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Scheduling

Before I became a stay-at-home mom I was a production manager. I would make timelines and schedules and charts and graphs and Xcel spreadsheets. One thing I have learned is that running production for a company is very much like running a home. You have deadlines (you need clean clothes by Sunday morning and meals at certain times), things to produce (laundry, meals, obedient children), budgets (at least most of us do), and if you have children, you have people you can delegate to. It is like a little company! I felt right at home. Until I realized that I am not very disciplined when I am not being paid to organize and run everything. I have some very productive days and then I fall off of the house-running wagon. Everything gets messy.

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It really does only take about a day for things to get this way. Then I spend the next day or two catching back up. This is what my house looks like when we are on a schedule.

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Yes, we use folding chairs. I just can’t bear to pay for nice chairs… Anyway. Why is it so hard to stick to a schedule for more than a day or two? I am so tired of letting things get messy so that I can rest and then wear myself out again the next two days catching up with everything. I believe that God wants us to schedule things so that the house runs smoothly and so that we have more time to be involved in others lives. When giving instruction on how gatherings of the church should go, the Bible says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Cor. 14:40 I think that God wants our businesses, houses, and lives run the same way-orderly.

I have tried several different schedules. At first I forgot that the people I had to delegate things to were all under the age of 5. I had jam-packed the schedule with all kinds of things that I would like to get done, but it was impractical to say the least. Then I tried just scheduling chores, school, and meals. This really is not very much of our day at this time. I have a first grader and a pre-schooler. School takes 1-2 hours depending on what we do that day. The problem with this schedule was that there was too much time to get sidetracked or distracted. I would forget to prepare lunch or dinner and realize a little too late that it was time to feed everyone and there was no food ready. I tend to get involved in whatever project I am working on. SO this latest schedule has several things that I think will make it better:

1. It starts at a reasonable time of day. I am not a morning person and I have to stop pretending that I will get up at 4 and run three miles and cook 3 meals and mop the kitchen before sun up. Can anyone relate? 🙂

2. Timing. I have a better idea now about how long it takes my children to do things because we have tried several schedules. Yes, there are teachable days where it takes two hours to get chores done. That is just life with kids, but for the most part I have a good idea about how long it takes us to do things. I also left three 30 min time slots blank at intervals throughout the day. This allows us to catch up if we fall behind or combine the time to run errands or do something fun if we stay on schedule.

3. The must-do important stuff is all scheduled-including meal prep! This saves my sanity. I do not have to worry about whether or not I am forgetting something that has to be done because if it needs to be done, it is on the schedule.

Now all I have to do is follow the schedule. Simple right? Probably not for me, but I am praying that God will give me the determination to stick with it. I know I will be glad I did!

Let me know what you do for scheduling. Do you schedule and to what extent?

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