So my posts have been dwindling a bit, not from lack of enthusiasm or ideas, but simply from poor time management. Right now it’s Spring Break, so my days are full of kid activities. Before that the kids were sick (nothing to worry about just winters germs) then I was sick then they were sick again and then again me. I was just tired. We are all on the mend (for good I hope)
There has also been something else occupying my time: writing books…children’s books. I don’t know if they are any good. I would like to think they have promise, though. I even attended a very inspiring conference that gave me a little more courage to get out there and try a little harder. I had one of my stories critiqued by an editor which gave me the fire I needed to get moving on these. I know what I need to do. I just have to find the time to do it.
That brings me right back to my poor time management dilemma. I need to find a way to fit everything into my schedule and not completely ignore my children. I mean they are the reason I am doing all of this, right? So this is what I need to fit in every week on the few hours the kids are asleep or in those days they go to school for 4 hours.
- Research and prepare fun learning activities for kids
- Find ways to help them love the world and the people in it
- Write 4 blogs a week (ideally) for the blogs I contribute to as well as my own in English and Spanish
- Work on my books: edit and work on existing stories to submit
- Develop new stories
- Work on website
- Cook and clean
- Run errands
- Enjoy the quiet!
How in the world? Seems crazy, right? It may just be! I’m reading up on what may help and here are some things I found that I need to try:
This one is so important for success! Give yourself time to prepare all that you can at least one day a week. My mom was a teacher and tells me stories of staying up late cuting up games and crafts for kids every night after we were in bed. I do not have the patience she has, so I would like to find a way to do multiple days at once just so I had things prepared in advance.
Things come up and schedules get turned upside down. Don’t panic. Take it as light as possible, as hard as that is, and rework your schedule if only in your own mind. You may have to save the schedule you had planned for the next day, but at least you know you have a plan.
Not necessarily for the world to see, but for your own peace of mind. Find a spot where you can have your very own chalkboard or dry erase board and write down a list of what you want to do during the week. Having it in a place you always see without it being right in your face all of the time may help you not feel so overwhelmed. I keep a little one I found at Target at the corner of my desk helps me glance over when I want to remind myself of what it was I was writing about without taunting me too much.
Organize, reorganize, and make it nice!
Having a messy work space or living space can make you feel more scattered and uninspired. I had a crazy craft room/guest room happening for a while there. There were paints, glues, markers, crayons, construction paper, toys, craft ideas, stickers, yarn, and everything else you could think of in boxes and all over that room. My Father in law built me a beautiful desk with room for bins and the room has opened up quite a bit. This is what I now call my office and it makes me feel more centered. So find a place to keep the things you use the most like bins or pretty baskets to make your home feel more organized and put the rest away. Baskets are great for keeping those little toys and cars that end up following you around the house for some reason. Everything in its place may help you keep everything in your head in order, too. That’s the hope, anyways.
This is especially important in meal planning. Double up your recipes and freeze half. This way you can give yourself permission to do other things some days knowing that you have what you need in the freezer. Just don’t forget to thaw it!
Use the Internet
The internet is an amazing resource to find anything you need. You can find new recipes. You can find out what other cultures do with their kids for fun and try to replicate it if you can. You can learn how to make anything you want really. I like to use it to find fun projects for the kids, get printouts for our learning times, find songs and games in Spanish and see what the rest of the world is up to. Google away!
Learn when to say no
You can’t be expected to do everything yourself. Don’t take on too many projects at once or you will drive yourself insane. Make sure you take on only what you know you can easily handle. It’s good to challenge yourself from time to time, though. So if you must, make sure that you are not cutting into family time and it’s a project you really enjoy.
Fall in love with routines
This is good in all aspects of life. Yes spontaneity is fabulous, but if you are trying to get your life in order it may not be the best way to go. Save those times for something more fun. Set up your days in advance so that you give yourself some time to work on as much as you can. Don’t expect to do it all at once, though. Be realistic about what you want to accomplish on a given day and how much time you want to spend on it.
Take care of YOU
Overworking yourself in order to get things done is not the answer. Also, it can be exhausting. If you find yourself a little overwhelmed and worn out, change your plan and try to add time to relax. If you think you may be coming down with something, stop and listen to your body, it may just need a break from running around.
Nobody is perfect all of the time, not even you. Remember that your kids are only the age they are now once, you don’t want to miss the special moments each age has to offer just to have a perfectly clean home or three blog post a day in my case.
Enjoy your days as much and as often as you can. All things will get done with time. Now, go play with your family!
Here are the articles on time management I found helpful. What has worked for you?