It is August, which is wonderful for so many reasons, but my favorite two are:
- It’s still summer.
- It’s almost fall.
Who doesn’t love summer? Pool days, vacation, relaxed schedule, grilling out… Kids running wild and free outside with blue popsicle tongues, soaking up every ounce of freedom from the rigors of the school year. Everything dials back a little bit and we let ourselves loose from The Grind, whatever it is for each of us, which has a way of bearing down on our souls over the cooler months.
So, still summer. This is good. But, just around the corner, is my favorite of all the seasons. Fall – with its crisp air, football nights, cozy sweaters, fresh school supplies, changing leaves, and warm crock-pot dinners – is not too far off. The return to routine is usually welcome by the time September rolls around, but with routine comes more to-do’s, more work, more schedule juggling, just MORE. If you have a lot on your plate, or are just trying to find some extra time in your week consider these time-finders:
- Plan ahead so you can use your “best” time wisely. What do I mean by best time? We all get the same 24 hours in a day, but you can maximize YOUR time by using your most alert hours for the stuff that requires the most effort. Consider the times of day that you are the most wiped out – and give yourself some downtime then. Likewise, use your most alert hours for the tasks that you will be too tired to complete efficiently during a “down” hour. Don’t waste your peak hours!
- Work smarter at night so your days will run more smoothly. Prep meals ahead for the whole week, shower at night, plan your outfit the night before, clean as you cook… Obviously you are still using time to complete these tasks, but if you can get them done in the night hours, you’ll have more of your “peak” daytime hours to work efficiently, be present with your family, or accomplish other goals.
- Cut technology. Oh, this is huge. I didn’t realize how much time I spent on my phone until I deleted all of my social media apps last week. I always thought of myself as a 30-second scroller, but when I started tracking my phone usage, I realized that those 30-second sessions often turned into 10+ minutes! If you’re not sure how much time you’re spending on your phone, there is a free app called “Moment” that can keep track for you. Double dare you to try it out.
- Know your limits. Be reasonable about the amount of “stuff” you take on, and don’t compare yourself to someone else who seems to always get more done than you. We all have different energy thresholds. Knowing yours will keep you from burning out.
- If you’re doing all of these things and are still burnt out, CUT SOMETHING OUT. Some seasons are busier than others, but if you don’t see an end in sight to the chaos – it’s probably time to let something go.
These are not earth-shattering ideas, and we’ve all heard them before – but sometimes a little reminder is all we need!
My take-aways from my session with this planner?
- I was considering adding a a fifth day of teaching to my schedule, but realized that I would be missing out of some of my only one-on-one time with my kids – which is the WHOLE REASON I started teaching privately to begin with. So, the waiting list will have to keep waiting. Turning down additional income is always hard for me, but visualizing the hours I would be losing with my family made me realize the sacrifice would not be worth the gain
- I realized that it’s been almost three years since I have used any of my weekly, regular time for volunteering with high school students at our church. Seeing that void by having my weekly planner out in front of me helped me to find the hours that I could use for that purpose this fall, and I’m excited to jump back into something that I have missed a ton.
As we head into fall, and schedules start building up, give this planner a try. You can download the Weekday Half-Hour Planner for FREE.
The boxes on the far left are for timing – I left them blank on this PDF so you can fill them in with the hours that work best for you. There are enough boxes to keep you covered from 7am-10pm, but you can tweak it in either direction.
What will you find time for? What will you cut out of your schedule? Let me know how this works for you! Happy planning!