Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I’m probably not alone in the fact that I sometimes struggle with time-management.  This morning, I read a post by Shaun Groves that started me thinking about my time and how I spend it.  Though he was talking about smart phones, which we do not have, I realized that I am just as guilty of being drawn to time on the laptop. (As I sit here and draft up a post….on my laptop.  Do you see the irony here?)

Anyway, I decided that it it is time to get back to working through a daily and weekly to-do list.  My old one was mainly focused on household chores, but I think it would be good to also add some other activities on there as well.

My old list, which I keep in my household binder, is in a plastic page protector which allows me to be able to take a dry-erase marker and put a dot next to things as they’re done. When I stick with this, it is really helpful, but as you can tell from the linked post above, I don’t always stick with it.

This list currently looks like this:

Daily Tasks

  • make bed
  • tidy Bedroom
  • wash load of laundry
  • unload/reload dishwasher
  • cull paper clutter
  • take out compost
  • empty recycling basket under sink into big tub in basement
  • clean bathroom counter
  • wipe faucet and mirror
  • scoop litter box
  • tidy living room
  • sweep main level
  • mop main level

(Note, these are just MY personal duties.  My girls are expected to pull their weight and have been given duties such as folding and putting away laundry, cleaning up all of their own messes, etc. )

Weekly Tasks

  • dust bedrooms
  • organize closets and drawers
  • mop bedroom
  • wash bedding
  • clean kitchen appliances
  • wipe cupboards
  • empty trash
  • clean toilet
  • clean shower
  • organize bathroom closet
  • empty bathroom trash
  • dump and refill litter box
  • dust living room
  • cull magazines and local papers
  • clean sliding doors
  • dust window sills
  • collect thrift items
  • organize homeschool area

With this general list of tasks I need to do to keep the house in order, things tend to stay pretty clean around the house.  If I can knock off most of my list items before noon, I feel pretty darn productive.

My thought today was that I need to add in some non-chore things to a new and improved list. Daily things like reading to my girls, daily Bible reading, setting aside time to just chat one on one with my girls, giving my husband a good kiss.  Weekly things like playing board games with my girls, sending a card to someone on my mind, setting aside time to chat on the phone with loved ones. 

Are there special things that you feel inspired to do on a daily or weekly basis?  Do you struggle with time management or do you have any tips or inspiration to share? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Now, off to tackle my list!



Amy D said...

Giving up FB has helped me so much in this department. I have found that sometimes, I'm bored now and bored is okay! I have had time to plan meals around chads diabetes, finish projects around the house, scrub my kit hen floor, play Sorry with Piper, listen to her read a book, watch a movie with my husband. And honestly, do you remember when I shared my struggle with intimacy? Not a problem anymore. ;-)

I don't make a list, I just see and do. I hope that your new discipline gives you the results you desire and that you find as many blessings in your journey as I did. :-)

faithlikemustard said...

Do I struggle with time management? Silly girl...how could you even ask such a question. The answer is always a resounding YES! Honestly, it's the worst part about being a stay-at-home-mom or even a work-at-home-mom. When I was working outside of the home, I knew I had only a certain amount of hours to get everything done and I think I was much more productive (much more tired-yes-but much more productive).

Even though I always have some kind of housework nagging for my attention, I do try to blow it off for more important things (realtionships). Watching a movie with The Husband or reading a bedtime story with The Youngest or volunteering at The Eldest's school may not seem very important, but time spent with loved ones is always a better investment than time spent doing laundry. Still, I struggle with the guilt of not getting everything done b/c I also feel like it's part of my JOB to do those things, KWIM?

I'm very much a list-maker like you, but I have yet to find a good routine that works for me and still gives me sufficient freedom (b/c I get unexpected interruptions all the time).

Jill Foley said...

I made some similar lists yesterday - I just know we would be best friends in real life! Anyway...devotions for my girls is part of school, but it's often the thing that gets pushed aside if we start too late. I added it to their "chore chart" as a way to make it happen.

I also try to do violin with my girls every day. Since we aren't paying for lessons, it's easy to let it slip. But part of doing violin with them is that I get to play, too.

And just yesterday, I started spending significant time reading to them again. And when the weather allows, I like to go on walks with them...

I don't really have tips for you. My experience in this area is that my discipline comes and goes. I don't want to be too rigid, but I do like to have an outline for the day. I think what is most important for me is to have a plan, but also to enjoy each moment and hold my "plan" loosely.

Jessica said...

Megan is right, it's the curse of being a Stay at Home Mom! The tasks never end. Your house is SO much dirtier when you stay home with your kids, as opposed to if you and they are gone all day to work or school.

Alia Macrina Heise said...

My list includes reading aloud to the kids, reading for pleasure for me, playing something with the kids, taking my vitamins...there are some non-chore ideas for you!

Junie said...

I wish i were like the rest of you who could get things done and actually follow lists. I have a severe problem with fatigue and a sleep disturbance that is off the charts. It is an every singe day thing. Oh, i wish i could live a normal life. May i ask you to pray for me about this ? I'm a born again Christian... Thank you to everyone. Michelle, you are such a sweetie and an inspiration to all of us. My letters are probably boring to our Compassion kids because i don't do much..that i could talk about. Your idea of devotions is wonderful. I hope to try that. God bless you and everyone who reads your blog. Sincerely, junie

Autumn said...

Hello! So glad to have received your comment on my blog! I believe that I actually corresponded a bit with you over Facebook, as to what kind of stationary you use for Compassion letters!

Your sponsored children are beautiful! I loved the pictures of their birthday gifts. Cecilia turns 5 on May 13th, and I sent her card/money out last month.


Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Amy: I am happy to hear that your life without FB has been rewarding. You are a braver woman than I! I've been a lot more productive these last few days since I have been trying to check of as much of my list as I can before noon. I did take some suggestions and add "extras" on there as well!

Megan: There is strength in numbers! I like the idea of putting relationships before housework. I do have a husband that really struggles with functioning in chaos and disorder and I have some issues with that as well. gotta find a balance!

Jill: I know we'd be good pals, too! We have so much in common!

Jessica: Never ending, you've got that right!

Alia: I noticed reading to kids on your list once and that is partially what has inspired me to add some non-chore things!

Junie: I will pray for you, for sure!

Autumn: Yes, that was me! I end up checking Google blogsearch once a week or so for mentions of Compassion and was happy to stumble upon your post! (I also like the new purse you got!!)

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