Friday, August 5, 2011

New schedule

I'm  the sort of person that both loves and hates being on a schedule. In one sense a schedule brings a rhythm, a security and comfort knowing what needs to be done, how it will get done and when. But on the other hand, they can get boring and monotonous! That is why summer and breaks in between are so necessary! I didn't used to but now,  I actually enjoy letting the house go a little, not rushing around trying to keep everything in it's place and on time! But as we head into the new year, I know without a doubt the laundry will pile up, the dinners not be planned well, the house a disaster if I don't plan here it is, my schedule for next year.

I am hoping it will {mostly} work out. In a house full of little ones it's easy for something to go wrong differently than planned. But at least with a skeleton of a schedule we've got an action plan! It will be a little tricky some days picking Bella up from the school up the road, but she'll just join in the schedule at around 2pm. I even scheduled myself some "free time"....dreamily I might even start some sewing projects, catch up on blogging or *gasp* nap or read a book!

One thing I did notice is, I failed to schedule myself a time to shower......hmmmmm.

So how do you get yourself going from the summer lazy routine back into the busy school season? This year I've taken the slow approach. I've read you should just jump into a schedule full steam, without looking back! That has never worked for me. It actually makes the schedule more stressful. I'm not great with change, remember?

This year I've decided to go a different route. I've been easing myself into the schedule this week and next week. The following week we will hammer it down a little more with our "Week of Review" before our actual school year begins. Let me say it's been nice to ease into this school year. So how do you do it?

1. Make a Skeleton Schedule I take our routine already and write it down. What time normally do you get up, eat, school, lunch, play etc. Don't try to reinvent everything and wake the kids up at 5am. Seriously no one needs that trauma.

2. Make a To Do list. What else realistically needs to be done during the day? Laundry? Errands? Blogging? Napping!

3. Find REAL Time When you start writing all this down you will actually see where you are wasting time, where you need more time to accomplish certain tasks (that always seem to be on your to do list) Now you can start to fill in the spaces logically! For instance a huge frustration used to be cleaning. After a long day of teaching, kid rearing and meal prep I would have try once a week to clean the entire house top to bottom. Okay besides that being downright stupid for a Mom with 3 (at the time) kids under 3, I didn't even have enough time in the day to accomplish the task! But separating the cleaning throughout the week (Mopping Mondays, Toilet Tuesdays, Washy Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Foliage Friday~ uh yes, it's that cheesy) I can set aside an hour (most times I finish in less) to clean that one area. Of course throughout the day we straighten, and the kids have chores as well. But this way the floors get vacuumed and mopped once a week, the bathrooms scrubbed, etc.

4. Make it official. Yup, type it out, write it down, share it with the world (or just your family), post it somewhere, talk about it, go over it. I used publisher and have tweaked the schedule many times with the addition of new family members, saving the old printouts just for memory sake. Let everyone know of the changes that are going to happen, what is expected and how you are all going to work together.

5. Ease into it. For me jumping in head first was stressful. Going from no schedule to being "tied to a clock" wasn't a friendly experience. So this year I have been watching the clock and just trying to keep some of the appointments. Having breakfast done by 7:30, starting some laundry at 8:30, getting lunch ready, etc. I am familiarizing myself daily by glancing at what time it is and asking, "what will we be doing at this time?" This week I mainly stayed on top of meals and cleaning. By today we've had clean rooms for a week, laundry caught up and a clean house. Next week we'll add a few more things from the schedule and by the time we are ready to get back into the full swing of things everything will flow naturally!

6. Change what isn't working. Obviously it's your day and life, what you are doing has to work for you otherwise life will be stressful! Make your schedule fit your family, lifestyle, habits and hobbies.

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