Before I get into this post, I wanted to remind you that I share this to help those of you who are struggling with organization in your life. If however, life is going smoothly for you or you just don’t need something else added to your life right now, just skip over this post, okay? The last thing I want to do is heap guilt or more things to do onto your plate!
1. Start With a Time Budget
Take your list of priorities and follow the instructions in this post to come up with a time budget for the 24 hours in your day. (See my time budget from 2010 here for an example of how this will look.)
2. Arrange the Order For Your Day
Once you have your time budget created, take those blocks of time and put them in a set order for the day. Do not stress over doing this perfectly, just think of how to order the time blocks so things would flow fairly smoothly in your home.
For instance, here’s what my current routine looks like:
My Current Routine
Up, Bible, coffee
Clean up bathroom/bedroom, start laundry
Children up, baths, hair fixed
Breakfast, Bible Time, clean up kitchen
Chores, switch laundry, dinner out from freezer
Lunch, read alouds
Dinner, Bible Time
Time with Jesse, read
3. Make Sure to Include Margin Time
If you’ll notice, I have an hour of free time built into my routine. This gives some “padding” in the routine to allow for the inevitable interruptions and things that come up throughout the day. Plus, it also provides a time block for extra projects.
4. Keep It Simple
Don’t make the mistake of trying to pack your day so full that you end up overwhelmed and burnt out. It’s better to do fewer things and actually finish them, than to attempt a massively-long list and end up frustrated. Stick with the basics and don’t forget to focus on the big rocks first.
5. Don’t Worry About Following it Perfectly
We never follow our routine exactly. I view it as a guideline, not a strict slave master. It’s there to keep us moving in the right direction, but it can be shifted and rearranged somewhat depending upon how the day is going.
Now, if you start shifting things too much, you’ll defeat the purpose of having a routine, but do give yourself some grace and don’t feel like you need to follow it to a tee or you’ve failed. Good enough is always better than doing nothing at all.
6. Keep Tweaking It
A good routine is like a good budget: you keep tweaking it as your needs and life changes. If something isn’t working, change it!
1. Sit down and create a time budget.
2. Take your time budget and your big rocks list and develop a simple routine for your day. Type it up so you can easily tweak it, as need be.
If you create a routine or already have one, I’d love to have you share yours in the comments section.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to stick with your routine, now that you’ve created it!