Thursday, October 16, 2014

day 16: reviewing your schedule ...

Welcome to my ongoing series of 31 days to more order.  To view the complete list of posts, click here.

In yesterday's post I recommended you write down all of the activities and / or commitments you and your family has.  Today I want to encourage you to evaluate everything on that list and for you to make sure it is still something you want to do.

Which may seem silly to you.  But really, are you committed to things you no longer want to be involved with?  Is everything on your schedule something that adds to your life?  Are there things you are doing that no longer give you joy?  Who's to say that just because you can do something and have done something in the past that you have to keep doing it?

Two years ago, all three of my children started going to school for a full day.  So I was going to be alone during the day.  I was super excited!  When people realized this one of two things typically happened.  Some people would ask me if I was going to go back to work.  The answer to that is a big NO.  Other people would call and ask if I could serve on this committee or work on this school / church project or even lead a project for them.  For a minute, the 14 year old girl living in side of me was excited they were calling because it meant that they like me.  Right?  Wrong.  Well, maybe they did like me.  But in all honesty, they needed someone to help them and they knew that my schedule had just become a whole lot clearer during the day.

Thankfully I knew, since I wrote it all down on one piece of paper, what my family was involved in and how they would need me.  This allowed me to evaluate each request against the question of whether or not I wanted to spend my time doing it.  I know and understand that there are somethings that we do that we don't enjoy but fall into the have to category (school fundraisers and book fairs come to mind).  I also know that some of our commitments are due to the other people in our lives and so we may have to do something we wouldn't choose because it is for a child or spouse (like sitting by the side of a sports field with two other kids).  But the rest of the time, we should be filling our schedules with activities that we enjoy.  I have gotten very picky about how and when I commit myself to do things.

For example, I love to cook meals for people.  Really I do.  I love gifting friends and members of my church with a home cooked meal when they are struggling or in need of a helping hand.  But just because I love to do that and find it energizing, doesn't mean I need to sign up for every meal request that comes to me.  I need to evaluate what is going on in my schedule and with my family that week.  If it doesn't work for me, I know that someone else will provide that meal.

Spend some time with your schedule and your list of commitments and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is this really something I want to continue doing?  OR Is this something I want to add to my schedule?

2. Do I still enjoy being involved in this?  OR Will I enjoy doing this?

3. Can I continue to commit to this activity?  OR Will I be able to commit to adding this to my schedule?

It's okay to say no.  It's even okay to take a break from all committees and activities for a season to get your home situated.  I have a friend who is doing this right now.  She loves to serve but has stepped back from most commitments because her family needs some extra attention right now.  It's necessary to give ourselves a break from things, even things we love so that when we do say yes we are doing it the right reasons.

So for today, sit with your schedule and review the commitments you have.  Even something that is a 'good' commitment, like serving at your church or in your kid's school, should be evaluated.  Make sure you can answer the questions above positively.  If not, make a plan to get out of your commitment.  And going forward, only add things to your schedule that you will enjoy doing.


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