Monday, September 8, 2008

How Do You Feel About A Schedule?

My daughter is currently taking a class on time management. She is taking a full class load at college and works 30 hours a week. In addition to being involved at church she likes to socialize, and so the class is being a tremendous help to her. I met with a dear friend today who is doing some volunteer work for our Christian ladies' publication ministry and she showed me her weekly schedule. This is a lady who built a multi-million dollar business and now uses those talents to help others. Her schedule is incredible and shows why she is able to accomplish so much. I grew up on a dairy farm, which meant that we had to milk the cows twice a day every single day. You could never just decide not to milk those cows; they had to be milked. If you wanted the best production it was important for the cows to be milked at the same time every morning and every night. Being forced to do so much by schedule on the farm was very good for me.

There are times I feel overwhelmed and feel I just can't get everything done. This is an extremely busy time of year for me because our church will host an international ladies conference in just five weeks. But every time I get overwhelmed I know what the answer is...schedule all the things I have to do rather than worry about them.

When frustrated it is important to look at all the demands on our time and evaluate if there are some things we should let go, but often times the real culprit is that we are not scheduled. We don't live by a plan, and therefore, do not accomplish all that we should be able to do.

Fall is a great time to re-establish your priorities and schedule our time. We resist putting constraints on our time and the things we do as it can seem constrictive. There is a part of me that just wants to do things as I feel like it, but the problem with that is it makes it impossible for me to accomplish all that I am supposed to do each day!

Start small and start now. Make a list of all the things you feel you need to accomplish in the next 24 hours. Be realistic; if you are feeling overwhelmed tomorrow is not the day to clean out the attic! List the duties in order of priority and then work on them one at a time. Stay focused. When you are tempted to do something not on your list resist the temptation and stay on track.

Have some goals and make a plan to reach those goals. I have a jewelry shop on Etsy. There are two extremes that can happen. One is that I don't schedule "Etsy" time and do nothing or very little to build that business. The other extreme is that I list new items and then spend unlimited time in the forums...causing me to neglect other responsibilities. I talked with my husband and we made a plan for how much time I will spend on the jewelry business each day. That helps me to keep the balance. I had time to list the above pictured bracelet today because I scheduled time to take pictures, edit the pictures, and post the listing.

Schedule and planning are your friends. Embrace them...and have a wonderful and productive fall!


Nancy M. said...

Very good advise. Someone taught me many years ago about schedule. Each season for years I get my blank "Spiral Notebook" . I have one for "Fall" for example and have "goals" for things I need or desire to accomplish for Me- Bible reading ; health ect; Husband-Things i can do for him Children- Things i can do for each of them Others- List of names and what I can do.
I also keep a running list at home each day ( except if my hubby comes in all can change and I work on His time)I learned that from Mrs. Evans. Thank you for sharing.
Looking foward to the ladies conference.

Jane Grafton said...

Nancy...I love that idea! and I love you...your granddaughter is growing so quickly!!! She's a Granma! :)

Emily said...

Thank you for the challenging advice. It encouraged me, being in my senior year and having so many other things to get done. Some days I even need to write down the time allowed for each thing.
I definitely understand about time getting away from you while working on Etsy too! I have decided on a specific amount of time, just like you have. I hope that you have a wonderful time with the Ladies Conference!