“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here with some tips for those of you with kids at home, taken from my Time Management for Part-time Writers conference class, Five Ways to Stay Sane while Raising Cain (or Jane).
Although my kids are done being kids, I’ve learned a few secrets—mostly the hard way—of managing my time when I had only scraps of it to manage. I hope these help and encourage you.
- Give God the first portion of your day, He’ll give back to you the time you need to accomplish your goals. Giving and receiving works for time as well as money, and you cannot out give the Lord. You can read your Bible while baby naps or sits in her bouncy seat at your side. You can pray while you do laundry, cook, and take a shower. God is your best ally in the war against insanity and overload!
2. Utilize wee snippets of time to work on big projects. Of course, you’d rather have three hours at a time than ten minutes while Daddy bathes Sophie. But never underestimate the power of little chunks of time to accomplish big goals. Even God created the universe in increments. He is able and willing to help you create your masterpiece in portions.
3. Flush the perfect house fantasy. Be willing to let the bed go rumply, hubby to make supper, or the laundry to pile up for a few days. I don’t mean it’s okay to live like Jonah in the whale’s belly—with seaweed in your hair and nothing to eat—but if you need a pristine abode, you’ll have to wait ‘til Claude and Claudette grow up to start a writing career.
4. Simplify your environment and life. The more clothes to clean, toys to pick up, and meetings to attend, the more discombobulated you’ll feel. And the less you’ll accomplish. Get rid of half your junque and most of you memberships. Now you’re free to focus on people and your dreams.
5. Put no more than five items on your to do list each day. I know it sounds crazy, since you have 100 things to accomplish each day. If you write down 45 and only get five done, you’ll beat yourself up for not being more productive. But if you only write down five, when you get those done, you can add more, along with a feeling of accomplishment.
What time monsters attack you most often? What secrets have you found for managing your days?