Many people get freaked out when the word "schedule" is introduced in conversation.
"I could never live like that!"
"I hate a piece of paper telling me what to do!"
We have different needs during different seasons in our lives as moms. When I first wrote Steady Days and my kids were much younger, I found I needed a more detailed schedule. I ran out of ideas of what to do with three little people otherwise, which left me frustrated.
But now my kids can handle less structure and more flexibility. Over time I've found a way to blend rhythm and spontaneity while still making sure my priorities are covered.
The key is this: I have blocks of time throughout the day that I reserve for - "work time."
This could be when the kids are watching a video, playing outside, or a portion of rest time. I know it's a work time and therefore, I need to work.
But I can choose the type of work I want to do. I get to pick (spontaneity!) based on what needs to be done, what I'm interested in, what works for the kids at that moment, and what I most want to do.
This is completely the opposite of having a piece of paper say that at 3:05 you must fold the laundry. That kind of detail will drive you crazy and set you up for failure.
My friend Mandi Ehman (author of the awesome new bestseller, Easy. Homemade!) calls a version of this concept productive procrastination. I love that term! When life isn't flowing or whatever I feel like I "should" do doesn't appeal, I'm often tempted to just waste time online.
But if I allow myself to choose what to work on based on my interests in the moment, I still accomplish a lot. And if there's something I've been putting off, eventually this momentum of productivity helps me to tackle it.
We need to work, to feel productive--it's a gift. But we don't have to micromanage our lives in order to get the full benefits of life with a rhythm.
"Understanding your personality and motivation is an important part of developing discipline and becoming more productive, so look for ways to use productive procrastination, not just as a way to avoid some dreaded task, but as a way to get more done!"
~ Mandi Ehman, Life Your Way