Do you ever feel like you have way too much to do? I don’t mean too many fun options. Instead, I’m talking about all the tasks and responsibilities. Family duties. Household chores. Preparing meals. Laundry. Yard work. Car maintenance. Work obligations. Church and social commitments. And the list goes on.
We make our to-do lists. But sometimes they seem so overwhelming. And lots of times, the list is so long and tedious that it just seems impossible to do “everything” that we need to do. And often, squeezing in time for prayer and studying God’s Word can add to the impossible list.
Some of us try to multi-task – like paying bills while the dinner is on the stove. Or help the kids with homework while tidying up the living room and getting the laundry started.
No wonder by the end of the day many folks feel as if they can’t even think so they plop in front of the television and just numb out for a while.
While I can’t wave a magic wand and give you more hours or a squad of helpers to take some of the burden from you. What I can do is give you a little tip that helps me get a whole lot more done and hold on the peace of mind (most of the time).
The tip is called Time Blocking. It’s most often applied to business purposes, but I find it very useful for personal and home obligations, also. Plus, since we do have a desire to be with our Lord and strengthen our faith, the time blocking strategy can be a welcome new habit.
Actually, time blocking is a practice that’s been resurrected from days gone by; a common housewives’ way of organizing tasks.
Maybe you recall the vintage embroidered dish towels with the colorful household chores time management plan, “Wash on Monday. Iron on Tuesday. Mend on Wednesday. Churn on Thursday. Clean on Friday. Bake on Saturday. Rest on Sunday.”
That was a type of time blocking. Putting aside a block of time to focus on a specific task. It worked then, and the plan can work now for folks like us!
Time blocking is making an appointment with yourself. Instead of just making a list of things to do, you set aside a specific period of time to give your full attention to the specific activity. And then you can make this appointment part of your regular routine. A great benefit of routines is that they create order. And order reduces chaos, which reduces stress and the feelings of overwhelm.
Think about the regular tasks you want to accomplish each week. And then also those activities that you want to add to your schedule. Consider your calendar and try to make those time blocking appointments with yourself. For example, you might want to set Saturday as your marketing and cooking day where you plan your meals for the week, do you grocery shopping, and then come home and prepare several items for the coming week.
When my children were young, Sunday afternoon is when I packed all their lunches for the coming school week. I set out five paper bags for each child, placed non-perishable items in each bag and added a little note or prize to give them a special surprise from mom. I prepared and stored the perishable items in little bins in the fridge. Then on the school mornings I just added the perishable items and within a minute the lunch for the day was ready.
You can time block your prayer and study time. Perhaps you can set aside a time each morning for a quiet time with your Lord. Find a time each day that you can set aside and let it be an appointment with Jesus! A one-on-one time where you can visit with Him, read the Word, study, and give thanks.
Time blocking is a strategy. It’s a useful way to organize your time, create routines, and accomplish those activities and goals in your life that are important to you. Rather than letting time control you . . . you can control the time by making a plan, setting your appointments with yourself, and enjoying the order that comes about.
By the way, I love hearing from you and so do others who visit this blog! Leave your thoughts below about how you might use time blocking and routines in your life.