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Planning 101: How to Stop Wasting Time & When It’s Okay

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How to Stop Wasting Time {and When it's OKAY!} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Today’s a lazy day for me. Sometimes I just need a day when life is laid back and I can stay in my pajamas and watch movies all day. Or take a nap. Or take a walk in the sunshine. Or play games with my kids. Or read a book. Or all of the above.

In fact, I would argue that lazy days are just as important as those days when I work really hard to accomplish a lot. I used to feel exhausted most of the time because I had so much to do every. single. day. of the week. I never had a break and we never took vacations.

I used to look at my neighbor next door when she would stretch out in a lawn chair for hours in the afternoon to soak up the sunshine and wonder how in the world she had time to just do… nothing.

And then it happened. I knew I needed to take more time for myself. I needed to enjoy my life now. In the present. Not tomorrow or on some far off day when I was old and had nothing to do with my time.

I also needed to spend real, undivided time with the people I love the most. It’s these moments of time spent in conversation, in laughter, in one on one communication and company that I will treasure the most at the end of my life. Not the day to day rush to get the next thing done.

So, I have days – not necessarily every week, but very often – where I just enjoy the day with no pressure.

How to Stop Wasting Time

On the other hand, I’m a busy wife and mom and most days I need  a solid plan to get everything done. Wasting time when I have no time to waste isn’t helpful.

Do you look back over your day and wonder where the time went? We’re all guilty of wasting time. However, there are things you can do to make sure that your time is better spent when it really counts.

The Bible tells us: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV. 

What season are you in? How can you be sure that you are spending time on the most important things each day and choosing to live with purpose?

Create a Routine

A routine can make your life much easier. Choose something you need to do each day and do it at a set time each day. For example, you might unload your dishwasher every morning. After several days, your routine becomes like second nature and you no longer have to give a lot of thought to the process.

Make a To-Do List

I’m definitely a paper and pen, list kind of girl. I also use the Reminder app on my iPhone to help me remember things on specific days that need to be done.

A to-do list is just so, so important. You may think you can remember everything you need to get done, but without a list you will have a harder time prioritizing those things you need to get done.

At the end of each day or early in the morning, write down your to-do list and then prioritize each item. I recommend that your to-do list be kept short – really no more than one thing per hour. Otherwise you may become discouraged or feel the need to rush through your day at break neck speed to fit it all in. It’s okay if you don’t scratch everything on your list off – just push it to the next day. As long as you’re using your time wisely, you won’t be wasting time.

Schedule Your To-Do List

After you create your to-do list, you may want to schedule each item into your planner. A good planner makes it so much easier to plan out your day, week, or even month. Remember to allot enough time for each task and to add buffers should something take longer than you expected. {This is why I recommend only one thing per hour.}

The Purpose 31 Planner Week at a Glance with Meal Planning @ AVirtuousWoman.org

 

Take Breaks

Productivity greatly declines when you’re tired or stressed. You want to make sure to take breaks throughout your day so that you get more done. Even better, set aside some time each day or each week to do something just for yourself. Whether you’re cleaning the house or working from home, you want to schedule breaks into your day. And like I said, take a day every week to just relax and enjoy life. It’s so important!

Some seasons of life are busier than others. I know as my children have gotten older our lives are much busier than when they were little – although, when they were little I was busy with caring for babies and toddlers and not trying to keep up with everyone’s changing, crazy schedules. It was a different kind of busy than during this current season of my life and motherhood.

If you create a  routine and make a plan for your day, you’ll realize how much more you accomplish. Let me know what season you’re in right now below!


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3 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa. Thanks so much for your transparency. The Lord led me to your site to show me an example of a website. Could you send me your blog again where you provide the instructions again? This is my "to do". I wrote a book. Sent it to a publisher and am starting my second. You have encouraged me to start the website. As a full time working mom I confess it's been almost 6 weeks and I still have not started! I appreciate your help. Debby [email protected]
  2. My two oldest daughters are grown up, and one already moved out. My youngest daughter is turning 16 in December. She is a very independent girl, works hard at school and works a few evenings a week at the grocery store. To me it feels like a summer season, not a lot of worries about my kids, time to walk the dogs, homemaking (which I absolutely love) and time to do the other things I want to do, like reading and crafting, But above all, time to read the Bible and learn to be a better wife, mother and homemaker!

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