Here is a guest article from my dear friend and coach, Cindy Rushton, that she gave me permission to share here. Enjoy!
Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom!
By Cindy Rushton
Does this SPEAK to you? Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing! So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope? Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:
–> Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule! Take time to hear HIS plans for your day. Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction. Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!
–> Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved (even going and coming OR planning the details around that commitment!), has made an indescribable impact on my life! Not to mention, another breeder of chaos in my life was constantly looking for information that needed to be in a dependable place like phone numbers, ordering information, etc. Keeping ONE binder with my information included eliminates the chaos, but it does even more! It gives my brain a rest!
–> Evaluate to find the BEST that God has designed for YOU to do! Sure, there are many “little things” that must be done to manage our homes, but if you are really struggling with balance, discipline yourself to write down everything that you are doing for a little while. Pray over the importance of each and every thing. Time is so very precious. God gives us everything that we need to do all that He has designed for us to do, but He will not anoint those things that will choke out His best for our lives. So, really pray through…think through…weigh out everything. Listen to God for HIS goals for you. Prune those things that are not in line with His goals for you. Get rid of any time wasters. Prioritize every activity, every day! Combine activities that can be done together to make the most of time. Delegate those things that others can do to help you be a good steward of your time. Then, make the most of your time doing the very best things that God has designed for you to do!
–> Write IT down! Yep! Give your brain a break! This may seem to compound your problem, but trust me this will help more than you know! It is NOT another thing to do! Rather, once things are written down, the work is done FOR you! For example, keeping a calendar of events in your planner will help to alleviate conflicts in your schedule. Blocking off plenty of time for each entry will help you to give yourself enough margin left over for LIFE! I may live less than five miles from downtown, but if there is an appointment there, I KNOW to give myself 30 minutes to get there!
Also, I cannot tell you how much my lists from years ago are beginning to really help me! I have lists for school lessons, shopping, traveling, producing the magazines, speaking, etc. I may have to add to my generic list, but I cannot tell you how many times my lists have helped me to be sure that NOTHING was left out or forgotten. Plus, now the planning process is simplified. I just pull out my list, go over the list, add anything that is missing, and get busy! Several of my lists are typed into my computer, ready to print. Talk about EASY planning! Find ways that you can simplify what you are doing—writing it down will probably be one of your first steps too!
–> Keep your STUFF ready to use! Whether your planner or your purse or even your Bible/journal for church, get things together and in their special spot, ready to go. I have a tote that includes all of the things that I need for Church. I keep it together, ready to go. Our school books stay in a milk crate (one for each child), ready to use at the table or to grab for our trips with the business. Everything that we need is ready at all times. My planner stays at my chair, ready to grab to leave the house. So on. Decide on what you need for planning, church, homeschooling, or your business. Get everything together. Find its very best spot for it to be easy to use, but not in the way or forgotten. You will be surprised at how much stress this will alleviate!
–> Put limits on your day! For years, I battled the different aspects of my day that tend to become monsters! Funny thing, I have never seen my family life ever become one of those monsters. My sweetheart and my children are so much more patient than my nasty kitchen! Memories will always wait for schoolwork to be completed. Laughter will always let the business monster rant and rage! The best (but most difficult) lesson of my life to date was that if I wanted the legacy that God had planned for me, then I had to diligently guard the different aspects of life.
I had to consciously purpose to make memories and build relationships with those I love much, much more than a clean house or thriving business or successful homeschool. A whole day can zoom by just on the internet with the business…or working through our lessons…or even re-organizing a closet. Plus, those things wear me down till I am completely zapped! Oh, and then, I am not the nicest person on earth! (ouch—confessions hurt!) While these things are precious and wonderful in their boundaries, I have to CONSTANTLY place limits to insure that we have a balanced life that makes the most of each day AND builds a legacy.
Need MORE Help?
How about the ULTIMATE mom-time? Yep! Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2010! Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, the very first online homeschool convention. She is recording Preview Chats for the 2010 Ultimate Homeschool Convention RIGHT NOW! Join her wonderful guests FREE as they count down to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo (May 3-7, 2010–BUT! NEVER ENDING because it is an ONLINE Convention!). Check out all of the details here: http://tiny.cc/pa2ci