Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9 - Time...making the most of it!

I do best when my time is scheduled...when I have places to go, people to see and things to do.  And prior to becoming a mom, that is what I had.  My workdays were filled with meetings, projects, deadlines, and a filled schedule. 

Then, as a mom of newborns, my days were scheduled by their cries and whines, their feeding and sleep schedule, and the tasks to take care of the house.  As they grew, my schedule changed and was filled with Mommy and Me classes, doctors appointments, playdates, and preschool.  Their schedules helped me to be organized and kept me busy.

But now that both boys are in full day school, I find my schedule mine to make (at least on weekdays from 9-4pm).  And, mostly, I love it!  I feel blessed that I get to take this time to pursue and figure out my passions.

But I am finding that scheduling my time - and only being accountable to me - has it's challenges!

For instance...
  • I have ideas, ideas, ideas, running around in my head.  And, I am excited about each and everyone of them, but figuring out which to implement can leave me at a loss. 
  • Since I am working from home, there are always things to do that seem to sideswipe progress.  For instance, right now, there are piles of laundry that are calling my name, ground turkey that needs browning, a dog barking to be let in, and vacuuming that needs to be done (just to name a few).  Often it is hard to focus on accomplishing "my" tasks, when the household tasks are screaming to be done.
  • Also, because I do not have others to be accountable to, it is easy to feel that what I am doing is not as important.

These struggles (plus others) led me to include "Valuing my Time" as a part of my year-long promise to myself.

With that in mind, this year, my goals include: 
  • to find a calendar and task manager that works for me (which I think I have figured out, thanks to my new iPhone!)
  • to step away from my computer and stop my work when the boys arrive home from school to spend quality time with them. (this has been going incredibly well thus far!)
  • to schedule my days so that I am productive.  (this one I am struggling with right now, and would love YOUR suggestions and ideas!)
So friends, if this situation sound familiar to you, I am curious...

How do you schedule your days to make them the most productive?
What do you do to stay on task when the schedule is yours to create?

Thanks!  I truly apprciate your thoughts!


  1. Hi Kim! Just allow me to say how much I enjoy your site. I've been here and commented a couple of times, but feel so blessed to have connected with such an energetic and personally active mom. I found your site through a good friend of mine: Laura Miriam of the blog Catharsis. She had linked to a friend of hers who then linked to your site. Providence!

    Anyway, I'm a busy freelance journalist, but first and foremost a wife and mom. Here's what goes on in my daily routine:

    Up and at 'em about 6am. Feed kids, pray with kids, quickly check email and engage on Twitter, using timer for about 15 minutes.

    7:30 - leave for school

    Home by 8:15

    When my kids are in school, I get started on my income-producing work right away (email and social networks closed -- cell phone off).

    I do use a task calendar on my computer that prompts me when things are due what the day brings me in the immediate future.

    I work on those assignments from about 8:30 to 10:30. At that time, I engage in social media, using a timer, for about 20 minutes. Then I'll check my emails and answer phone messages over lunch.

    After that, it's back to work from 12:30 to 2:00 completing and filing stories to the various magazines, newspapers, and private clients whose work is due that day. At 2:00, the timer goes on again and I engage in social media, promoting my work, talking with peers and others for 20 minutes.

    2:30 I leave to get kids and arrive home about 3:20. My husband (aka Dragonslayer) suggested that I then take 2 full hours away from the computer, cell phone and everything to just bask in my kids and relax. At first this was very difficult for me, but now I find myself shutting off the cell and putting the Mac to sleep before I even leave to get the precious ones.

    This allows me to decompress and clear my mind of all things journalism. The kids help me cook dinner, Dragonslayer comes home, then it's family time. We have devotions and daily blessings right after dinner. At that time, if I still have uncompleted, pressing work, I'll get back on the computer for an hour or so. Stopping about 30 minutes before the littlest ones go to bed, so we can chat them up and pray with them together.

    Rarely do I work after that. It took me a while, once I went full-time from home to discipline myself and manage my schedule so that I could really grow my business in the relatively few hours I have.

    You're not alone. All work-from-homers, or even straight out homemakers, struggle with time management, especially at first. I suggest using a timer for the things that tend to steal your time away (it's different for each person). Keeping your home workspace fastidiously organized also helps (a lot).

    If you have trouble finding a suitable task calendar, come over and see me at You can contact me via the contact form there and I'll give you my private email address at that time. I'll gladly give you a list of both free and paid task managing systems that you can try out.

    Have a blessed and joyful day!


  2. Samantha -

    Thank you! I SO appreciate your kind words! Also, hearing about your schedule is incredibly helpful. I think the timer thing is a great idea...and limiting my online time.

    :) Kim