"So much time and so little to do..." I so wish that was my daily anthem, but like Willy Wonka says - "scratch that and reverse it."
I think a lot of us wish there was a little fairy that would grant us more time each day to get things done we have to do and even more time to do the things we want to do. In my former "full-time career woman" life, I was versed up and down on how to set priorities, layout my week's activities, and keep effective to do lists. I even developed and lead time management training classes at one point. Honestly these methods really seemed to work well for me when I worked full time, but living as a stay at home mom I think things got a little crazier and my organization levels went down.
With becoming a mom and wife, the time I once had for myself got switched to spending time on lots of other things. Also on top of the mom and wife duties I believe most of us also have other commitments to our jobs, our churches, our communities and our friends. How in the world can we make time for everything and everyone? The honest truth is...we can't! Maybe, just maybe we shouldn't even try to do everything we think we should be doing. I am being serious. I have been reading Living With Less so Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage. The first few chapters really emphasis that it's not always living with less money, but living with less things that take up your time that create more for your family. It seems that we try to pack so much into our days that in the end can make us resentful, tired, and it ultimately takes time away from the really important things like pure family time. I totally agree with them, but in order to choose where we spend the time we have, we need direction - a set priorities.
Our values strongly effect our priorities and how we use our time whether we are aware of it or not. Have you ever found yourself really wanting to do something else other than housework? Yeah, I had a problem with this. I found that I got more satisfaction doing my hobbies over keeping up on cleaning toilets, dusting the TV, and scrubbing the floor. In the short run this felt great for me, but long term not keeping up on things got me frustrated and resentful that I had to spend all day long cleaning to catch up. Also this didn't bode well with my husband because he didn't appreciated coming home after a long day at a stressful job to a messy house. With him being upset and me being frustrated, it didn't make for a happy household. But there had to be a way to get the things done I should be doing and still have some time for what I really enjoyed doing (sewing, crafting, blogging).
Now that I am trying to adopt the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs Woman, I have some direction. "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idelness" Proverbs 31:27." Yep, I need to keep that house completely spotless, right? Well, I think this means that we need to have pride in our households and keep them in order, but I don't think someone needs to spend an entire day cleaning your house. I can think of lots of other things I'd rather be doing, but I needed tools, tips, ideas on how to get it all done.
I got a great idea from a friend of mine to plan out a couple things to do each day and you can have a clean house over a week's time instead of doing it all in one day. She stores the plastic covered list inside her cupboard. Each day she crosses off the things as she gets them done with an overhead marker, then erases the marks at the end of the week. I also subscribed to a site called The Organized Housewife that has great tips like how to Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks. Here she talks about things like picking a drawer or cabinet or room to go through each week to de-clutter your house over a year's time but doing it week by week. I hope with new tools like these I can keep my house cleaning organized and make cleaning not feel so daunting. As I find more ideas I'll be sharing them with you.
I know that it is possible that if you take a little bit of time to really identify your priorities, that it will help you plan out how to positively use your time. Therefore, "making" time for what is important to you, yet accomplishing the things you need to get done.
For the next week I want to take a look at the following:
- How do you feel about they way your time gets used each day/week?
- What do you wish you had more time to do each day/week/month/year?
- Have you ever taken time to write down your life's priorities? What would they be?
- How do you devote time to those priorities?
- What chores/tasks/activities do you try to squeeze into your schedule?
- What tools are you using to organize your time?
I'll go through a exercise myself to sort through these questions myself and report back to you all. I would also love to hear some feedback or comments from you as well.