Most of you know I work from home. In addition to keeping the house picked up, the laundry going, meals planned and the shopping done – and this summer especially, Caleb busy and not just in front of a screen all day – I also am writing another book, running a military wives ministry and doing the occasional speaking and freelance writing gig.
It seems like the older I get, the harder it is to keep all of it straight. I find myself getting exasperated at all the starting/stopping and interruptions that happen. (Case in point – just typing this sentence, I’ve had to leave the room three times to help Caleb with something.)
But I’m also trying to keep it all in perspective. I know that in the bigger picture, my son won’t be this age forever. He won’t always call me first for everything. We won’t have fun moments like this morning when we worked on scripture memory for an upcoming kids mission trip he’s doing through our church in a couple of weeks.
So… this summer I’m working on maintaining a schedule. I’ve attempted this before and failed miserably, mainly I think because I put myself in such a rigid one, that at the first sign of getting behind, I gave up. This year I’m trying to keep it a lot looser – still a schedule, but understanding that not everything may get completed at the time I’ve designated.
What I’ve found is helping the most by keeping a schedule is that it’s helping me focus on what’s important and what isn’t; what I really need to get done, and what can wait; what should be a priority for today or for this week and what I can plan to work on next week.
I’ve already noticed a difference. Last week I was able to keep a schedule going all week long. We had a crazy busy weekend and Monday I didn’t have a schedule. And I felt like I got very little done.
Now, the schedule is not the to-do list. I have a to-do list. A long one. The schedule is helping me find time to get the to-do list done… without me getting tunnel vision and so focused on the list that I ignore doing anything with my son. I’m finding the schedule is helping give a little more margin, I guess you could say. I can look at what’s planned for today and see that I have some work things and some fun family things planned for too. When Caleb interrupts, I can say, hey, I’m planning on us making cookies later this afternoon, or we’re going to go throw the basketball around in about an hour, so give me this time right now to get some work done. It’s more intentional. I’m putting more thought behind it. And I think that helps a lot.
So each night I’m thinking about the next day and jotting down a simple schedule of things I need to do and when I can do them. And I check as I go through it during the day. Mark what I missed, or what took longer than I thought it would.
Like I said, I’ve only done this for a week. So this is still an ongoing experiment. They say it takes at least 21 days to make something a habit, right ? So I’ve got a little ways to go. But luckily, there’s still 9 more weeks of summer left.
How do you manage summer schedules with your kids?