Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finding Time

Isn't it nice when you find an extra dollar in your jacket pocket?  You think, "Man!  I can really use that!" and fall short of skipping along your merry way.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could find extra TIME in your pockets as well?  As a working mother, I often dream about slowing down the earth's rotation to catch a few more minutes of precious zzz's or to be able to do laundry in peace.
It seems my slogan these days has been, "I just don't have time!". And I've accepted it as final.  But now with my inlaw's leaving back to Peru they basically threw in the towel and said, "Take back all your damn responsibilities".  Oh - you mean this wasn't going to be a forever type deal?  No.

So now with a fresh mind and an older/less fussy baby, I sat down and asked myself, "Do you really NOT have time?"  Is there ANYTHING you can do so that you don't need to go back to the stress pre-inlaw help?  I really didn't want to go back to that.  So I sat down at my computer, and I stared at my calendar chock full of meetings from Monday thru Friday.

And then I just started  SCHEDULING MY PERSONAL LIFE (Lunch/After 5pm/Weekends).  And you know what.... I FOUND TIME!  It was my lunch hour in my case, BUT IT WAS TIME THAT I HAD!  And I've been organized since.   This won't work for everyone because not everyone can be productive during lunch or even uses a calendar, but I look at my calendar every day because I'm a slave to work so it made sense for me.  I also live 10 mins away from work so going home during lunch to do my chores and prep for dinner has really been my saving grace!   I know what you're wondering, what about your actual lunch?  Well, I eat fast at home and sometimes while I'm doing my chores.  I still invite you to look at your calendars, just take a gander, maybe you DO, literally have time!  Maybe it's in the morning, maybe it's in place of something else; maybe it's during a show.  Who knows! 

Some recurring things I've incorporated into my schedule:
  • Try to go home for my lunch hr at least 3 days a week (I would the full week if it's possible).
  • Daily Lunch Hour - at minimum wash dishes, dinner prep (aka: chop fresh veggies), and vacuum area rug or sweep (daily dog dander be gone!).  Then if I have time I've scheduled more stuff I could do during my lunch.  see pic below.
I've since moved Washing Dishes between 9-10pm so I can spend even more quality time with the kiddos.  Also some of the dinners are Peruvian dishes, in case you're wondering. 

    I even pre-scheduled dinner every night this week! All this so that by Friday nights I relax, watch TV, drink wine and eat cheese, and groom the dog.

    This also leaves my weekends completely open to do whatever I want or whatever I wasn't able to do during the week since schedules change frequently.  After time, I don't think that deep cleaning will be as necessary and I can move these items around in my schedule as I see the most need.    I don't know how long this will last, but I'm really looking for a quick fix for now until Mateo becomes a toddler at least.  And this has really been working for me.  I get home from work to a mostly-clean house and less pressure for dinner.

    In a few months I can sit back and re-evaluate my calendar and time to see if sacrificing my lunch is still necessary.  That's the beauty of a calendar, it's a living schedule that can be modified to your needs at the time and stage of your life! 

    I swear to you.  I've been in a great state of mind this week.  I feel like I'm accomplishing things because they're on my calendar and I know exactly what I'm doing.  I feel organized because I'm planning ahead for the week.  I feel less stress because I found a time to clean the house when the kids aren't home to demand my full time.  And most importantly, I feel focused on my children when they ARE home because I don't feel like there's a tug of war game between quality time with the kiddos and making sure they have clean clothes.  I can just focus on having fun with my family!

    Next project - Finding puppies in your jacket pocket.  Workin' on it...

    Wish me luck! - Shirley