I get TONS of requests on info on how I do everything, so … I’m sharing a few Time Management tips for balancing family, hubby, life, job, friends, house, etc. Basically this is how I keep my sanity!
I’ll be sharing advice from my friends and a few things I’ve done that have WORKED…like this:
I realize the “life” doesn’t begin “after this deadline” or “this book release” or “when my books sell X number.” Life is happening today. So I can either live in a mess … setting myself up for failure, or live successfully. I chose the latter. I’m striving to live a sustainable life. I don’t want to burn myself out.
I’ve given myself permission to set a schedule that works for me. I use Microsoft Outlook, and I schedule in EVERYTHING. From waking up and having morning quiet time, to straightening the house, to making dinner, to working on a book proposal—it’s all on the calendar. This works for me because it helps me to be realistic with my daily goals. In I have a day packed with other things, I can’t write 2,000 words … and I don’t stress myself out thinking I should. I also like to check things off a list.
Now for actual stuff. I’ll start with what I think is most important and work through the list from there.
1. Like many I balance writing and mothering. Actually, I homeschool, too. This is what I do:
2. I schedule quiet time, devotions with husband, church on Sundays and Wednesdays and small group at our house. The spiritual foundation comes first.
3. I hire someone to do deep cleaning four hours a week. Also, my kids have all their own chores. I’ve done this since they were small. Currently, my daughter (16) has kitchen duty. My 14-year-old son gathers/puts away laundry, sets/clears table, etc. My 19-year-old son sweeps/mops the floors and taxis his siblings around and does occasional chores for me. I spend about an hour a day “keeping everything up.”
4. I set a do-able homeschool schedule. Every Monday I co-op with my friends for about four hours, and we each teach from our strengths. I teach writing, my friends teach other subjects. I also spend only about 30 minutes a day going over my kids school work with them. They work in the same room as I write. I help in small spurts as needed.
5. I have one day a week for errands. This is also the same day I take my grandma to lunch/dinner. (She lives with us.) This is also the day for SLS … or as Mary says, “Stupid Little Stuff.” I plan that stuff on this day since I’m already out.
5. I multi-task. I read galleys or research books as I exercise on my recumbent bike. I read magazines while I blow dry my hair. I take my notebook computer into the kitchen and answer emails as I wait for the water to boil or wait for the chicken to bake.
6. I take my kids out to lunch once a month for one-on-one time. I don’t talk on the cell-phone or listen to the radio when I’m driving them around—instead I use that time to connect. We hang out nearly every night. We watch TV together, go over homework, or talk. I rarely schedule evening events beyond Wednesday church and Monday small group.
7. My husband and I go on a date once a week, and we read our Bible and pray together every morning.
8. I have lunch with friends about once a week. I just started this within the last few months, and I need it.