Monday, October 10, 2016

15 Minutes

So I haven't blogged in almost a month.  In fact, blogger had signed me out.

I have struggled with time management for quite some time now.  Homeschooling, homemaking, housework, parenting, marriage, family, friends, service, outside the home obligations, etc., The same things most other women are trying to balance.  Most days I succumb to the tyranny of the urgent, and I am tired. of. doing. that.

This morning while I was running and listening to Gretchen Rubin on her podcast (love her podcast, by the way), I was reminded of a couple of things that have been game changers in my day today.

1. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.  That has been one of my problems. I have slipped into all or nothing mode in a few key areas of my life, and so since the urgent shouts so loudly most days, the all has mostly become nothing. Now I am still cooking, schooling, and keeping up with the laundry, but house cleaning, lesson planning, wedding planning, extended Bible reading, letter writing, blogging, making phone calls, visiting others, hosting people for meals, and such have been neglected because I have been waiting for the perfect big block of time to work on or do those things.

2. Something that can be done "anytime" ends up being done at "no time". This really goes along with point #1 (that's the number sign, not a hash tag!) I find myself putting the same things over and over on my daily to do lists.

So. What to do? Well, today I chose to not let perfect be the enemy of good and do some things that can be done at anytime today. I also relied on my old stand-by, my timer. I can accomplish so much in 15 minutes if I know that timer is ticking.

In my perfect world, my entire house would be clean from top to bottom in one day. Once a week. And it would not get too dirty in between.

Today, instead of aiming for perfection, I chose to clean part of my house while my children were doing their chores. I ended up having about 30 minutes, and I scrubbed my shower door (Bar Keeper's Friend mixed with water to make a paste and scrubbed on with a kitchen scrubbing pad does the trick!), cleaned the rest of my bathroom, vacuumed, and mopped the floor.   While they ran, I cleaned my bedroom (dusted, vacuumed, mopped). Yay!  Part of my house clean.

I won't have this block of time to clean every morning, but today I did so I chose to take advantage of it. I found some time to blog tonight. It's almost time for me to read to the kids before bedtime, but I knew I had about 45 minutes. The laundry is all folded and put away. The kitchen is clean. The coffee pot is set up for tomorrow morning. I set my timer for 15 minutes and connected to the internet.....The timer actually chimed about 3 paragraphs ago, but I am about to wrap this up.

I am now going to read Pride and Prejudice (for the English class I teach) in the remaining minutes until the kids' bedtime.

Redeeming the time.  One day at a time.  I hope to have another spare moment to blog again tomorrow. I will try not to wait for the perfect time but strive to take advantage of a small window of time.

1 comment:

  1. Perfection is definitely the enemy of productivity, in my opinion!

    A friend and I were discussing this recently. She has 5 young children and loves to sew, work in the yard...she also homeschools and has a small part-time job.....I have 2 children and I love to sew, work on home improvement projects, knit, read, teach Shakespeare at my co-op, garden.....we agreed that balance is not a day-to-day thing. It's more like a weekly goal. I almost never have a day that is perfectly balanced between doing laundry, cleaning, school, exercise, hobbies, prayer, etc. But during the course of 1-2 weeks, I can see a pattern of balance. It's just that some days are heavy on some things, and other days are heavy on others. When she and I had that revelation, I felt so much better! I realized that it was okay that some days I can spend only 15 minutes doing a quick cleaning chore but on another day I might have an hour or two to tackle a deeper cleaning job...same thing w/ cooking, hobbies, etc.

    The only things I cannot "balance" like that are laundry (I just have to do it each day, usually), cleaning the kitchen (we all know that can't wait!), and exercise (one session of a three-hour workout once a week won't cut it! ha!).