Schedules, Routines, Time Management, Oh My!

One of the biggest topics I get asked about, and coincidentally one of the biggest topics for which my close friends pick on me, is the routine I have with the kids. I have one. It’s a detailed one. Like really detailed. And some of my kids are obsessed with it, which means they may grow up to be like their mama. Oh boy.

Schedules can be great. They add order, help everyone understand what’s coming next, show you how much time you actually have, help you accomplish your to-do list.

Schedules can be terrible. They can add stress, rule you so you forget what’s really important, take away flexibility and spontaneity, cause dependency issues like one has to crack.

I have struggled with schedules and routines for many years. Early on, I understood God had gifted me in time management. I am super blessed to have a mother who is a rock star at this stuff, and many of those genes were passed down. I have applied those giftings since the day Liam (firstborn and so far only man-child) was born. I can put anybody’s day in an excel spreadsheet and make sure all priorities are in order.

EXCEPT, almost always schedules become a savior to me, and that’s just dumb because there’s only one Savior, and it seems moronic to try to substitute him with anything, especially a Microsoft product. Nonetheless, when I feel down or stressed, I don’t reach for a Hershey’s bar. I reach for the computer so I can brainstorm. Here’s my line of thinking: “Things aren’t going well right now. The kids and I are really jacked up. It feels like constant chaos. I know if we were more focused on Jesus things would be better. Oooo! I know! I’ll rework our schedule. I’ll make sure to add more order and more Jesus. Then all will be well!”

It seems to go well for a few days. Then we’re back to the same jacked-upness.

As Bill has been talking about in his last posts, we want to parent by faith in Jesus and nothing else. Schedules are fine and can work as great tools for our family, but only if they spring from an admiration for Christ, not as a means to force that admiration or to produce joy.

Over the next few days, we’re going to be talking about the blessings and dangers of schedules, why our family uses them, give you some pointers on how you can go about making one for your family if it seems to be a good fit for you, and eventually show you our current schedule. That way you can join with my close friends in their snickers…

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9 thoughts on “Schedules, Routines, Time Management, Oh My!

  1. Love it! Can’t wait. πŸ™‚ Hey…down the line somewhere… can you blog on how you do your personal retreats?

  2. I have witnessed a C.B schedule and they are a thing to behold! I can’t wait to hear more on this topic b/c our jacked-upness is ever increasing these days!

  3. I’m actually really looking forward to reading these, says the single girl. I am a non-scheduled person to the max (as in, I don’t even pay my bills the same day every month and I cannot BEAR that Fly-Lady clean-your-house-EVERY-DAAAAAY-KILLL-MEEEEEEEE thing) and the idea of putting my life in a spreadsheet kinda makes me want to sit in a corner and sob. But I love y’all’s heart here, and I appreciate that you’re not making it sound like schedules are The Answer From God for Holiness (like SO MANY people do, as though being type-A is godlier? ha!), but a sometimes-helpful tool.

    Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • hahaha… I must say, I’m a huge Flylady fan. Not every single detail of her system but a great deal of it works for me. As you mentioned, I think my personality has a lot to do with it. I’m SO type-A. And by the way, Laura, I think of you multiple times throughout the week when I’m thinking frugality or healthy eating. πŸ™‚ Just so you know.

      • LOL, thanks friend!

        And nothing against Fly Lady obviously — I know TONS of women for whom her methods have been a lifesaver. Just for me though? Not my cup of tea AT ALL. I do keep things reasonably tidy, but I’ve learned that I’m a “cleaning groove” person, so I clean (as in bathroom, vacuum, dust, floors, etc.,) once a week, after school but before my community group shows up on Thursdays. I do it, and it’s done, and I don’t have to worry about it again until the NEXT week! God help me if I marry someone who wants things sparkling at the end of every day! Eep! πŸ˜‰

  4. I totally get where you’re coming from. In addition to personality, I think circumstances play a part to. If I were to let things go for a day or two, the house would be total chaos between the 5 of us making messes. There’s NO way I could have it picked up and even somewhat tidy by CG. That’s where the beauty of the system comes in. And it’s gracious in that, other than small daily tasks, I only work on one (sometimes 2) rooms per week. Even with those, she recommends no more than 15 minutes per day on most tasks. Not trying to persuade you otherwise, but just explaining how life seasons/situations can make a difference too. πŸ™‚ Love you friend!

    • Oh, for sure. I am all in favor of any housekeeping system that frees people to be more hospitable, and to spend more time with their families, and that demonstrates good stewardship of God’s gifts — even if it doesn’t look like a system to anyone else! πŸ˜‰

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