After a very long break due to sickness, I am excited to finally be continuing my "Preparing to be a Good Wife" posts.
Today we will be talking about learning to follow a routine. Now I'm not talking about following your Mom's routine, although it is important that you work around her routine, I'm talking more about making sure that your day is not wasted because you never know what you are supposed to be doing. This may not be a problem for some of you (isn't it wonderful how God made everyone different?), but hopefully it'll be helpful anyways.
When we are younger it is not as important to have our own routine, is it? We get up, eat breakfast, do school work, have lunch, more school, free time, supper, family time, bed. And that's basically what each day looks like. But when we have 'graduated' it's a little harder to arrange our time.
Of course, in some ways it is easier because it's more up to us, but somehow it just seemed less complicated when we knew that we had to do math at 9:00, history at 10:00 etc. Now suddenly you don't have a set thing that you have to do at 9:00, instead you have a list of what you need to accomplish during the day.
Now I don't know about you, but it was not helpful for me to have a list of things to do without a set time or order to do them in. Sure, I would get things done, but when I was cleaning the livingroom I'd be remembering the laundry, when I was doing the laundry I'd be worried that I'd forget to make bread, when I was making bread... (You get the idea!)
It is hard to be peaceful and to enjoy life when you're frantically trying not to forget something.
Here are a few ideas of how to get your day in order.
1. Make a list of basic things you want to accomplish each day, and include even the simplest things. (e.g. Breakfast, Get dressed, Pick up room, Lunch...)
2. Next make another list of things that only have to be done every other day (perhaps washing your hair or working out).
3. Then make a list of the work things that have to be done each day (vacuuming, washing dishes, laundry, etc).
4. Next make a list of things that you would like to have time for. Things like sewing, writing, e-mailing, and reading.
5. Now make a chart. It's a little hard to explain so I'll show you an example one. It's kind of a rough draft that I made. :-)
~~~~~~Monday ~~ Tuesday ~~ Wednesday ~~ Thursday ~~ Friday
Room Clean Up – 5 Min
Exercise – 45 Min
Course work – 1 Hour
Music – 30 Min
Social – 30 Min
Science (With Kids)
Bible Study (With Mom)
*Monday – Weight Lift Arms ~ Course Project Work ~ Piano ~ E-mails ~ Sewing
Tuesday – Weight Lift Legs ~ Course Book Work ~ Guitar ~ Blogs ~ Topical Bible Study
Wednesday – Weight Lift Arms ~ Course Forum ~ Piano ~ Stand-Up-Girl ~ Cooking
Thursday– Weight Lift Legs ~ Course Project ~ Guitar ~ Letters ~ Topical Bible Study
* The reason I have a list down here is so that I know which particular thing belonging to the general category of, let's say, social time, I'm supposed to do. On Monday my social time involves e-mails, on Tuesday it involves blogs, on Wednesday the forum that I volunteer on, on Thursday letters. Friday is our family day, so I do not have it listed.
Now obviously, your routine, or schedule, is going to look different from mine. Perhaps you'd like to have times listed instead of the number of minutes. (e.g. 9:00 - 9:30 instead of 30 minutes.) Because my day is very much centered around what my family has to do, I use this routine as kind of a guideline and I do not put down exact times because if my sister makes us breakfast and it isn't done until 10:00, I'm still not behind because while she is making it I can get ready for the day without feeling like my whole day is going to be messed up.
I like to have little boxes under each day and across from each task so that I can check them off when I'm done. It gives me a chance to see what I've accomplished and makes sure that I don't waste my day or forget something that I have to do. Since I only use it as a guide line, I can insert other activities (such as gardening) whenever I want, or I can do it instead of working on my Nutrition course.
Learning to follow a routine can help you to be peaceful, to have a sense of accomplishment, and to get more things done without feeling frazzled. If you can learn how to use your time wisely and efficiently now, it will be an invaluable skill when you are a wife and a mother. :-)