If you’re like me, you’re a go getter and you like to stay busy. Really busy. I’m an overachiever. At the end of the day, I feel overwhelmed by how much is still on my “to do” list because…I over-schedule and over-commit.
By having my calendar filled with multiple things, I never quite finish anything. I know some of you understand exactly what I’m saying here. I had a sweet friend tell me that writing has got to be number one or two, otherwise making it in the publishing world would probably not be looking very good. When she said that I thought, “No, I’m a bloody machine. I can do it all.”
She was absolutely right. Her advice got my mind wondering if I was using my time wisely, and if not, then what should I do to change my lifestyle and behaviors so that I was being efficient. The more I piled on, the less writing time I would have and it would take a backseat, yet again. We all are busy, it just depends on how we personally want to spend our days.
“Time stays long enough for those who use it.”-Leonardo Da Vinci
How do you spend your time?
Does it go hand in hand with one of your priorities?
My top three things are family, writing, and my personal well-being. They get the most attention before anything else because being successful in these areas are very important to me. Without being mentally, spiritually, and physically strong, I can’t take care of anyone else or accomplish the goals I have set for myself.
What are your top priorities?
What can you do each week to make them more of a centered focus?
What needs to be taken off your plate to accomplish that?
Recently, I went to a seminar with my husband where an amazing man, Chad Hymes, came to speak to us. He said that a successful person makes a schedule, not a “to do” list.
That really rang a chord with me as I’m guilty for being a “to do” list girl. I was very intrigued with what he said, and went home to talk with my accountability buddy, Jenny Gamboa, about how I wanted to send over a schedule each day rather than a list. She was on board. I wanted to try it out and see if it made a difference for me.
Here’s a sample of my before I started a schedule.
- Fold laundry
- Make a grocery list
- Help kids with homework
- Volunteer at school
- Do morning pages
- Read twenty minutes with each kid
- Pay bills
- Respond to emails
- Pull the weeds
- Clean the toy room
- Clean the car
- Take kids to afterschool activities
And the list went on for days. Where I still got a lot accomplished, my thought process wasn’t quite as focused, and my time would go by fast on tasks that didn’t hold the most importance to me.
Every day is a little different depending on activities and after school events that my kids have going on, but each morning and afternoon stay about the same each day now.
Here’s my new schedule:
Get the kids ready for school
Have them say three things that they like about themselves
Clean common areas
Get kids on bus
Workout: Elliptical and abs
Write in morning pages
Write in thankful journal
Read daily affirmations
Listen to motivational video
Send positive messages
Do an artist exercise
Pick Peter up from bus
Talk to Peter about day
Read a book with Peter
Clean up around house
Talk to girls about their day
Go over homework
Errands, after school activities and play time
6:00-7:00 (We are talkers and it really does take us an hour 🙂 )
Clean up after dinner
Get kids ready for bed
Read a book with kids
Go over one thing that makes them brave, smart, and something they failed at (I stole this idea from an article that I read and fell in love with the concept. We do this every night now.)
Clean up areas that need help
Hang out with hubby
Every Monday I have a quality date with one of my kids, and every Friday is date night with my hubby. Nothing gets in the way of that special time I plan with my favorite people. No matter what, my writing is “work time” and is treated as such. No distractions. If plans come up, I reschedule for another day when I’m not working. And every single morning, I meditate, do morning pages, have an artist date or go on a walk, and write in a thankful journal. I also say positive affirmations. This keeps me feeling positive and uplifted, but also grounded.
By having a schedule, and sticking to it, I have noticed a huge difference in the areas that I hold dear. Simplifying my life has been the best thing for my overachieving, go getter heart. I still can work my tail off the way I like to, and put all my energy into the same places every day rather than spreading myself so thin.
Try it out and see how making a schedule impacts you positively.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”- Stephen Covey
Lauri Schoenfeld’s first love is her little clan of three silly kidlets and her wonderful hubby, Andy. Writing is a close second. She began writing poems at the age of nine, and her love for literature and music developed into composing thirty songs. In 2014 her short story, Christmas Treasure, was featured in an anthology called, Angels from their Realms of Story. Her favorite genre to write is anything dark, psychological, and suspenseful, but she enjoys expanding her horizons and dipping her feet in other genres as well. Lauri teaches summer writing classes for kids and mentors teens throughout the year. She’s a Child Abuse and Scoliosis Survivor. Lauri runs a group for teen girls with Scoliosis called, The S Squad. Their motto is Strength, Support and Self Confidence. She’s been known to dance around the house with a spoon as her microphone and sneak toppings from the ice cream bar. Lauri’s taken online classes at the Institute of Children’s Literature and was the President of the League of Utah Writers, Oquirrh Chapter for two years. She’s a member of Crime Writers and International Thriller Writers.