For the Homemaker Who Never Has Enough Time
There are many things we could do in a given day, and all of them might be good things. But it's quite likely that we won't be able to fit every single one of them into our day. So what are we to do when there are more things on our list than there are hours in the day?
We seek God's wisdom in directing us to what he would have us to do today.
Each of us faces life circumstances – some with young children who seem to create endless housework, some with outside jobs taking up their time, some with chronic illnesses feeling like they've tackled the world when they fold a load of laundry. The situation is different for all of us.
But one fact is the same for everyone: trying to fit things into our lives that God didn't intend to be there only creates disorganization, frustration, and a lack of time to do the other things he wants us to be doing.
Many things we homemakers would like to do are good and noble things, but if there's not room for them, it's not going to make us happier to try to cram them into our lives.
A peaceful home requires a lot of maintenance — so much maintenance, in fact, that it may seem you're not really “doing anything” with your time beyond feeding hungry bellies and cleaning up messes. Those things might not seem glamorous, but that doesn't mean they're not necessary and incredibly important. Feeding your family and caring for your home are more than just mundane necessities of life; they're an active way to express love to your family.
But what about finding time for other pursuits? When can you do things you enjoy or minister to others outside of your home?
I've been using my Goal Setting Planner every day for the past several years to create my daily schedule, and it's been the best thing I've ever done. It helps me determine what my priorities should be and I can easily see what I need to be working on during each given day.
I divide my life up into multiple areas and pray over what goals I should reach for in each of those areas.
For instance, I have housekeeping goals, family goals, personal goals, etc.
I list the top three things I'd like to see happen for each and the steps that I'd need to take to get there. When I plan with intention like this, I've found that, while I can't do everything I'd like, I can do a whole lot more than I can if I just wing it.
When you plan your time with intention, you can purposely include things that refresh your soul and energize you rather than spending all day every day putting out fires.
Seasons of life come and go fairly often, and with each new season you'll need to take a fresh look at your priorities and create a new routine to reflect those priorities. Taking an hour or two to evaluate what's currently working and what's not will save you a great deal of time and frustration in the long run.
Time management requires intentional planning. When you try to wing it, no matter how diligently you work, you'll be less likely to manage your time efficiently and more likely to end every day frustrated with how little you got done.
So whether you use the Goal Setting Planner that I use, or whether you use a scrap of paper, or something in between, I encourage you to take a few minutes to both look at the big picture of where you're headed, then write down the smaller steps for how you plan to get there.
Finally, remember that sometimes in spite of our planning, our days don't always go as we planned. Learning to follow God's leading moment by moment will give us the freedom to be at peace when the plans change. Our relationship with him is foundational, and everything else builds upon that. Our productivity is not a measure of our worth. It doesn't make us any more or less loved by our Savior.
Intentional planning should be a tool to keep us from being enslaved to time – it shouldn't be a master that enslaves us to “the list.”