful homeschooling life, so I hope you'll join us!