As I have been following along in the 31 Days Challenge: Less and More, I have been struck once again by our likeness. We women are so the same, and yet so unique. We all seem to strive to do more than humanly possible. We all long to be all things to almost all people. We long for peace and joy and order in our days. It is encouraging to know we stumble through this life together, facing many of the same struggles, and experiencing many of the same victories. It’s an experience I don’t think men share. More amazingly, in the midst of it all, our uniqueness shines through. We were created to create.
As the 31st fast approaches and I look back on the 18 days completed in this challenge, I am reminded once again I need to take stock. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have for many years practiced setting aside the 31st of the given months to plan, retreat, reflect. I am anxiously awaiting October 31st. This 31st I will be re-evaluating. I realize I have lost track of how much time things take me. I have lost track of what I am filling my time with. So from now to the 31st I will be keeping a detailed time log. I challenge you to do the same. Not just as an accountability measure, but so you have a realistic sense of how much time the different tasks you must complete weekly require. It is impossible to create a weekly plan and break it down into daily tasks if we really have no sense of time required or what we are truly spending our time on. On average how long does it take you to get ready (yes, distractions included because it is doubtful they will go away)? How often and how long does it take you to get groceries (this includes getting them home and put away)? What is the typical length of any weekly or monthly meetings you attend?
The reality is: THERE IS ALWAYS TIME. The second reality is: YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME. For the two realities to co-exist, one must make some difficult decisions. These don’t have to be decisions for a lifetime, but they do need to be decisions for this season of your life. My reality has gotten a little out of whack and thus the stress and accumulation of stuff has crept in. So, as I said, once again I am going to keep track of my time and then begin a new plan for this season. My process will go something like this:
1. Keep daily time log for at least 10 days.
2. Determine which tasks on the time logs are necessities and how frequently they occur.
3. Evaluate the time spent on necessities. Can I delegate anything? Is there a tool I could utilize (possibly need to purchase) that would minimize the amount of time? Are there different times of day I could do this task?
4. Plug the necessary tasks on a rough weekly schedule and block off the appropriate amount of time, including 15 minutes “white space”. (see previous post)
5. After the necessities, what else fills my day? What do I need to quit doing? (If this is hard for you, I recommend you have a heart to heart with your spouse and a good, trusted friend or hire a personal organizer.)
6. Are there things I want to be working on or doing that didn’t even appear in my 10 day log?
7. Prioritize these tasks.
8. Roughly fill in time blocks on specific days for the prioritized tasks. This results in a rough “weekly schedule”. Live with the schedule for about 30 days and then re-evaluate.