Friends, I am so excited about this series!!! I loved hearing your guesses — everything from another round of Marvelous Mama to an extended personal finance guide (both of which sound marvelous, by the way) — but dare I say what we have planned is even better…?
A month or two ago, I was searching on Nancy’s blog for something when I stumbled upon the “organization” series she wrote in 2014. I remembered loving the posts when they were originally written, but as I re-read them, it hit me how much her life had changed in the last four years! I thought about how I would love for her to revisit the same topics, and then realized that they dovetailed perfectly with the most-requested topic from my reader survey last year: rhythms, habits, and routines. How do I make space and time for what matters most in all areas of my life? How do I get things done? How do I do it???
Well, I most certainly do not have all the answers, but one thing I have been given is a confidence in the decisions we make for our family and a willingness to share them. So here we are! Nancy was totally game for a revisit when I proposed the idea to her, and what I love most about this is that throughout this series, you’ll get to hear from two people who have similar hearts but different ways of living them out. There is no one right way to do things! Instead of a prescription, we hope to offer you inspiration, ideas, tools, tips, and encouragement. I am so excited. I also have WAY too much to say on each topic and am already having to rein myself in, ha!
Let’s start at the beginning: with time.
Readers who’ve been here awhile know I’ve written about this topic before, and I would definitely encourage you to check out those two posts! The most important takeaways: I have a permanent moratorium on the phrase time is flying by, the response busy but good, and anything else that sounds remotely similar. I also have learned to embrace this paradox: time is both precious and plentiful. To have as much time as I need for the things I want, I must be ruthless about not filling time with things I don’t care about or that aren’t a priority for me.
So let’s start there. What do I NOT do? Here are a few from a very long list of things. In general, I do not…
— Paint my nails
— Browse in stores or go to the mall
— Wash my hair every day
— Clean (well, I do clean – ha! But I pretty much do the bare minimum and let the rest slide.)
— Tidy (again, I do this – but there are MANY days and hours when things are NOT in their proper place.)
— Sell clothing I’m getting rid of (I just donate it.)
— Scroll on Facebook
— Get together with girlfriends (except for Articles Club and a neighborhood book club)
— Switch my accessories (I wear pearl studs and my wedding and engagement rings and that’s it.)
— Own a dog
— Text (pretty much only with my family and only in reply to texts sent to me)
— Curate my Instagram (I am a stylist by trade – if I spent more time on it, it would look different!)
— Binge watch TV shows
Are any of these things bad? Not at all. But in a full season, I have to say a firm no to good things to make way for better things. (Things like puzzles with June, prayer, making dinner for my family every night, reading, weekly calls with my sisters, evening walks, writing on EFM, and SLEEP. I love sleep and get 8-9 hours every night.) I look forward to doing some of these things in other seasons. Your list might look very different from mine, but it’s important that you have it.
An integral tool for helping me prioritize my time and clarify my yeses and nos: PowerSheets. Y’all have heard me talk about them extensively at the end of each year and in my monthly goal posts, but they deserve a mention here, too!
As for how I organize my time from day to day, I am a paper calendar gal. In fact, I am an old-school paper calendar gal: I use an *original* Simplified Planner, purchased in 2012, which is really just a pretty blue binder that I fill with printable monthly calendar pages. And yes, though bulky, it travels to and from work with me every day I’m in the office! :)
Why paper? I want to see every event on every day of the month at the same time. So much of what I’m scheduling needs to happen in relation to other things, and I hate having to click back and forth between days or switch between the day view and the month view so I can see every event happening on a certain day.
You can read more about how I use my Planner here.
A Lindsay Letters Creatives calendar is the newest addition to our home, and I think it will become increasingly important as kiddos grow and our schedule gets more complicated! It hangs in our kitchen, and at the beginning of every month I transfer over from my Planner events that affect both of us as well as our meal plan for the week. We’ve only had it for a short while, but so far it has been super helpful to get John and I on the same page!
A final tip: there is NOTHING in my life that makes me feel more like I’ve wasted time or that I don’t have enough time than scrolling on social media. Nothing. If your schedule/life feels out of your control and you spend any amount of time on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, that might be a good (though hard) place to start. More about this and my social media boundaries later in the series :)
Friends, I hope this post was helpful for you and that you’re excited for what’s to come!! Don’t forget to read Nancy’s post here. And just to give you the lay of the land, here’s what we have planned for the next seven weeks:
January 16: Finances
January 23: Home
January 30: Personal Life
February 6: Work
February 13: Relationships
February 20: Spiritual Life
February 27: Kids
How do y’all manage your time? Are you a paper or electronic calendar gal? What do you say no to? I’d love to hear!!
Affiliate links are used in this post!