We have no schedule, zero consistency, for months at a time in the summer. When our kids were in public school, the schedule that was dictated to us, became THEE schedule and it was enforced. So we had to participate in it. Sure we were late every darn Thursday…I don’t know why Thursday, please don’t ask but…literally every Thursday. But there were consequences when we were late. There were calls from the office or tardy passes. Now that we are on our own schedule, I SUCK at making one. We have activities that occur at scheduled times, but other than those, we’ve been on our own. We don’t have a school schedule, I work from home (mostly) so I don’t have a set work time schedule. We don’t schedule in what time we are going to do our school work, or go to the library, or anything. And I’m sort of stuck in this place where I KNOW we should.
Hello, my name is Mary, and I am a terrible manager of time. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
Key Time Wasters:
FaceBook – It’s a black hole. Sure my work is on there and I love keeping up to date with friends. But I do not need to watch a video of a cat on a surfboard, nor do I need to read 1,346 comments on a thread about chicken coops. But it happens. Often.
Asking Children to do something – Or rather the follow through. I swear to God in Heaven I have to tell them to brush their teeth 17 times in the morning. I ask. I get distracted. They haven’t done it. I ask again. That cat on the surfboard just found some cool rollerskates. I tell them. I get a text message I feel I need to respond to. They are now spinning frisbees on their head in the living room and their teeth are not brushed. I DEMAND they do it now. I just realized no one fed the dog. They have disappeared upstairs and I don’t even know what they are doing…teeth unbrushed. It leads me to my third time waster…
Getting Angry – Such a waste of time and energy. I am mad their teeth are not brushed. I spend time stuck in my head about being mad and time endlessly telling 4 smallish children exactly how and why they managed to make me so frustrated. They have (I’m sure) stopped listening because I’m ranting and probably not making sense. I don’t feel good. They don’t feel good. No one feels good. Then we need time to cool down.
Setting up and planning – Ever have the best intentions to do something spontaneous and fun and then completely lose an hour figuring out how to do it or getting ready to do it and then it’s not even fun anymore? That’s me. Hey! Let’s go make a snowman! COOL! 45 minutes later trying to find hats and gloves and coats and scarves and boots that fit (because they never fit after they wear them that one time). And then we need to find something for eyes and a scarf for the snowman and 15 other things to make it the best snowman ever, and then we are exhausted and we haven’t even been in the snow yet! Our best intentions go awry when we get lost in the planning and unorganized preparation. Everyone is sweating in their parka inside the 70 degree kitchen and they don’t even want to go outside anymore.
Making Decisions – Want to kill an hour? Ask your family of 6 what they want for dinner and try to agree. Try to make everyone happy and see where that gets you. I’ll tell you where it gets you. Hangry.
So what do we do? I’ve been trying to surround myself with more organized people. Organization is probably one of my biggest character flaws, along with being late, but I’m pretty sure that the disorganization is the thing that causes the lateness, so truly it’s just a subset of the same problem. I’m taking suggestions from people who inspire me to get more done. People who are GOOD at managing time. And people with SYSTEMS.
I want to live in a home that runs efficiently. That is organized so it makes sense. I want to be a person who has set working hours (for the most part) with a task list daily of the things that will get done that day. But I want to maintain my spontaneity. I think it’s one of my strongest suits. Am I asking too much?
I bought a chore chart (with shiny star stickers) and a planner and we have two separate magnetic calendars on the fridge. I’m ready to minimize the things we have so we can find the ones we need. I am ready to make changes.
If I don’t make it out the other side, please send a search party to the dry bath tub where I’ll be hiding with a bottle of wine and sad 80’s music, regretting my life choices and coping with my inability to organize myself.