Monday, January 14, 2013

Five Way to Stay Sane While Raising Cain & Jane


 
When a fellow blogger with little ones asked me to write a post for moms juggling careers, kids, and kisses—chocolate or otherwise—I was happier than a cat with dirty paws on your car hood. Although my kids are done being kids, I’ve learned a few secrets—mostly the hard way—of managing my time when I had only scraps of it to manage.

1.      Give God the first portion of your day, He’ll give back to you the time you need to accomplish your goals. Giving and receiving works for time as well as money, and you cannot out give the Lord. You can read your Bible while baby naps or sits in her bouncy seat at your side. You can pray while you do laundry, cook, and take a shower.  God is your best ally in the war against insanity and overload!
 
 


2.      Utilize wee snippets of time to work on big projects.  Of course, you’d rather have three hours at a time than ten minutes while Daddy bathes Sophie. But never underestimate the power of little chunks of time to accomplish big goals. Even God created the universe in increments.  He is able and willing to help you create your masterpiece in portions.

3.      Flush the perfect house fantasy. Be willing to let the bed go rumply, hubby to make supper, or the laundry to pile up for a few days. I don’t mean it’s okay to live like Jonah in the whale’s belly—with seaweed in your hair and nothing to eat—but if you need a pristine abode, you’ll have to wait ‘til Claude and Claudette grow up to start a writing career.

4.      Simplify your environment and life. The more clothes to clean, toys to pick up, and meetings to attend, the more discombobulated you’ll feel. And the less you’ll accomplish. Get rid of half your junque and most of you memberships. Now you’re free to focus on people and your dreams.
      5.   Put no more than five items on your to do list each day. I know it sounds crazy, since you have 100 things to accomplish each day. If you write down 45 and only get five done, you’ll beat yourself up for not being productive. But if you only write down five, when you get those done, you can add more, along with a feeling of accomplishment.  

What time monsters attack you most often? What secrets have you found for managing your days?  Whether you have kids at home or not, how do you stay sane in this too-much-to-do world?
P.S. The above is an excerpt of the syllabus to my class entitled Time Management for Part-time Writers. Please email me at jeanette(at)jeanettelevellie.com to get your copy.

27 comments:

  1. No longer a "mom with little kids" anymore....but SOME things never change! Like the value of all of those suggestions :)

    Have a great day. And week.

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  2. Giving the first part of the day to the Lord is always the best thing for me to get the rest of my day in order. Without it, the rest becomes chaos.

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  3. Excellent advice post that dads can learn from as well. Your #3 is sure true--We just have to pick our battles.

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  4. Love your suggestions. Hubby and I are trying to simplify more. The little ones are now big ones, and now off on there own. We are trying to downsize.

    I find using snippets of time a great tool.

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    1. Loree: my daugher, also a writer, is a master at that one. She can write for two minutes in-between dishes, homeschooling, and rushing out the door to errands!

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  5. These are great tips! I was just thinking along the lines of #2, and how I used to encourage my daughter to do that with her schoolwork. It was less daunting to take it in smaller chunks. With that in mind, I had also been thinking about getting back to that same principle with all the current tasks calling my name. My kids are grown too, but with a busy schedule, these ideas can work wonders for us veteran moms. :)

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    1. It works for any time in our lives, Karen. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Those are such great ideas. One thing I do that helps is to put out the materials for job two when I am nearly done with job one. That way, when job one is finished, I just sail along to the next activity. Getting out and putting away are hard, so I do them while I am still in the "gung ho" mode.

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  7. Thank you SO much for this list! I am so in this stage of life, and I think I need to utilize those little moments more efficiently! BTW, Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Melanie. So glad to see you are settling into your new life in Germany!

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  8. These are all great tips, Jeanette. I really like and agree with your statement that you cannot out give the Lord.

    Blessings!

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  9. Great stuff, Jeanette!

    Love you lots!
    Deanna

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    1. Love you, too, Deanna. I hope your little guy is feeling better today!

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  10. Ok. HELLO! yes. As a mom of two under the age of 3, a working mom (Dir of HR) with a 45 hr work week, married to a youth pastor (insert mutiple weekly youth events here), AND a part time writer, my survival checklist greatly resembles yours. With a few extras:

    1. Coffee
    2. A bit of snark
    3. More coffee
    4. More snark
    5. Hugs and giggles and kisses with the kiddos
    6. Shared coffee with my 3 yr old baby girl (hey, gotta start 'em sometime)
    7. Teaching said child snark
    8. reveling in my parental success
    9. laundry? dishes? huh?
    10. and top it off with coffee

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    1. Jaime: You crack me up, and challenge me to be funnier than ever. But, three year olds drinking coffee? I am way behind, having started my coffee addiction at 13. Sigh.

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  11. My husband and I have raised our two but are now "baby-sitting" our grandkids while daughter and son-in-law work. Grandkids are girl 2 1/2 and boy 7 months. We are having a very tough time helping with the potty training of the girl. One step forward and two steps back! She is having a tough time with the poo part. We are all getting frustrated! I don't honestly remember having that much of a problem with either my daughter or son when we potty trained them!

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    1. Gail: So sorry this is a frustrating issue for you. I'd pray for insight, then jump up and down and hoot and holler every time Missy had a success. She may be feeling left out of the attention baby bro. is getting.

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  12. It has been helping me to decide what the most important things are in my day and do those first.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  13. Ah, you are so wise. I remember the juggling! Ha, one I excelled at, was "flush the perfect house." You are too cute!

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  14. How did I miss this? I need to re-read this and apply some of these points to my life. Thank you, dear friend.

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