This is a “preaching to myself” post. What I need to hear/remind myself right now.
One thing I like schedules for:
- To show that it’s possible (or not) for everything to be done that needs to be done.
If you are looking for advice (wonderfully detailed, practical advice) on how to assemble a schedule, look at the resource Managers of their Homes at Titus2.com. That is where I got the information I am about to share with you.
The funny thing is that my newly-promoted-to-manager husband attended a training seminar not long before I started processing this information, and he said this method (minus the acknowledgment of God) is the same as he was taught in his workshop.
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The most useful thing to start with is a basic understanding of God, his character, and your place in his world.
As I have enjoyed quoting before: “God does not have to depend on human exhaustion to get His work done.” And, “There is enough time in each day to get done what God wants you to get done.”
With this in mind, prayerfully make a list of what you feel God wants you to get done in a day.
Not what you think you “should” get done or really *want* to get done (there are still approximately 3 more instruments I want to learn to play).
Seek God’s will, try to see through his eyes.
Once you have a list (Don’t forget SLEEP!), assign a reasonable–preferably known– amount of time to each activity. Add up the total amount of the time required by the activities you’ve collected and see how close you are to the limit of 24-hours.
This is where your *Aha* moment should occur.
Now you will see either a) You have enough time! (did I know that?) or b) You have unrealistic expectations!
This also should be freeing. You can be sure God is not demanding all this of you, because he has given us everything we need for life and godliness. That would include the time in your day.
This way of looking at me and my time has been very helpful. But it has not resulted in my actually having a schedule to follow.
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My second-favorite benefit of having a schedule, is that it reduces the number of decisions I am required to make.
For all that I am (most of the time) a very decisive person and it doesn’t (usually) take me long to choose between two options, the sheer volume of choices I have to make in a day eats a great deal of time and mental energy.
By having a number of things that are “Just the way they are,” I can maintain that much more focus.
I didn’t realize just how huge decision-making is until this fall when I had to completely re-learn how to cook. Knowing what to cook for dinner and arranging to have all the needed components was managed but exhausting (I was the mouse, a ripple away from drowning). When I reached the place where I could actually plan ahead a bit, I was shocked at how much more relaxed I was, and how much more time I felt I had.
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So, minus maintaining a schedule, how do I engage these benefits? With two tools.
Five years ago I discovered the card-file system and this fall I found the iPhone app that essentially reproduces it in electronic format (I was literally praying for this. The largest drawback of a card-file system is the maintenance, and maintenance is very basic and easily programed. Ahhh).
For me, I don’t do well being told when to do something (I might be tired, or watching my children delight in new snow, or getting a lot of dishes done), but I do want to save time by knowing what next to do. And that’s where a card file system or Home Routines becomes so useful.
The second tool is meal-planning.
If I ever learn to import an excel sheet into WordPress, I might do a post on meal planning. The short version now is that I’ve tried to do this for 5 years and never found a method that clicked for me.
But after a week or so of tweaking a method that almost worked, I’ve reached the works-for-me stage and now have a huge sense of relief.
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In the last few months I’ve been learning to recognize that my natural pace is slower than I thought it was. And this is a relief.
I’m still learning what “slower” means, but it comes back to the word Rhythm in this post’s title.
One of the things I love about the card-file/Home Routines chore systems is that everything gets done eventually.
It’s a rhythm. A cycle. Essentially you don’t worry about the little you get done in a given day, because it all adds up.
That I move and work slowly isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a reminder that God knew what he was doing when he gave me a small house.