I’m a busy person. I don’t like it. I homeschool my kids. I’m working on a 2nd Master’s degree. I cook most of the meals my family eats. We have co-op on Mondays and occupational therapy on Thursday. It’s a lot, and a lot of people ask how we’re able to do everything we have going on. To be honest, I’m not sure what to tell them. But, I’ll walk you through what I do know about managing time.
Before I start, I just want to say that there are a ton of time management self-help books. Amazon lists over 74,000 results for a “time management” search. You probably shouldn’t read them. Most of the content is common sense, and, really, how can a person who doesn’t know your life tell you how to fix what’s broken? Time management might not even be your problem, just a symptom of a larger life management issue.
- If you love going out and drinking with your buddies, it shows.
- If you love binging Netflix and ordering pizza, it shows.
And, this is where I get brutally honest: my kids do most of the work for me. What work? you may ask… Well, they make their own breakfast, whether it’s cereal or biscuits and sausage or toaster pastries or whatever…they do it. They also play the cd’s that have their Classical Conversations coursework for the week. Sometimes my daughter will do her other school work without prompting just so she can play. Where am I when they’re doing this? I’m still asleep.
I usually don’t get up until around 9 or so, and they get up a couple of hours earlier. Their homeschool stuff isn’t really teacher-led, and the other stuff takes about an hour for all of us to do together. We’ve also scheduled it so that her brother is otherwise occupied while she does schoolwork. If they’re together, it’s kind of like Batman V Superman (but with less shooting people). Then, it’s lunchtime.
Sometimes, I miss having breakfast with the kids; so, I’ll make something for “brunch”. Usually, it’s cheese grits with bacon. Okay, it’s always cheese grits with bacon because that’s what they ask for. But most days, we make sandwiches and take an hourlong break. If the kids are done with school, they have free time to play outside, do some games on their tablets, or watch tv. This is when I get my reading done.
Most weeks, I’m assigned around 100-250 pages of reading for class. That takes about 3-4 hours a week, depending on the writer and the book. So, let’s say that I have an hour a day to read, and that’s fair. The classes I’m taking are pretty paper-heavy. I’ve had a writing assignment each week per class. These each take anywhere from 2 hours for a simple paper to a massive research project where I logged over 45 hours of reading and research and another 6 of writing.
The one hard and fast rule I have, though: when Mommy gets home, games and everything stop. I tend to start cooking dinner at that time (around 6pm) and the kids get some time back that they’ve missed with her being at work. Unless I have a major deadline, I put my books away and we watch tv after the kids go to bed.
We talk, get silly, play games, and just generally be together. Once she goes to bed at 11 or so, I’m up for a couple more hours reading or unwinding. We have a few special projects during the week that take away from the regular schedule, but it tends to work for us. Everyone gets enough sleep, we’re mostly rested and ready to go each day.
So, we have a schedule. It’s not rigid, but it works. The one thing I’ll readily admit is that my grades aren’t spectacular. If I had more time to study and write and didn’t have responsibilities, I could be a better student. Maybe I could blog less or read fewer comics, but overall, I’m happy with the way things are going. Who knows? next term (starts next week) could require more work than I’m putting in right now. But right now I’m happy. And with that being said, I am going to blog less: I’m taking a hiatus from TEAMzao until the end of the year.
If you don’t have enough time to do all the things, seriously, check what you’re wasting time on.
- It could be Netflix.
- It could be working too many hours.
- t could be sleep.
There’s something in your time budget that can be trimmed or taken out completely. Remember, as CS Lewis said,
“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”