This is a topic that a couple of friends have asked me to touch on in the recent past, so I figured what the heck. Although I do NOT consider myself an expert in the field of time management by any means, I do have a few hacks that might could help someone else so I figured I’d just lay it all out there! A few weeks ago on instastories, I asked if y’all had any specific questions about my time management, and there were a few, so I’ll touch on all of them here!
I do feel like I should start out by saying that no two days are ever the same for me! Here is a little bit about my life that might be helpful to know before I dive in:
- I work 18 hours a week at SummerHouse as the social media manager and web store manager. I’m EXTREMELY blessed that I have a boss who doesn’t really care when I get those hours in, as long as I keep her updated on when I plan to get them.
- My kids are in school Monday through Thursday from 9 until 2. Early drop off at 8:15 is an option for a few extra bucks. And my sweet mama usually picks them up on Mondays so I have all day to myself on Monday.
- I consider my blog to be another part time job. I work really hard to keep it regularly updated! 🙂
- Being a mom and wife is a full time job in and of itself if you ask me! I think most other mommies out there would agree! 🙂
To me, time management is all about prioritization. If I were to give an overview of my priorities, I’d say they are
- Personal time with God
- Quality time with my kids and husband
- My paying jobs (SummerHouse and this here blog)
- Quality time with friends
- Errythang else
Let’s talk about the non-negotiables in my schedule…
– I love love love to wake up before the rest of my household and cuddle up on the sofa with coffee, dogs, and my quiet time material. Currently for my QT reading material, it’s the Proverbs 31 Ministries daily email and a book called Uninvited by Lisa Terkeurst. I’m also reading a book by Jamie Ivey called If You Only Knew which I read maybe one or two mornings a week (once I’ve read through the chapters from Uninvited that our Bible Study group is talking about the next week!) Price often joins me during this time, too. It’s a cool time that we get to spend together. I love it and it’s definitely my preferred way to start my day! Even on the days that I go in to work a couple of hours early, I just wake up super early and take the minimalist route on hair and makeup. Gotta get in my quiet time! It’s so refreshing! It’s my mental manna 🙂
– At about 10:00 each night, Price and I shut down whatever else we are doing and hang out. That is our time to do our thang. We are night owls who don’t go to bed til around 11ish, so this gives is a good quality hour of just US.
– SummerHouse comes first as far as paying work. I do everything I can to get in my hours early in the week. You just never know when a child is gonna turn up sick and cause you to have to miss a day somewhere mid week. In a perfect week, I’m at SH all day Monday, half a day Tuesday, and half a day Wednesday.
– I want our family to sit down at the table and eat a home cooked meal at least once a week. Ideally twice. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but we do have supper at church every Wednesday night, I have a standing monthly dinner date with a couple of friends, we have supper club once a month, one of us seems to be out of town on work one day every other week or so, Price and I are trying to sneak in a date night when we can, and we try not to turn down too many opportunities for dinners with our close friends when they crop up. So when you factor in all of that, we are out a lot! Making a priority to sit down for dinner a couple of nights a week is HUGE for us!
– This is random, but I empty and run the dishwasher every single day, unless I’m out of town. I once listened to a podcast that had a life coach person thing as the guest, and she said that one thing does wonders for your mental state if you are at home a decent amount. I would have to agree with her!
A couple of things about which I’ve become a real stickler…
– I only commit to one big pro bono event per year. I seem to get asked to help with galas and banquets and fundraising events all the time, which is honestly a huge honor!! The old me couldn’t say no, and I was wearing myself out on events that probably would’ve been great with or without me. But after reading The Best Yes (serious game changer!), I’ve gotten to a point where, if it’s a donation of my time, I can only commit to one per year. Now if some gala planner wants to pay me good money to help with an event, I’m willing to shift things around just a little bit to accommodate! 😉
– I outsource heavy duty house cleaning… I have an awesome girl who comes every other week and does all the not fun stuff like mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, scrubbing down my kitchen, laundering bedding… Things I just really don’t like to do. And that is one less thing that I have to fool with. I try to maintain some form of tidiness in between her trips, but she’s the one to do all the heavy duty stuff! I sincerely value this girl and her gift of OCD-ness!!
– I usually only commit to one TV show at a time. And usually my commitment is to whatever show Price and I agree on watching at night during our hanging out! So if it’s something that I know he wouldn’t like, it’s not something that’s gonna happen for me. And that is fine!! I used to watch all the shows before having kids, but I honestly don’t miss TV that much now! If there is a girly show I’m dying to watch, I save it for hunting season when Price is gone on weekends. Or I watch them during maternity leave. Ha!
– My kids ARE taking afternoon naps, dangit!! During a perfect week, I pick up kids from school at 2:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. We come home, eat a snack, and play outside if it’s pretty. If it’s not, we try to come up with something to play together inside. At 3:00, it is NAP TIME. If you aren’t in the mood for a nap, it is PLAY-IN-YOUR-ROOM-QUIETLY TIME. I have read about the importance of letting your kids’ minds get bored without any screens or other distractions and how imperative it is for creativity development! So I don’t feel bad at all about my kids being in their rooms for a couple of hours each day napping, talking with their stuffed animals, “reading books” to themselves, playing with their baby dolls (Lily Ryan) or trains (Wilson.) During this quiet/nap time is the time when I really focus in on my blogging. Mama loves when babies nap!
– Between nap and bed time, I try my darnedest to stay off my phone. We actually bought a little box to put our phones in during this time! We are definitely not perfect about having 100% phone free time for that whole duration, but we’re trying! It’s a MUST for us to be phone less during sit down dinners. After dinner and before bath/bed, we like to get in some good play time with the babies.
– Back to the perfect week I keep talking about… During an ideal week, I have Thursday mornings to myself. I really zone in on blogging during this time too. This is when I try to make any outside appointments or finish up those lingering drafts that I have saved and get those babies scheduled. A couple of blogger friends asked how far in advance I schedule my posts. I don’t have an exact answer for that because during some seasons, I’m so organized and have things scheduled out two weeks in advance! During a not-so-organized season (like this current season), I might be getting Wednesday’s post ready on Tuesday evening.
Fridays are the one weekday that I am home with my babies all day. This is the day of the week where we have play dates with friends, play outside as much as we can, go to the pool (if it’s hot enough), go to a museum, meet Price for lunch… I don’t normally plan on getting very much done on a Friday, but that’s ok! It’s great time to bond with my babies. I do, of course, make the most of nap/quiet hours! Oh, those hours are golden to me! 😉
Getting myself ready…
I have gotten a hair/makeup regimen pretty down pat, and if I really have to, I can hose off, get dressed, brush teeth, put on makeup, and do hair in about 10 minutes. But that is only if I HAVE to! I def prefer to have about 30 to 45 minutes for this. I will say, I don’t wash my hair every day, which is a major time saver. (I do, however, bathe or shower every day. I just don’t wash my hair!) On days that I wash my hair, it takes me about 10 extra minutes to dry/style my hairs. (I’m actually currently working on stretching out my hair washes from every three days to every four days. Trying to train them strands with dry shampoo and strategic styling.) I’m sort of in a makeup rut, so I guess that also means I’m kind of in a groove (?) and can throw on the face in about 5 minutes.
Things that have helped me be able to make a pretty good use of my time…
– I am a freak about sleep training my kids when they are little. This is SO IMPORTANT for me and pays off BIG TIME in the long run. (Not gonna lie– the month it takes to sleep train is HELL. But it is worth every long night!) It is of incredible valuable to us that we are able to put our kids down between 8:30 and 9 each night and not have to worry about them getting up until WE GET THEM UP at 8 each morning. I swear by the method mentioned in this old post. Even if I hear Lily Ryan chatting to herself at 6:30 in the morning, she knows that she isn’t getting out of that crib til we come in there and get her, so she doesn’t fuss or scream. Nine times out of ten, she falls back to sleep and we have to wake her up at 8.
– I hardly ever sit down during the day. I’m always trying to do something productive. If have 10 more minutes before time to get kids up, I pay a few bills or swiffer up some dog hair or fold some laundry. If I can be straightening up a little bit while my kids are playing, it feels really good. My house may not always be super clean to a germ inspector, but I do try to keep it semi picked up. Messes everywhere drive me nuts!!
– Coffee before and wine after 5:00 p.m. always seem to put a little wind into my ol’ sails! Just being honest! Oh, and I do try to drink plenty of water every day. Makes a world of difference in how I feel.
Things with which I struggle…
– Laundry is my number one struggle. I’m never caught up. Because when I get caught up, I’m only a few hours away from being behind again. I try to just plug away at it for about 10 or 15 minutes a day, then devote a good hour or so once a week, usually on a Sunday afternoon.
– I do struggle with resting. As I mentioned before, it’s so hard for me to not be doing something during waking hours. I try to let myself take a nap or just sit and read on Sundays, but honestly even that is hard sometimes.
– Meal planning. I am not the most efficient grocery shopper because each time I go, I go to get stuff for us to get through the next 2-3 days, then I’m back. The times that I’m most likely to work in a trip to the store are Fridays with my kids, on a Tuesday or Thursday right after I pick kids up from school, or during that hour of 9 to 10 p.m. after kids are down but before Price and I have our 10:00 hang out!
– Exercise. I do not exercise regularly like I did before I had babies, sadly. I do try to sneak in a few sit ups or push ups when I can. And I do run around a decent amount with the babies, so I guess that is something. But that is one thing I’m struggling to get good at again. One day!!!
Another question that someone asked… When do I take pictures for my blog?
If I am in the pictures, there is a good chance Price took them (unless another photographer is credited.) We usually snap outfit photos one or two days a week before we head out to work. That usually takes about five extra minutes. If I’m not in them, I usually take them during afternoon naps. (Fun fact: all photography on this blog is original unless otherwise stated!) If I’m working with a pro photographer, they’re usually snapped on a Thursday morning or a Saturday!
Everything else I do just has to get worked in with all of this stuff! There is a lot of stuff that I just straight up do not do well. And a lot of stuff that takes me forever to get to. And sometimes I have to be reminded two or three times before I actually remember to get something done. I’ll go through seasons of some major scheduling woes where I feel like it’s a total struggle to keep my head above water from week to week. But through the easy times and the hard, I try to remember to invite Jesus into my day every single day. He already knows what’s gonna happen, and as long as I work heartily to further his kingdom and serve those around me, I think it’s all gonna be okay! 🙂 Thank you Jesus for peace even through the storms!
Ok I think that about covers it! Did I leave anything out that y’all have a question about?