I try to take some of the Sunset time each weekend to do a little "preplanning" of the week ahead. One of the most helpful things I can do as I begin is to ask myself the question, "What works?" There are always certain things that have worked over the past month - menus, schedules, attitudes - and, unfortunately, there are usually some things that HAVEN'T worked as well. The start of a new week, and especially a new month, is a wonderful time to take inventory.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my daughter and I were trying out a new plan to get more done. We're still working on getting this transition from child/mom to adult / mom / friend thing worked out, and one of the things that we've found was that we don't work well around each other. It's not that we don't like each other! Not at all! In fact, if anything, we enjoy each other's company a little too much and neither of us are very productive when we're together. We decided we needed two things -- separation and a schedule. Our first job was to create an office space for each of us. Writer Daughter needed a cool, quiet place away from the dogs barking, and I needed a warm, sunny spot that exuded joy, so she took a writing desk that I didn't use anymore and made a cozy office area in the basement, while I settled into a corner of the living room between two windows.
Next, we each jotted down the main categories of things that we wanted to accomplish in a day. Her categories looked something like... morning routine, write, help Mom with house, craft, practice violin, GraceWorks, go to Grandma's. Mine were about the same... morning routine, housework, GraceWorks, cross-stitch, cards, food, music, time to go to Mom's.
Once our lists were complete, I took two Daily sheets and blocked out time for Lunch and Supper, and then gave us each 2 hours from our usual wake up time for our morning routine (breakfast, dogs, shower, quiet time, etc.). Then I filled in our main goals in chunks of time, with a few times that we could meet back together and enjoy each other's company. : )
I tried to schedule my blocks of time so the most important things were done in the morning. That way when we need to run errands or spend time with my Mom in the afternoon, the house stays clean and orderly and my daily blog post is done. In my housekeeping chunk of time in the morning I've been using the list from the Weekly Home Journal and adding things as the Lord brings them to mind. With a concentrated effort for an hour or so each morning, I'm able to finish the weekly list with ease, and then I have time scheduled in the afternoon for outside work, decluttering, or a deep cleaning project
Snack and email time is our time to meet and say hello. : ) And Free Time can be anything from running errands, to making a card, to practicing violin, to making bread, to cross-stitching or mowing the lawn. That is how I get in the hard-to-find-time-for crafting projects a few times a week, even if it is only for a little while.
How about you? What is working? What isn't? Your challenges might be completely different than mine, but there are plenty of page options available to help you as you create your own schedule. Don't be afraid to try something new this month as you Plan to be a Blessing!