As busy moms, sometimes it can feel as if we are being pulled in every direction at once. We have soccer, little league, church activities, organizations, serving others, and maybe even a full-time or part time job on top of it all. We have meals to prepare, a house to clean, and the hours in the day can seem just too short.
In the midst of all this, there is a fact that we sometimes forget…You control your schedule.
If we are so busy that we don’t make time for Him, or that we are harried and frazzled, and grumpy to our families, then maybe we are too busy.
It’s hard to make our homes havens if we are never there. Even harder if we are grumpy and frazzled when we are there.
Control Your Schedule
Every commitment should be weighed heavily and prayed over. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything. It just means that we should be more intentional about it, realizing that every “yes” is also a “no” to something else.
The secret to peace in your schedule is learning to say “no.”
In putting together my Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal, I ran across this quote from Elisabeth Elliot
“If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”
Sometimes we need to remove things from our schedules.
Plan & Prepare
Maybe you’ve already whittled down your schedule and there is nothing left but necessary things. Sometimes there really isn’t anything we can remove from the schedule.
I’ve seen many people say that they don’t like to plan because it’s too constricting. I would argue the opposite. Your schedule, routine, or plan is not a restriction. The 24 hours we each get in a day is the restriction.
Having a plan for your day allows you to be more flexible, because you are at the reigns. Don’t let your day happen to you (that’s a good way for me to waste too much time on facebook!). Be actively engaged with your day, and see how much more productive and content you can be, even with a full schedule.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting down the night before, or first thing in the morning and getting a mental handle on what you have coming up, and making any preparations that could help it run more smoothly.
Here are some more practical steps you can take to gaining peace in your schedule:
- Pray. Pray over commitments before taking on new things. Pray over your to-do list. Pray, pray, pray. And, for Heaven’s sake, don’t ever be too busy for reading your Bible and spending time with the Lord.
- Prioritize. You can’t do it all. Accept it. And once you accept it, prioritize. What things are most important to your family? Once you have decided this, make sure your schedule reflects it. If your actions don’t reflect your values, you will feel constant tension in your spirit.
- Value family time. Family time shouldn’t be what happens only on the rare occasion that there isn’t something else to do. Family time should be something that you schedule around. Something that you are committed to making sure it happens.
- Embrace Routines. We will never have our lives scheduled out down to 15 minute increments. That just isn’t us. However, routines can be powerful in getting things done. Find something that works for your family and use it to take control of your time.
- Take care of yourself. If you are over-committed, it can be tempting to forsake your health in the name of productivity. Maybe you skip meals for lack of time, grab processed convenience food on the go, or you stay up too late/get up too early and aren’t getting the rest you need. We need rest to be able to function to the best of our ability, and to joyfully serve our families (a lack of rest brings out grumpy mom!)
- Leave Margin. If you have every second of your day scheduled with something, you are setting yourself up for failure. Things come up, and we need to leave margin for dealing with those unexpected things.
Additional Articles & Resources
- Make Over Your Morning—A 14-day ecourse from Crystal Paine (money saving mom) to help you manage your time and life by starting your mornings out right. It’s a great course!
- FREE Household Planner–This is one of the best household planners I have seen, and it is completely free. There are some upgrades available for pay, but scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address to get the free version of the planner. It is very detailed.
- My Time is Not My Own
- The Best Yes (book)
- Tell Your Time (book)
- Filling the Time Jar
A few months ago, I learned about Inner Guide planners. This planner is absolutely amazing! It’s not just a schedule of times and events. It is a life planner. There are spaces for just about everything in this planner, and it includes monthly planning pages as well as weekly. Love it!
And, they are generously giving one away to one of you!