To Schedule or Not to Schedule?

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Schedule - is it a bad or good word for you?

I used to dislike schedules. I thought they were rigid & confing & I just didn’t do well with them.
I tried scheduling our lives out by 30 minute increments. I loved how it looked on paper. Seriously, I felt so accomplished when I finished it & showed it to my husband.

Guess how long it lasted?
Maybe an hour!

My kids just are not that regimented. It’s almost like they looked at it, & purposly decided to sleep in, take an extra long trip to the bathroom, or need extra time on a school subject, just becuase it would throw us off schedule.

Do we need some sort of schedule so we know what needs to happen?
Of course!

Does it need to be strict & regimented?
Not for our family!

With the business, I have set appointments that I need to keep. For school we have certain activities that are outside of the house that require us to be on time, to keep to the schedule.
So, we’ve adapted a routine with certain things “scheduled” into life.

Isn’t that how life is for everyone though? For the most part, you have control over most of your day, with certain hardline things.

This is why I started my business, so I could control the timing. I could be with my kids, I could set the, ahem, schedule!

So how do I set our schedule to work for us?

How do I teach my homeschool children that they have certain things that need to be completed by or at a certain time, while other things can be done whenever?

How do I manage to get the things I need to do within the same 24-hour period that everyone has?

Have You Seen Or Heard Of The Analogy Of The Jar With The Big Rocks & Sand?

The jar stands for your day. It is the same for everyone, it’s the same every day. We only have 24 hours, how are we going to fill those hours is the question.
The rocks are for the things that have to be finished. They’re the non-negotiables. Like feeding your kids, taking them to their activities, appointments with clients, the actual work that has to be done.

The sand is the other things that take up your day. It’s the laundry (cause really, if you miss a day, it’s not life threatening!), the deep cleaning, or getting to read your book. Whatever is not necessary for the day to run smoothly, that’s what the sand consists of.

Now when you take your jar, you put some sand in, then put some rocks in, then some more sand, then try to fit the rest of the rocks in, they won’t all fit!

But, if you put all your rocks in the jar, (schedule out what has to happen each day), then fill the rest of your day with the sand (not required daily items), it’ll be amazing that all the rocks & most if not all of the sand will fit in the jar. The sand will just fill in the spaces around the rocks rather than taking up most of the space while having the rocks trying to jam in on top of the sand.

So when I look at our day, I notice what has to happen, (feeding the munchkins, working on school, getting the necessities of work done). Then I look at what I’d like to have happen, (maybe snuggling up to watch a cartoon, playing a game, baking cookies, going for a scooter walk, reading some of my book, getting some laundry done, or deep cleaning a room). These are things that are nice to do, & should be done at some point, but aren’t necessary to complete today for life to continue.

We have a general schedule of when things need to happen. For instance, I prefer the dishwasher to be emptied in the morning so that we can put the dirty dishes in as they get dirty. My goal is to not have them piled up on the counter & then before making dinner I’m unloading & loading the dishwasher so I can cook.

That scenario does not a happy Mommy make! Is anyone else with me on that?

But, I keep the schedule fairly loose & flexible. And I have to communicate with my family ahead of time. I don’t like things being dropped on my lap so why should I expect my husband & children to?!

I have 2 children who if I tighten things down too tightly or bombard them with expectations right when I expect whatever task to be done, they will completely meltdown.

“Ok, you have 20 minutes to eat, then you need to unload the dishwasher, and be ready to start school in 30 minutes.”

Oh my goodness. That one sentence will cause tears & paralysis in my children! You can bet the rest of the schedule will be thrown off if I approach our day like that.

But, if I tell them the night before that I expect their breakfast to be eaten & the dishwasher unloaded by 9 am so they can start school, then they can plan for that & typically it happens with time to spare. If I do that then when I remind them at what time I wanted something done, or that we need to leave by a certain time, their response will be so much better!

Also, now that we have almost everyone in the house reading, I make sure the necessities are written down & posted for everyone to see! I’m not into micromanaging, so having them constantly ask me what area they are supposed to clean, or whose night it is to be sous chef, was causing more frustration than help! So it’s posted by my desk so I can see if I’m asked without having to open my computer, & it’s also downstairs by our command center so anyone can see it!

Had you ever heard of the rocks/sand/jar analogy? What area are you finding problematic for your family’s schedule?

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