Many of you know I’m decent with time management. This embarrasses me. I’m not kidding. Cause I think it makes me like a Trekkie before being a Trekkie was cool. It’s cute in it’s own way, but really there are just a few of us out there who make up conventions just to know we aren’t alone. Without costumes and character makeup. Usually.
But the dude who’s even crazier than me and chose to be my husband often reminds me this is the area friends seek me out for the most. Ya know, cause I have the spiritual gift of organization that’s listed in Hezekiah 481,516:2,342. And he claims I should be less timid to share my processes. So welcome to the convention. Make sure you tweet about all the crazy you observe while here so others can be entertained, too.
So I’m going to start this series that isn’t going to be a series with my number one tip to help you manage your busy a bit better: Take a few minutes to prep for your next day.
OK, I’m going to go ahead and take a Zack Morris Time-Out before going further. The reason I hesitate to talk much about time management is because I almost always see this giving fellow parents a feeling of defeat, like there’s something sacred about being organized and they’ll never measure up. Every flippin’ magazine has a focus on it, especially in January. It dominates Pinterest almost as much as recipes. And the organized mom is the one who seemingly has it all together and is far superior.
The same God who is a God of order (referencing order in the church BTW, not your labeled pantry) is also the God of seeming chaos in changing plans, bringing insanity through unpredictable natural disasters, and creating a new, never before seen sunset each night. And we all reflect him. Meaning if you are the most spontaneous, all-over-the-place personality of everyone you know, you still bear his image. You’re not a worse mom. You’re the way God made you. And it’s beautiful and right for your kids.
God made me to reflect more of his ordered side. And some day I should write a blog post about the sinful tendencies that brings about in my own heart and how I envy those of you who can fly by the seat of your pants. But for now, know I’m just writing here. Take it or leave it, but don’t condemn yourself by feeling the pressure to add one more thing to the rules you make up for yourself. If this post serves you, great! If not, toss it and rest in the freedom of the person God made you to be.
OK, Time In!
Each evening, I do the following to get ready for the following day.
- Check the calendar to see what’s going on and prep for any events on there (pack lunch for an outing, get dance bag ready, make sure I know address of location for GPS, etc.)–my older kids help with this prep work, cause we’re a family, not a one-woman show
- Check the forecast to see how the kids and I should dress
- Lay out my outfit–the kids do this with their clothes, too
- Look at the menu and prep what I can. This could be pulling meat out of the freezer to thaw or marinate, measuring out some ingredients into prep bowls, making muffins for the morning, or assembling a casserole.
- Check or make a to-do list and plan how and when I’m going to get it done
- Reply to or write emails, texts, private messages, or voxes
- Sometimes, I take this time for social media, mainly to check notifications and see if there’s something to which I should respond.
All of this usually takes me no more than 15 minutes. Obviously, food prep can take a bit longer depending on what’s planned, but I try to keep meals pretty simple throughout the week when we’re busier.
Depending on your lifestyle, there are many other things you may add to your list (getting school supplies ready comes to mind!), but this is my process, and it’s served me for a long time with just a few simple tweaks.
If you’re just getting started with this, I’d recommend you only add one thing at a time, maybe just getting in the habit of checking your calendar. That simple habit can make a big difference.
Happy prepping! That sounds like something I’d say to someone the day before a colonoscopy. Says the woman with Crohn’s disease. And this is how my post ends. Ends, hee hee, see what I did there?