Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Need for a Schedule




I have always been a planner and an organizer.  I have my pen and paper calendar that goes with me in the diaper bag.  I have my wall calendar for all to see.  I even have a weekly activities calendar and menu on the fridge.

When my oldest was born we fell into a routine and schedule fairly easily.  As he grew and seasons changed, we tweaked the schedule.  We tried for awhile to keep with it once my youngest was born.  But as time passed by, the schedule became non-existent.

After digging in deeper into this month's Peace Circle theme, Yes to Ease, I began to remember that I thrive on having a schedule and so does my oldest.  It doesn't have to be filled so much that life just seems busy and chaotic.  It just needs to be more consistent.

Like, Wednesday's are Swim Lessons every week until we decide to take a break.  But I realized recently that having the same or similar activity on a certain day of the week each week can help everyone find their flow and things seem feel more natural.

So for my kids, certain days of the week are filled with a certain activity each week.  So we are picking which days will be days to visit nature centers, do forest school, visit the zoos, playgrounds, splash pads and pools, etc.  I am taking a list of activities my kiddos want to do and putting them onto a calendar.  Some activities will be a once or a once in awhile, while others will still be weekly.  This also allows us to easily change if something comes up, or friends want to get together, or if anything give us a list of ideas of what to do when we get together with friends.

For myself, that meant looking at my quiet time and down times and breaking them down by the half hour, then filling those spaces with the things I need to get done, want to get done, energy boosters, self-care.  This allows me to get to the things that are priority for me and not feeling overwhelmed.  It also gives me the flexibility to shift things a little, do them in a different order, or spend more time in one area if needed.  I also left time slots open.  What it really is is a written out to list for every day that helps keep me accountable.

So this is what it looks like:

Morning Time: this is before the kids wake.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I workout to a cardio workout video and then get ready for the day.  After which, I do some stretches and then have my morning ritual.  My morning ritual is reading a devotion, then journaling, and then picking a simple clarity card for the day.  On Tuesday and Thursday, the focus is on Peace Circle work or reading my current book.  Then getting ready for the day and doing stretches.  And finishing with my morning ritual.

Nap Time: On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I continue my workout focus - Leg Day, Core Day, Arms & Back Day.  Then chores and any prep needed for dinner or the next day.  On Tuesday and Thursday I have my blog and writing time, as well as creative time.  And finishing with any prep needed.

After kids go to bed, it is my hope to just rest and relax before I head to bed.

I couldn't find pre-made calendar and schedule set up that I like or a template or something that wasn't bulky and expensive with too much other filler I knew I wouldn't use.  So I ended up created my own.  I took and printed out a blank 2018 calendar for the rest of the months of the year.  For my schedule, I took a word template and changed it to fit what I was looking for. Then I bought a report cover with pockets inside and place all the papers in it.  It sits on my coffee table and I am okay with that. 

Now, granted we are still in the beginning state for these schedules, so there will be tweaking done and some adjusting.  But so far, it has worked well.

I know, for some this may seem over the top or maybe even not enough.  But for us, it is working.  I have began to stop fighting the concept of the schedule and making excuses.  I feel more at ease as I am finding my natural rhythm again and thereby the kids are finding theirs.  The flow in our day is smoother generally.  I am finding myself more filled mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually instead of constantly drained.  I can fill my cup, so that I can fill the cup of those around me.

Planning and scheduling is a part of me, so instead of resenting it or pushing it away I am letting it back in again.

What do you do to find more ease and flow in the day?

Click here if you want to see my template schedule