Hi friends! I am excited to be back with you for our 2nd week of this series on being intentional!
This weekend found me with a HUGE mess in our playroom, a boy that constantly battled with my every nerve (and found himself in his room today due to it) along with my ever-present task list and two wonderful children that love nothing more than to sit and read or color a picture with me. I love it. Yet it is hard to not hear the task list calling my name as I “relax” with my children.
Sigh. Single parenting is tough. If only we were given a few extra hours per day than our married friends! It gets easier as we go along, but oh dear parents, we have to be so very creative.It seems that in the time it takes to breathe in and breathe back out, so many tasks we just completed are waiting to be done.
The Mandatory Mind Shift
In order to be single parents of intention, it’s mandatory that we make a big shift in our thinking. It’s important that we see ourselves in an accurate light. We need to let go of thoughts of inadequacy, weakness or defeat. Those thoughts will only KEEP YOU STUCK! Here are some truths I want you to think about today:
- Today, you are taking steps towards becoming the person you want to be
- You are completely free to design the life you want for yourself and your family
- Each day, no matter what comes your way, you can decide to keep your focus on your goals
So before we talk time management, let’s make a decision to make a mind shift towards the possibilities that come with single parenting instead of focusing on the limitations and difficulties. Every one in life faces difficulties. It’s not what happens to us in life that matters, but it’s how we react to the difficulties that define us.
Step 1: Conduct a Brain Dump
Yep, this is step 1, and should take about 10-20 minutes to complete. Get out a pen and a sheet of paper, and write down your long, (so very long!) list of things you do. Think of the activities you are responsible for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. List out everything from cooking meals, grocery shopping, making the kid’s lunches, fueling up the car, going to church, I mean everything! Don’t be overwhelmed by this list! As we’ve said before, we cannot improve unless we know where we are today.
Step 2: The Few from the Many
Now, look at each task, and evaluate if that task is really important. Like, really important. As in, “this task really adds to the relationship I have with my children”, or “this is an activity that provides income” or “this is something that helps me to stay healthy.” These important tasks should directly tie to your current goals. Here are a few questions to ask when determining the few important tasks from the many:
- Does this task stress me out?
- Is this task within my strength zone?
- Is this something I can delegate?
Try and keep the list of important tasks as short as possible. You’ll see why this is important in a second!
Step 3: Schedule the Important
Now comes the fun part! Take all of your important tasks and schedule them on your calendar. Ensure your routine activities are on your calendar as well as the weekly and monthly activities. Make sure you allocate time for kid’s homework, bedtime stories, even some down time for us moms or dads. : ) Once you’ve completed this, take a look at your calendar. Is it jam packed? Is it well-rounded with activities for your physical health, family time, work time, etc., or is it lop-sided with much more time allocated to certain areas of life than others? Try and work towards a balanced calendar. We will talk much more about time management as we go along, but let this first calendar be your guide for the next couple of weeks. Carry it with you everywhere and see how “real life” stacks up to your new calendar.
Through taking the time to put to paper all of the stuff that keeps you busy, I hope you’ve been able to get an accurate assessment of your life and have identified some tasks that can be removed or delegated. Carry this calendar with you and let me know how you progress!
Do you feel you are an effective manager of your time? Why or why not?