“Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.” So the saying goes. I am definitely a planner (now – I never used to be!). Since becoming a mother, my approach to planning has become a little more, shall we say, fluid. My kids don’t always fit into the schedule that I want them to, so I try to accommodate them and sometimes flex the schedule a little in order to do so. For me, it’s important to allow room for spontaneity and those unscheduled times often offer the most wonderful memory-making opportunities. (Not always, but sometimes.)
I work but am currently on maternity leave. It’s a funny old time, mat leave, as you can easily let the days fly by without thinking much about your productivity; a lot of mums – myself included – just try to make the most of the time they have before going back to the 9-5 lifestyle. But are we though; what does ‘making the most of our time’ look like?
I’ve found that planning my family’s days and making to-do lists actually enables me to make the most of the time I have. For example: I used to say I didn’t have time to exercise because of everything else I have to get done in a day (cleaning, cooking, entertaining the kids, grocery shopping, laundry – the list goes on) but, now,
I have set times to do certain tasks and when the time’s up, it’s up- on to the next thing.
And sometimes, the next thing is taking an opportunity to look after myself and get some exercise in.
The same goes for others areas of my life too. When it’s time to cook, the vacuuming has to wait. When it’s time to pray, the ironing has to wait. I’ve learned and accepted that I can’t do EVERYTHING all at once and it feels bloomin’ AMAZING to just relax and let certain things be less than perfect for a while!
This is where having a planner becomes a major help. At the moment, I’m using a planner I found in Poundland and I’m now so used to writing down what needs to be done in it, that I’d be lost without it.
Once an appointment, event or occasion is written in my planner, I don’t have to take up space in my brain trying to remember it. It just feels as though I’m taking more control of my time by writing these things down and seeing at a glance what’s ahead so I can prepare for it.
When an invitation for something comes up, for instance, I always check my trusty planner before committing.
This means if I say yes, I know there’s definitely not going to arise an awkward-to-sort-out double-booking, and if I say no, it’s because I really can’t (or I’ve scheduled some me-time or family-time that evening).
So, when you want to just make the most of your free time by doing nothing, it may seem counterintuitive to schedule that time out to achieve certain things, but doing so actually helps to make the most of the time you have! Schedule time to relax. Schedule time to have fun. Schedule time to do the less fun stuff. Finding that balance has helped me so much; I’m still working on it but I’m loving the progress I’ve made so far and am getting closer to achieving my goals and prospering as a result.
Now, it’s time for me to get an early night. Until next time,