HOMEmakers Challenge - It's About Time!

It's about time we claim back our hours --- our minutes.

Do you ever feel like you have [or want] to do several things throughout the day but never manage to get to them? Homemaking is a never-ending role that requires a bit of time management. In order to help keep up with the demands of life, caring for our husbands, and children, we need to make time for things on a regular basis. Unfortunately, life doesn't just hand us more time when we run out. It's up to us to manage our time and make the most of it.

Clock by brotherscott, on Pix-O-Sphere

I will freely admit, I am pretty bad with time management [hence this challenge]. If I could tweak my days to include a few consistencies, it's surprising what I'd get done. For some of you,this weeks challenge might be an ugly word. It can seem restrictive, repetitive, and ridiculous, and trust me, at times I share the notion! But I'm coming to find, it is better than the alternative: watching day after day go by and being left with a feeling of things undone. Not just with housework, but even as a mother, an individual, and a follower of Christ. It's about time we reclaim the minutes and make the most of them.

Teri Maxwell says in her book Managers of Their Homes:

It takes a conscious decision to be in charge of our homes and children rather than letting them be in charge of us.

In other words, we need to be deliberate about how we spend our time in order to make the most of it--to be most efficient. Here this is the key: when we make the time on a consistent basis to manage things in the home, they won't become unmanageable. Once we continually invest time in each area, very little time will be required to maintain it (as long as we're making the time to maintain). We would actually save time, in the end. The idea is to make the time to care for our homes and families. A homemaker is not just a keeper of her home, but of her husband and children as well--even if it's not full time.

For some of you, it will only require a bit of adjustment to your schedule or routine. For others, it may mean creating a schedule or routine altogether. That's where this weeks challenge comes in.

This weeks challenge:

Create a schedule --or routine.

I understand not everyone is wired to keep a schedule. However, I truly believe that we can all benefit by having some kind of form and regularity to our days. More would get accomplished as we make the conscious effort to make the time for it. Below I have shared a copy of our schedule. We don't follow it verbatim---as a matter of fact, there is much of it I don't follow at all. Precisely why I feel as if I'm not accomplishing as much as I could be.

Steps to take:

  1. Sit and write down (or type up) some of those everyday essentials, whether they are being completed or not. Take care to include things that you have wanted to get done but haven't been making the time for.
  2. List them in a table (in MS Word) or spreadsheet (in MS Excel).
  3. Follow the schedule at least one day this coming week. This is important because you need to see the benefits of actually working the schedule. It does no good left on paper (trust me)!
  4. Share your schedule in a blog post along with some of the challenges you were faced with in regards to time management. Tell us what some of your most trying issues are when it comes to time management. What was most difficult for you in following the schedule? What was easy?
  5. Share some encouraging thoughts or scriptures.
  6. If you are already following a well planned routine or schedule, don't think you're off the hook!! This is your opportunity to share with us what your family does and encourage those who may be struggling in this area. What works for you? How do you keep moving forward when things seem mundane? Be sure to share your schedule--whether you upload it or simply take a picture (or type it up).

Need more help in making a schedule? Check out Tell Your Time. It's an instant download, a quick read, practical, and easy to implement.

Below you will find my schedule. Click on it to enlarge. If you can't read it, set the zoom to 100%.

Family Schedule Winter 2011 MOTH

My challenges have been being disciplined enough to follow the schedule. I find each of the things I listed rather important to our family and want to spend that time consistently working at them. However, it's easy for me to "forget the schedule" when the house appears clean or the children are happily playing. When I don't take the time to do the little bit of cleaning there is, the next day, it becomes a lot more cleaning--and I have less time to do it in. When I try to get the younger children to sit with me to do a formal lesson, I am met with resistance simply because I have been inconsistent. They no longer know what to expect or what's expected of them.

On the contrary, I cannot begin to express the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment I get when I do follow our schedule. Let me tell you, it gives me a peace and joy that is so soothing to my spirit! It doesn't come solely from following a schedule. It comes from knowing that I have accomplished much of what I believe is important and necessary for running my household and nurturing my children. The schedule is merely a tool. It is meant to be a guide. It must be made flexible to make room for unexpected life happenings--good or bad.

Ladies, I do so look forward to seeing what you have to share with us next week. Do not be discouraged if you have tried this in the past. Let's try again--together. Let us not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9), and let's make the most of every opportunity we have (Eph. 5:15-17).

You can link up your exact post any time throughout the next week. I would like to keep the link-ups and the post with the actual challenge together so others may easily find it in the future, and so you can come back to it without having to search it out. So be sure to come back and link up your post to this post within the next week (typically before the next challenge goes up next week!) You are free to utilize the buttons below:

  • Save the button to your computer
  • Upload it to your blog
  • Link back here so others can find us and join in

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