Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Art of Housewifery: Almost Done Balancing

Last week I shared my ambition to getting things in order/revived in my house.  I do mean ambition.  I allowed distraction after distraction to pull me from my needed task until I sat down mid -week to write here on the blog and I couldn't.  I.was.stuck.  I felt overwhelmed, at a loss, stumped.  Any adjective along this thread would work.  I sat back in my chair, praying for words and wondering why my precious little time at the keyboard was at a stand still.  As I prayed, the image of my stacked to-do pile popped into mind and I knew instantly what I HAD to do.

I closed the laptop and stepped out of my quiet place.  I moved my pile to the kitchen table and began to spread out with pencil and post-its in hand.  A note pad and check book for needed bills and letters (yes, I still do some of them old school!) and off I went.  In under and hour my pile was tackled and everything, yes, EVERYTHING but the monthly deep-clean lists were handled.  The school balancing came this past weekend.

It was liberating.

Proof NOT to procrastinate and the damn we build in front of our stream of potential productivity when we pile up our postponements.

This weekend I sat down with my homeschool binder, planner and the school books requiring my attention.  I worked in segments, walking around, doing dishes or catching a quick show with the kids in-between.  It kept the task from being daunting.  As I worked through their lesson plans for the week and the overview I needed to catch for the reminder of our school year, I kept  my planner close at hand.  I marked personal reminders on my dailies and referenced my yearly overview at the back to mark some gauge points in their work-texts so I could keep an eye on our progress and make sure we don't stray too far off course.  I was even blessed with the time to organize their Health lesson for the week and set-up an outline of our new history study with projections for the remainder of the year following Da Vinci.  I hadn't committed and planned like this since the start of the school year.... it.felt.GREAT!  And the best part: I was done in only a few hours of work with plenty of 'fun' and break time in-between.  Other than the quick 20 minute weekly set-up and prep, we are pretty much set up till spring break when I will need to prepare for our explorer studies.  But I'm not too worried!

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
- Proverbs 16:3

This approach works great for multiple areas within the household to-do set:
  • set aside time for the big planning tasks
  • pray for God to guide the process
  • give yourself permission for short breaks 15-30 minutes +/- each and get up, stretch, do a non-sedentary or non-thinking task to refresh your mind and body
  • work in segments not too big and not too small; time segments or topic segments
  • reward yourself at the end with a t.v. program, book reading, or outing... whatever helps you celebrate!
  • use a timer for both working and breaking if you don't trust yourself to stay on-task

Why is balancing and planning so important?  A well-planned day (or weeks or schedule or list of any kind) allows you to work more efficiently and more completely.  Who couldn't love that?

Prepare your work outside;
    get everything ready for yourself in the field,
    and after that build your house.
- Proverbs 24:27

I hope my floundering adventures this past few weeks can be used to encourage you in yours!


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