Saturday, October 18, 2014

day 18: protect your time...

There are a lot of marketing slogans out there these days.  One that is popular with sports teams is the saying 'protect this house'.  It's meaning is obvious, the team is playing to win and protect their home turf.  Today, I'd like to encourage you to do the same with your time and schedule.

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Hopefully, you've taken some time to review your schedule and think about each and every activity you are committed to.  Now that you've looked at things, were  you able to take anything off your schedule?  Or maybe, do you just have a better handle on what you're committed to?  Both of these are good.  And realistically, now may not be the time to take anything off your schedule.  Your goal should be to intentionally evaluate everything and then be able to say that right now you are involved in what you feel you should be.

The next step with your schedule is to protect your time.  Just as we want to limit what we bring back into our homes after we have purged and removed clutter, we want to make sure that we don't fill the space we've just cleared in our schedules with just anything. 

As I mentioned in this post, my husband works every other weekend and I am very protective of the time on his non-working weekends.  Those are for family time.  Since we only have 4 days a month that no one works or goes to school, we try and be very intentional about what we do with those days.  My husband's schedule is a set one, so we know the weekends he will be free months in advance and can plan our  time accordingly.

As our kids have gotten older (they are 10, 8 and 7), we have become even more mindful of our time.  It means that sometimes, we say no to an invitation so that we can say yes to family time.  Sometimes we say no to helping on a project because it would reduce our limited weekend time even more.  Our kids know that just because you have been invited or asked to do something doesn't mean they will get to go.  Yes, they have missed parties.  Yes, my husband and I have missed events or parties.  But our objective of spending quality time together has been met.

This isn't to say that we never do things with other people on the weekends.  We love to hang out with friends and have people over.  It simply means that we are very selective about how we spend our time and we actively consider what we say yes or no to doing.

That's what I want to encourage to you to do as well.  Protect your calendar.  Start being more mindful about what you say yes to doing.  It may mean that if your child has a game and two birthday parties on a Saturday, that he can't do it all.  But in the end, you will probably feel less stressed and isn't that what we are looking for anyway.  It may mean that I say no to making a meal for someone on a weekend when Mark works, but say yes when I know he is going to be home.

How can you protect your time?  How can you instill more order into you schedule? 


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