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Routines vs. Schedules

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Routines vs. Schedules @ AVirtuousWoman.org #ATimeToClean

A Time to Clean: Day 19

You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.

I didn’t grow up in a very regimented environment. Other than going to school or church… I pretty much did what I wanted when I felt like it. As a young mother I learned that having a routine really helped structure the day for my toddler and baby.

As time moved on and I had more children – five to be exact – and my life became more complicated and I had more obligations, I moved from having a basic routine to a detailed schedule in 15 minute increments. I even had my kids on a strict schedule. I did this for a few years.

So, the thing is – some people really do well on this type of schedule. 

I am NOT a schedule person. 

In fact, having such a tight schedule drained the life and joy right out of me. I burned out. Not because of the schedule, but because I was trying to pack so much into every. single. day. I had too many obligations and not enough margin in my life.

Then, as time went on, my schedule was thrown out the window all together because we had so much going on and I had so many things to do and so many people who relied on me for help. A big portion of this dilemma was the fact that I was helping to care my husband’s aging mother and her husband, my husband’s uncle, and my husband’s terminally ill brother. Everyday was different. I different responsibilities for each day of the week. And I never knew when someone would call and need me. Taking care of aging, ill family members took dozens of hours every week.

This chaotic, stressful life went on for several years. 

Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful or selfish, but trying to raise a family, homeschool, run a ministry, and everything else the typical pastor’s wife and mother has to do is really difficult when so many people need you. It was a very hard season of life for me. Over the last two years we’ve lost my husband’s brother, step-father, and finally his mother – and Mykal’s uncle is currently staying with his aunt. When my mother-in-law passed away this summer, all of the time I had spent helping to care for her ended and life changed a lot.

A Routine Kind of  Day

I can’t say enough about how much I love mundane routine. I love knowing when I wake up in the morning that I will cook breakfast, sit down to write, work on school with the kids, make lunch, work on A Virtuous Woman, clean the house, make supper, spend some time with my family, and get ready for bed.

I crave that kind of routine. 

I need that kind of routine. 

But are routines really important?

Routines give your day a sense of rhythm and help you and your children to feel secure. Knowing what to expect at any given time on any given day gives us a sense of well-being. Children, especially, thrive on a basic routine.Living a chaotic, sporadic life will prove exhausting over and falling into a daily routine at home can offset the chaos of outside life.

But more than that, routines help you organize your time so that household tasks have a place in your life on a regular basis. Whether it’s the daily mealtimes, or when you mop your floors on Monday afternoon, or what time you sit down to read to your kids, routines give our lives balance.

So, what does all of this have to do with clutter? 

Well, as we clear the clutter from our hearts and homes, we need to put in place a system or routine for keeping the clutter at bay. Having a morning worship time each day as part of your morning routine will help keep the clutter from your heart. Setting aside a few minutes each day to declutter your house will help keep your home from becoming overrun with clutter again.

Routines and Schedules

Are routines better than schedules?

 Well, my guess is that if you are struggling with a lot of clutter, you’re not a very scheduled person. However I could be wrong! You could be like I was and have so much to pack into your schedule that you don’t have to time to deal with all that clutter on a daily or weekly basis. And if that’s the case, you may need to review the importance of having margin in your life again. But then again, remember, I realized that I am not a schedule person. I need flexibility during the day to chase pursuits as I feel like it

Personally, I love having a basic routine more than I loved having a detailed schedule. But, what I like is not necessarily the best thing for you. Your personality and lifestyle have a lot to do with what will work best for you.

Depending on how each day looks in your home, a schedule {hour by hour or in 30 minute increments} may benefit you. Family who have set times for work, school, play often do better with a schedule. For instance, if you husband comes home from work at the same time each and you have set days for running errands or going to the playground find it easier to stick to a schedule.

My husband is a pastor. His hours are varied every day. Some days he’s home a lot. Other days I hardly see him. Most of the time I don’t know if he’ll be home when we eat. We have a large family and lots of things going on each week but most days are different. It’s hard to keep a schedule when life looks like that! So that’s why for my family in this season, a basic routine works best.

Tomorrow we’ll look more at how to create a schedule or routine. 

What kind of routines do you have in place in your home? Do you need to work on building a new routine?

Today’s Goal

  • What does your day to day life look like? Do you need to create a better routine for your day? Pray and ask God to give you wisdom as you contemplate how to give order to your day.
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in upstairs today.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away. You can donate to our Appalachian Community Center if you’d like.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.

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  1. Day 19 and my garage is clear of clutter. More organized than it has been and the ability to begin a project with a clear space is a delight. Thank you so much for helping me get to this point. I'm breathing deeper and easier... Kate
  2. Amazing how God is clearing my mind as I clear the clutter . I discovered that routine things work better for me than schedules do . I was also able to sit down and map out my work schedule giving me a four day work week instead of five which gives me more time to spend with my family .

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