I was really hoping that I would be able to conquer this issue over my blog break and tell you all how to conquer it as well. I know many of my readers battle with schedules just like me.
I did learn WHY I hated them...there are basically 2 reasons.
One is my lack of discipline and me doing everything by how I FEEL. If I schedule to do something at 10:00 and I don't FEEL like doing it...I almost become a child who has to do homework. I have an inner temper tantrum. How stupid? Many times I say skip it, and then it condemns me all day.
Since I've gotten a puppy, God has used his "bodily functions" as a great tool for me. It's amazing how NOT cleaning up dog poop is such a great motivator. I have him on a strict schedule and whenever I venture off of it I have something nasty to clean up.
I really believed the past couple months, and more recently, that God wants me to run off of a schedule. However, whenever I start one something always happens to mess it up. (This is my 2nd reason)
For example...let's talk about this past Monday. My son's school does not have a spring break, instead they tack on that week after Winter Vacation. So after having him home for 3 weeks and going back to school on the 14th, I was pumped to get a system going. I also was going to begin the Good Morning Girl's Luke study. I had everything prepared the night before. Once hubby left for work I would start on my study. I had times for certain things and certain chores to do and so on.
Here I was, believing God wants me to get over my hatred for schedules and to get going on one.
Well that Jan 14th morning, my difficult, high needs child, decided to wake up at 4:45 in the morning! He normally doesn't wake up until after 8!!! My whole morning and studies went right out the window. I was so frustrated with God. After all HE'S been the one pushing me to do this!!!
But has He?
I honestly don't know. Seriously, I'm lost with this.
I DO know He wants me to be more diligent with the housecleaning and not letting things slide.
I DO know He wants me to go the extra mile with my homemaking
I DO know He wants me to do all my cleaning joyfully
I DO know He wants me to be more responsible
There are a ton more things that I DO know.
But I don't understand why He keeps bringing schedules in my face and when I try to apply them, something out of the norm happens to mess them up.
Same thing happens when I decide to start an exercise program.
I have been praying that I go with the flow more. Maybe that's a kind of prayer like when you ask for more patience? We all know what happens when we pray for THAT don't we lol?!
That Monday morning was extremely stressful. I even posted on Facebook for you all to pray for me. I was so overwhelmed to the point I was fighting off tears. If my BIL wasn't here I probably would of sobbed. He did not leave me alone. In the span of about 15 minutes he asked me for at least 50 different requests and I think THAT is actually an understatement. He just followed me around all day asking me for different things. I couldn't have a complete thought all day. And then I wonder why my memory stinks lately! He went around screaming and whining all day. Needless to say my new (and now unused) schedule went out the window.
(See bottom of this post for an UPDATE about this)
HOWEVER, I think I found a system that DOES work for me. And it cost me less than $2.
I LOVE checklists. I love the satisfaction of crossing off something that I did. However I don't want to have to rewrite them everyday (I did that a few years ago lol), I don't want to print them off all the time and I never had luck with doing the sheet protector and dry erase marker technique.
I DID find an app that I absolutely love! I'm not big into buying apps. I'm cheap and like the freebies. I downloaded (for free - I didn't realize it was only a trial and after 2 weeks would cost money...but I loved it so much I bought it). It is called FlyHelper Personal Organizer. It's based on the Flylady system but if you do NOT like Flylady you can still use it. I don't follow Flylady but I LOVE this app.
Let me talk about this app. First off HERE is the link to get an idea and then you can search it on your phone.
When you open up the app this is what you first see:
Under ROUTINES is where I do everything on here. There is a Morning button, Afternoon, Evening, Weekly and Monthly buttons. You add all your routines to here and you get to check them off. If you have to do things at a certain time or you are a schedule type person you can enter in your task like this: "8:00 School".
Here is a picture of their evening routine...as you can see it's not in English lol
As you complete a task, you click on the check box. A check mark appears and it crosses off the task. You can also reorder the tasks however you want by using the reorder button.
Each morning I click on the tasks button on the bottom and choose "Mark all open." If you click on REMOVE tasks it will end up DELETING them (I learned that the hard way)
I have come up with a list of weekly cleaning tasks along with monthly tasks. Instead of scheduling what days I do them, I throw them all under those 2 categories and pick and choose which ones I want to do. It's amazing what checking off a box can motivate me to do! (I think THIS is my cleaning plan). Note: I do not clear these every morning like I do the Morning, Afternoon, Evening routines. I also add to the weekly routine my exercise plans, my weekly manicure (that I do at home), and other similar items. Even on my morning, afternoon and evening routines I have added drinking water. I LOVE checking things off so even the simplest of things (like waking up lol) I add to it.
The TASKS button is more of a random to-do list. If you have to make phone calls, run a certain errand, basically anything that you don't do every day (so it doesn't go under any routines) you would add here just like you would the routines.
Now the ZONES are a little different (I don't use them). This is Flylady all the way. This is what it looks like:
Those little gear looking circles you can click on and edit that list. So you can customize each zone and then click them as you do them.
I don't use the MEAL PLANNER since hubby does most of the cooking. They don't have any pictures of that one but it looks just like the routines picture.
The DAY PLAN is actually a link to Flylady's website, specifically to her launch pad. They do have a picture of that:
There is also a timer for those who like to use them. You can see that on the first pic on the bottom left corner.
This is such a great app. Again, like I said, I normally don't spend money on apps but this one is worth every penny! Less than 200 of them lol!
So maybe an actual schedule isn't my thing. Maybe checklists are? Of course there are things that I do at certain times and I have the times written next to the task.
I think the combination of checklists and being diligent and CONSISTENT is what God is pushing me at and not necessarily a schedule. In this season of life I don't know what is happening an hour from now. And for me to go with the flow, I can't PLAN so specifically like that. Plus I don't like to do things the same way all the time. I'm already home every single day... I don't need to do the same THINGS every day too.
Are any of you checklist.ers?
UPDATE: Since I wrote this earlier in the morning (I wrote this this past Tuesday) it has been on my mind all day. So I have been really asking God to SHOW ME what all this is about. Why keep putting schedules in my face, why pushing me to work so hard, but yet teaching me to go with the flow? How can I do both at the same time? GOD, I DON'T GET IT!
And then I got my answer. I need to have some sort of plan, because if I don't, then I don't get things done. But my plan is not my master. I need to go with the flow. I don't necessarily NEED a schedule, in fact I have FINALLY and OFFICIALLY tossed out the IDEA of a schedule. I now know I work better off routines and checklists. As long as the result happens then that's all that matters. I am naturally an uptight perfectionist. So if I make a schedule, it drives me nuts if things don't go right. For example, as I'm writing this update it is 5:07pm. My husband is usually home right now. I have to go grocery shopping tonight. I also recently started a bedtime routine that starts at 6:30. He won't be home until 6:00. I take my youngest with me shopping while hubby gets dinner done. Sooo...if I stick to my schedule, once again it won't happen. But on days where nothing is going on, then the norm happens. I care more about the "norm" than anything else. I'm not sure if I am getting this out in writing. How it is in my head is not how it's coming out on here for some reason! Basically, have a plan, not a schedule and be okay when things change. By me tossing out the idea of a schedule, I'm relaxed more. In the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal.
When you are able to stick to a plan or routine, then do it. When life happens, go with it. Always have it in the back of your mind when you are making a plan that a child or spouse (or other things) can completely change it...and be okay with it. It's when we have official thoughts (at such and such a time I am GOING to be doing xyz) that becomes the problem. For example, my mother takes care of her elderly mother (she doesn't live with my mom, she lives on her own). When my mom gets out of work all she really wants to do is go home and relax after working all day. But now, when she pulls in the driveway she thinks to herself "I will probably have to go out and that is okay." It happens quite often that my grandmother will call her and need something.
You should read THIS (short) article by Michelle Duggar on how she has zero expectations. It's great.
Have a great day!