Time management has been on my mind lately....mostly because it's been on my heart.
I'm busy all the time. There is always something that needs done or someone that needs helped. I start working early in the morning, and I don't stop until it's officially considered "night". I do housework, or schoolwork, or blog work non-stop. It's hard to find a spare moment even to fold the laundry, do the dishes, go to the bathroom.
At least that's what I tell myself. But I think I've been lying.
God has convicted me about how I use (or waste) my time.
While I always feel too busy to get anything accomplished in my home and life, I'm realizing that instead of guarding my time, I'm wasting it. Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogs can suck my time dry. For me, those are the biggest culprits. Those things aren't bad, but letting them rule my life isn't good.
I've been chatting up the huge Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle this week like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Well, it just might be, but in the back of my mind, all I can think is , "How on earth will I ever find time to read ONE book, let alone 97 of them?!?"
If I really want to grow in wisdom and knowledge, then I'll make the effort to make the time. Period. Just like if I truly love my kids, I'll make time to do fun things with them. And if I honestly believe that the gospel is lived out through homemaking, I'll actually get to work and make our home a lovely place to be.
I need to take responsibility for my time management.
I can usually find a way to blame other people and circumstances for my lack of time. I can't do things that are important (like sorting the mail or folding the laundry or reading my kid a book) because of reasons that are beyond my control. I'm pretty sure none of these issues are my fault.
If only those stinkin' kids of mine weren't so messy....If only there weren't so many evening activities on our schedule....If only my husband worked fewer hours....If only I didn't homeschool....
I could go on.
I have plenty of excuses, but they won't buy me an extra minute of time.
I need to admit that I waste a whole lot of time throughout each day. That's why I feel like I don't have any. I had it, but I spent it either being inefficient or being plain old wasteful.
I can take small steps toward using my time wisely.
Here are some things I can do...
- Keep track of how I'm spending my time. I just recently got an app for my iPad called "Now Then". It enables me to track how I'm using my time with a quick click.
- Set timers and work quickly. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to pack my son's lunch in the morning. Yesterday, we were running late for an early dentist appointment, so I had to kick the lunch-packing into high gear. I did it in four minutes. FOUR. How much time have I been wasting every week by being casual with just this one task?!?
- Focus on one thing at a time. If I'm folding the laundry, I shouldn't be checking my email. If I'm unloading the dishwasher, Facebook can wait. Tracking my time and setting timers will help with this, but I still need to make a conscious effort to stay focused on the task at hand.
- Make routines and stick to them. Routines enable me to know what needs done without having to think too much. Not having to think is always a good thing for me. If I'm following my routines, all the necessary tasks will get done efficiently. But, like everything else, they only work if I actually follow them.
- Read and work near my kids. My youngest son knows when I'm distracted. He doesn't say anything about it because he's too sweet for that, but he notices. If I'm cleaning the house with him nearby, he doesn't seem to mind because I'm still available for answering questions. If I'm reading a book beside him while he's doing his schoolwork, I can still give him the math help he needs. If I'm surfing Facebook while he's standing talking to me, I probably won't even notice him. Just a sad fact.
I'm taking the leap.
I'm committing myself to managing my time better. Can I just tell you that I'm shaking in my boots right now? I know this is going to take work. Hard, purposeful work and self-discipline.
It's harder to do the wrong thing if I've prayed about it. It feels more like the sin that it is.
With just these few simple tips, I think I can free up the time needed to properly care for my home and minister to my family. I'll no longer need my long list of excuses.
As far as the Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle, I'm going to get it because I think it will help me become a better wife, mother, homemaker, blogger, and follower of Christ. And I'm going to find the time to read the books. I have the time; I just need to be sure I'm not letting it slip away.
I don't want to be sitting here a month from now feeling this same way. I want to bless my family by using my time in a way that glorifies God and reflects what really matters to me. I want to be the homemaker God has called me to be.
By the way, The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle is only being offered until May 4, 2013 at 11:59pm. So, if you're planning on getting it, too, you won't want to wait. Once it's gone, it's gone for good.
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