Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Club Week 6

This week's chapter is subtitled Scheduling.  (In case you are just popping in, we are reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and discussing a chapter each week.)

Scheduling is one of my favorite topics! I love routine. I love doing things the same way in the same order day after day, whether it is my homeschool, my housework, my errands, or my hobbies and interests. However, I have failed at scheduling a regular blogging time for almost two years now. The older my children get it seems the less discretionary time I have.  I have every intention of blogging on a regular basis, but I have failed to figure out how to fit this into my daily routine. As I reread Better Than Before, I hope I can troubleshoot this. I would love to blog 5-6 days a week like I used to!

One of the quotes I like from this chapter is, "Scheduling also forces us to confront the natural limits of the day." (Rubin 73). As much as I like to cram my planner with "to do" items each morning, the reality is that there is only so much time in the day. For the most part, the items I schedule on a regular basis get done. I have a few non negotionables (like homeschool, cooking supper, Bible reading, laundry), and those things are easy for me to do each day. It's the sometimes items that cause me so much trouble. Gretchen refers to these as fixed  and unfixed habits. Some of my unfixed habits that require decision making are running, blogging, extra chores like bills and online banking, emailing, and now wedding planning. Trying to fit these things into my already full days is hard!

For example, right now I have the goal of running 20 miles each week. That means that I don't have to run 7 days a week. I usually meet Leanna one morning a week for a 6+mile run. That leaves me 14 miles or less to run alone each week. Every week I wrestle with what days to run? How many miles each day? If I skip Wednesday, then I may have to run Saturday.....on and on I go through this in my mind, every. single. week. But for Crossfit, it's a non-decision. The class meets at 1:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I cannot go on Wednesday because of the English class I teach on Wednesday afternoons. So I go on Mondays and Fridays, unless I am out of town. (or if it' s December and I have a million things to do to get ready for Christmas and my college girls and their fiances are here, so I skip Crossfit for 6 weeks!) Why can't I workout a set-in-stone routine for running? Even after consistently running for 10 years!

I love the power hour that Gretchen discusses. This is one of those ideas that I really want to try, but I have not yet. I have no problem creating the power hour list. It's finding the hour to do it in!

One more thing I gleaned from this chapter is that our habits must be sustainable. I tend to always want to try new things (in some areas), and I often set unrealistic expectations for myself.

What about you? Do you like to schedule your habits? Do you have any tips for someone who cannot seem to find time to do certain tasks?

Happy Reading!


  1. I tend to like scheduling some things and not others. Like--I love getting up at 5/5:30 for Bible study and coffee, followed by exercise. That's something I Just love and look forward to doing. I like knowing that Wednesday is grocery store day, Friday is library day, and that kind of thing. But within the scaffolding I like to have lots of flexibility. So each day I do my Bible study, my workout (about 4-5 days a week--typically I take Sunday and one other day off), my morning chores, making meals and cleaning up after them, and usually a load or two of laundry. Otherwise I like a lot of wiggle room. Today we got really involved in our math lesson and just kept doing it....and then when we finished we were tired so I let my children read books on their own and play instead of following the plan for the rest of the school day. (This is a luxury I have because my oldest is only 9! I know it won't be the same when he's in high school.) I like to gauge the mood and energy level of our family and then choose what to do--watch a documentary on butterflies or read a book for science, for instance? Do a math worksheet or play a math game? That kind of thing.

    I'd LOVE to create time to write more, but realistically speaking (this is where my typed schedule comes in handy)--it's not happening right now. Like, I don't think it's physically possible.

    Love the power hour idea, too. I think I'd have to psych myself up to do it, though! I kind of do this daily in small spurts--10-15 minutes here or there. I do think it helps me get things done.

    1. Thanks for always chiming in!

      I think I can have a power 2 hours each Thursday afternoon to work on wedding stuff. I also try to fit little things in throughout the day instead of saving them for one power hour.

      I have finally reached a sleep schedule that I think is working for me. Usually 4-5 days each week I set my alarm for 5:00. The other days I "sleep in", which means I sleep until 5:30-6:30. But not setting the alarm for 2-3 days each week allows me to get some extra sleep.