Another Wednesday! Time for Building our Homes Together over at Prairie Flower Farm! This week I decided to share some of my simple strategies for time management.
(First, a disclaimer: If you are what FlyLady calls “Born Organized”, you will probably not want to bother reading this post. It is not news to you. You were born knowing this information. In fact, you will wonder why on earth anyone would bother to write this stuff down. But Sidetracked Home Executives like me may find it helpful.)
For several years now, I’ve been praying that the Lord will help me to grow in the area of time management. It’s been very exciting to me to see real, measurable progress in this area!
I’ve learned that it helps me to make a schedule for the week (and I’ve created my own weekly calendar form to help me with this) and to write out a tentative schedule for each day. Elizabeth George uses the illustration of putting flowers in a vase. If you just stuff the whole bunch of flowers in the vase, it will probably look fine -- but not as nice as it could look if you placed each flower where it would looks its best. And in the same way, we can just try cramming activities into our day helter-skelter. We will probably still accomplish quite a bit -- but not as much as we could do if we thought about where to best put each activity on our to-do list. This simple concept has helped me so much!
But recently (and I know this is an answer to prayer because I would never have thought of it on my own!) I’ve begun seeing how the same concept applies to the 15 to 30-minute segments of my day as well. Take tonight, just for an example. Here’s what I had to do in a few minutes after supper:
* Fill the coffee maker with water for tomorrow.
* Wash dishes.
* Put away leftovers.
* Package up some raw chicken breasts for the freezer.
What I would probably do instinctively would be this: put away leftovers, wash the dishes, package the chicken, and fill the coffee maker.
But I actually found myself thinking through what I had to do and what would be the most efficient use of my time. So here’s what I did:
* Put away the leftovers. (They were sitting on the counter right in front of the coffee maker, and if I left them there, I knew I would invariably drip water on them. Since I would have to move them anyway, why not just put them away?)
* Filled the coffee maker. That takes cold water, so if I filled the sink with hot dishwater first, I would be diluting the hot water.
* Filled the sink with hot soapy water and washed the dishes. Did not empty the water out.
* Packaged up the chicken. Now I have a sink full of hot soapy water to clean my hands in after handling the chicken.
Okay, this may come instinctively to everyone else. But not to me! I am so happy to see how God orders my days, hours, and even my minutes when I truly desire to use each minute for His glory and seek His help in doing so!
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