Have you ever gone to bed at night wondering where your day went?
There have been so many days that I glance up at my clock and see that it’s time for dinner already and I have nothing to show for my day.
This is not a new problem. The Bible warns us against idleness, and we’re told in Proverbs 31 that the virtuous woman does not eat the bread of idleness.
Over the past months and years, I have tried to be more intentional about my schedule. I still allow for margin in my day, but I’m more intentional about how I spend my time, even in resting and relaxing.
Start Your Day Well
I have written more about that here, but it’s so important to have a good morning routine to get your day off to a great start.
For me this includes:
- Get up early. This is relative. I’m certainly not saying that everyone should get up at 5:00 a.m. However, being up at a reasonable hour will give you more time in your day to get things done. Whether you get up at 5:00 or 8:00, the point here is not to sleep the day away.
- Start your day with something productive. For me this is making my bed. Maybe you don’t care about a made bed, but start your day with something productive early on. It sets the tone for the day.
- Read your Bible. This is a non-negotiable part of my day. It’s so important. It’s a valued time of my day and the Lord has blessed and ministered to me so much during it.
Dress for Success
Research has shown that people are more productive when they are dressed for it. That’s not to say you should be dressed to the nines everyday. I don’t get “dressed up” every day. But taking a shower and changing out of the jammies and yoga pants will certainly put you in a more productive, ready-to-greet-the-day mindset.
Hint: This is also a good practice because you never know when you’ll have an unexpected visitor. Once when we were renting our male landlord showed up at my house at 7:00 am to address a problem we were having! I was so glad that I had the practice of rising early and getting fully dressed.
Pray Over Your To-Do List
Sounds a bit silly, perhaps, but this is something I have been doing for a while now, and I talk about it a bit more in depth in my Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make to really surrender your to-do list over to the Lord. Give it to Him. Allow Him to decide what your priorities should be and what you should do.
It’s also helpful to narrow down and prioritize your to-do list. Have a specific plan, and not a list of 25 things that you couldn’t possibly do. It’s disheartening to keep carrying over the same items to the next day.
Or at least, stop trying to multi-task. Research shows that multitasking is a bit of a myth. In most cases, it doesn’t work effectively. Yes, in some cases it works and is necessary, but there are days when I have “multitasked” all day long and ended up with a to-do list full of partially completed chores, and nothing completely finished.
Whenever possible, finish one task before moving on to the next.
Give Yourself a Break
I know this is kind of opposite my first point, but we all need rest. Be sure you’re getting enough rest each night, and that you’re being realistic in your expectations of yourself.
We could never be completely caught up on everything involved with housekeeping and homemaking. It just isn’t possible. There is always something that needs to be done. But we have to also make time to enjoy the lives we’re building.
For our family, that means work ends and family time begins after supper clean up. We relax together as a family. We play board games. We spend sweet time tucking our boys in at bedtime–praying with them, reading them bedtime stories, and talking about our day. After bedtime my husband and I spend time together as a couple. We don’t stress about what needs done. We do a 10-minute tidy up before the boys head to bed and everything else can wait until the next day.
Stop Wasting Time
Be aware of your personal time wasters and make it a point to avoid them, at least until your work is finished. There are some things I do throughout the day (scrolling through facebook!) that aren’t edifying or productive. While we do need to take time to rest and refill our tank, there are some things that just flat out waste time. Make it a point to avoid those things!
Even though we can never get it all done, rest is so much sweeter when you know you’ve worked diligently and been as productive as possible throughout the day.
Related Articles & Resources
- Plan your Planner with Agendio
- 4 Things I do Every Morning
- Make Over Your Mornings
- The Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal
- How to Take Care of Yourself as a Busy Mom