Organization of Time by Nicole Carter
Time is a precious commodity. That statement was never more true than for a homeschooling family. There is much to do, and how you manage your time will make your days feel either rushed or relaxed.
(Principles and information taken from the book, The Ultimate Career by - Daryl Hool)
You will never be able to do everything. There is a concept called selective neglect that you would do well to implement. You are going to have to let some things go. Establishing your priorities will help you decide what those things need to be. Get out some paper and a pen and write down a list of your priorities in order of most important to least important. This list will look different for each and every individual. There is no right or wrong here. It is important to determine YOUR priorities, not your mom’s or your friend’s or your neighbor down the street. This list will help you to get the things done first that will make you feel the most accomplished and at peace.
Plan your work, and work your plan:
Fail to plan and plan to fail, or so they say. Having a plan is like having a safety net. It is okay to intentionally deviate from the plan but it is always best to have a plan to fall back on. Planning in advance will save you from the days that you are exhausted and unmotivated. It will save you oodles of energy.
What were those things at the top of your priority list? Make sure you get those things penciled in before you start scheduling anything else. When are you going to clean, exercise, shower, do laundry, do school, go visiting teaching, work on your calling, etc.?
When making your plan, keep the following things in mind:
- Plan in advance
- Do not plan too much
- Allow for prep time
- Allow for recovery time. Many of us forget about how important it is to plan time to recover. This is especially important for children who find it difficult to transition from one activity to the next. If you have time to cook, make sure you have time to clean up afterwards. If you are going on a vacation, make sure you have a day or two to get things unpacked.
Write it down:
Once you have figured out what the elements in your plan need to be in order of priority, and determined when you will do each of these things, you need to write it down!
Use a planner or a calendar or notebook. In order for this to work, you will need to refer to it daily. It is a good idea to refer to your planner in the morning and at night so that you can remember things that you have planned for the next day. “An ounce in the evening is worth a pound in the morning.” Do a few things before you go to bed to make your day go more smoothly.
Post a family calendar where everyone can see it:
Allowing everyone to see what is going on in the family will help everyone to coordinate and help you avoid last minute conflicts. Displaying and using a family calendar will also teach young children how to manage tasks and time.
Use Technology to your Advantage
- Google Calendar : Did you know that google calendar has reminders that you can set to email you or text you on your phone? You can set as many reminders as you need. Never rely on your memory again!
- Habit List: There is a great app for iphone called habit list (there are many others like it). You can keep a list of things that you do regularly and check them off every day. You can put things in that need to come up once a week and it can help you to work your plan.
Helpful Planning Tips:
- Mom is ready first. It is a good practice for mom to be ready for an event an hour before she needs to leave. This habit will help you to avoid any last minute distractions and catastrophes that are sure to arise.
- Remember peoples feelings. Plan on having enough time to prepare for things that you are able to be sensitive to people’s feelings. Remember, people are more important than the plan.
- Add extra time. Plan additional time to give yourself an extra few minutes. This will eliminate an undue amount of stress.
- Allow some flexible time. Life is easy when you are made of rubber than stone. In other words, it is better to bend than to break.
- Be aware of time losing activities – The telephone, facebook, pinterest, the internet, email, etc. Before you know it, you have wasted an hour of your time. Be mindful of when you allow yourself time to invest in these activities.
- Include activities in your schedule that are therapeutic – Make sure that you are doing things that are fun or relaxing to you as well. Your life shouldn't be filled with all work and no play. Make time for date nights and time off.
Mondays – The way that your day goes on Monday will set the tone for your entire week. Use it wisely.
Go to bed early. Get up on Time – “Cease not to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and minds will be invigorated.” – D&C 88:124)
Sleep! Sleep is so important to your success but is one that takes the utmost discipline. Getting up before your children will also help your attitude. It will give you a chance to gather yourself and set the tone for your day rather than having the tone of the day set for you by you children. Many of the most successful people are those who wake up early.
You are the most important cornerstone. Without you, your building will come crashing down. Make sure that you take care of yourself first both physically and emotionally. The stronger that you are the better equipped you will be to lead your family.
*Get showered and dressed first thing in the morning or you will suddenly find that the hours have quickly past and you are still in your exercise clothes or pajamas!
Time Saving Tips:
Do today’s work today:
- Make beds
- Spot clean bathrooms
- Do the dishes
- Keep the laundry current
- Dispose of garbage
- Keep things picked up, wiped off, and put away.
- Put the house to bed before you go to bed. Throw away trash, do dishes, put things in their places and so that they are ready for the next day. Remember that anything you do the night before saves time in the morning.
- Skim before you scour- If you don’t have time for a deep cleaning, skim the room and pick up a few things to tidy up the area. If you only have time or strength to do a few things, keep the kitchen clean, do a couple of loads of laundry, and keep the major rooms in the house tidy.
Do it now, don’t save it for later:
It often takes more time and energy to do things later than if you do it right then and there.
“If you open it, close it;
If you turn it on, turn it off;
If you drop it, pick it up;
If you get it out, put it back;
if you spill it, wipe it up.”
There is no substitute for preparation. Do as much as you possibly can in advance. Prep time is very important in homeschooling. Make sure that you are ready to go for the next day the night before. Plan meals, set aside clothing if necessary, purchase materials in advance. Use your calendar and your to do list.
Time Saving Tools:
- Disposable wipes in the bathrooms for counters and toilets.
- Containers or bins in each room for a quick pick up.
- Crock Pot
- Delay Start cook time on your oven.
- Swiffer vac - you won't need a broom and dust pan and it makes for a quick sweep up.
- Wrinkle care cycle on your dryer.
- emeals - meal planning program and iphone app.
Time Saving Rules:
- Plan your meals before you go grocery shopping. Make sure that you have quick meals, crockpot meals, or freezer meals for busy nights.
- Clean as you go – It is much easier to wipe off a new spill than an old one or to clean a dish before it has had time to sit.
- Don’t allow food all over the house. This will keep you from having to sweep and vacuum and pick up crumbs throughout the house.
- Make children bring in items from the car every time you arrive home from an outing. This will save you from hours of deep cleaning later on.
- Involve the children in daily house chores. Many hands make light work.
- Plan errands ahead. Make the most of your time by planning errands that are nearby each other at the same time.
- Learn to multi task. Fold laundry while you listen to Johnny read, make dinner while you discuss Suzie’s history lesson.
- Learn to say no! This may be the most important. You are going to have to learn that you can’t attend every field trip, co-op, play date, or birthday party. Make sure that your family has down time and that you remember your priorities.
Keep it Simple:
- Sometimes the best plans are the simplest. Don’t be so concerned about the plan that you forget the point of the plan in the first place, to have a happy household.
- Conserve your energy! Don’t put unnecessary stress into your life by over complicating things.
- Everything doesn’t need to be a major production. It is okay to have friends over for pizza instead of a five course meal.
- Not every lesson needs to have fun, hands on activities.
- Not every holiday party needs to be straight out of pinterest.
- Birthdays don’t have to be a major event of the year. Sometimes cake and ice cream and a few friends is all you need.
Tips for feeling successful:
- Do something every day that doesn't have to be done again. (Cleaning out a drawer or throwing something out that you don’t need anymore). This will help you to feel like you are digging yourself out when you know that it won’t pile on again.
- Learn to feel done at the end of the day. Everyone reaches a point where it’s just time to be done. Kick your feet up, relax, and wind down. You did the best you could do, forget the rest.
- Focus on the positive. Think about the success you had that day. Even if you didn’t accomplish everything on your list or even come close, remember those things that you did well; making a child feel loved, reading with your children, having a great conversation with your husband.
Keep the Sabbath:
Revitalize your life by keeping the Sabbath. What a blessing the Sabbath day can be. It is the one day to slow down, relax, and recover. Renewing your covenants and seeking the spirit can rejuvenate you and prepare you for the week. Make Sunday’s a special time to reflect and renew your energy.