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Progress Report

November 18, 2010

I have happy news! Everyday for an entire week now my dishes have been done, the kitchen sink has been cleaned, the counters wiped, and the cat has had food. I’ve also changed the dishcloth/ towel every other day (as written in the daily chore planner) and the kitchen floor has been swept most days (I missed this one a day or two).

Time Management

I am really seeing improvement, not just in the cleanliness of my home, but also in my time management. Crystal at  Money Saving Mom (a blogger I follow and a great inspiration to me and my own blog) has been doing a series on time management. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

2 weeks ago she had a guest post from Amy Andrews (another blogger that I want to start following) about using a “time budget.” If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey then you probably know about the money envelope system. The time budget uses the same principle only with your time instead of money.

I thought “wow, what a neat idea!” But then as the week continued and I thought about how I could divvy up my time, I realized there was no way it was going to work for me. With a toddler and a newborn, I can’t predict how much time I can devote to any activity in a given day. This really hit me hard on Tuesday morning and I thought about sending Crystal a message to see if she had any suggestions for me. But then…

I checked her blog and you will never guess what the title of her newest post was. Okay, I’ll just tell you: Q&A Tuesday: How can I be organized when I have a nursing baby and toddler? Ha! I think God played a role in this one. It fit my situation perfectly. She suggested for the mom to create a routine instead of using the time budget strategy. She talked about routine in some of her other posts in the Time Management series as well.

I got pen and paper and created my routine.

1. Wake up, short prayer asking God to guide my day, breakfast, family time until Kaylynn takes her first nap

2. Nap #1, Quiet time with God, workout with Kennedy, shower, fix lunch

3. Lunch, work on cleaning tasks as the girls allow

4. Nap #2, work on any non-cleaning tasks, fix dinner

5. Keep working on dinner, cleaning, or spending time with the girls, Kaylynn eats dinner- this is usually a stressful time in the house and we just take care of whatever or whoever needs the most attention at the time. We’re so happy when Daddy walks through the door, even though we usually have things under control by then.

6. Matt comes home, Kaylynn finishes her dinner, Matt and I eat our dinner, family time

7. Kaylynn’s bedtime, computer time (usually listing items on Craigslist and studying my calculus- I’ll save this explanation for a later post on budgeting), bed

This is the routine I created and of course when the girls need my attention, I stop and take care of them. I don’t stress if I don’t get everything done as long as I haven’t wasted my time. I haven’t been able to fit a workout in yet but I keep it in the routine because one of these days it will happen.

Report on My Plan

In a previous post I discussed a new plan for accomplishing my goals. Here’s how it’s going:

1. Follow the daily chore planner. I started off trying to accomplish everything on the to-do list for each day but I wasn’t getting everything done. At the end of the day I would get all the tasks done in the bathroom but the dishes would be piled up in the kitchen sink. The next day I would do the dishes, but I would be so behind that I wouldn’t have time to get much else accomplished.

So I stopped trying to get it all done. I started with just making sure the dishes were done and the sink was clean (think flylady). Then I added the counters. It took a couple of days to get this under control because of all the clutter. There is still clutter, but it’s what I call “organized clutter.”  Next I added sweeping the floor and feeding the cat (don’t worry, we’ve always fed the cat but usually that was Matt’s job and the cat is pretty good about making sure we know when he needs food). And today I managed to get the dinner table cleaned off (a hot spot for clutter) and we actually ate at the table tonight- a first in several months. My goal for next week is to catch up on laundry and get it added to the daily chore list.

So, overall I would say I’m making progress. The process is slow, but I’ll get there eventually.

2. Put on my apron when cleaning and start the day by reciting my Housekeeping Mission Statement. I have not been doing either. I found that I was constantly taking the apron on and off when I was pausing to take care of the girls. It just seemed tedious and wasn’t helping so I nixed it from my daily routine. When the girls are older, I might add it back in, but for now its gone.

As for the mission statement, I don’t have a printed version and our laptop died, so I wasn’t able to read it for a few days. When it didn’t affect how I was cleaning or managing my time, I didn’t add it back in. I do believe however that saying a short prayer each day has made an enormous difference, not just in my daily routine but also my attitude. On a side note, I still like my mission statement, and I plan on referring to it as needed.

3. Continue blogging. Well, I haven’t posted as often as I would like, but… I think you can judge this one for yourself.

The Challenge

If you are new to my blog, or you’ve forgotten, this is all about our journey together. So I want to know about your time management. Do you have a strategy that works for you? If so, share it with us. If not, think about creating a daily routine like I did, using the time budget system found at Money Saving Mom, or coming up with your own plan. Be sure to share any ideas or thoughts so we can travel this journey together.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mother in law permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:30 PM

    Like your “oranized clutter”we all have that! Glad to see that family time and the girls come first,as I thought you would do. Yes a clean house is good,but time spent with the kids are something you can not get back. The house will be there tomorrow,but the things the girls do will be different every day. So proud of you,my son and “the girls”could not have a better role model!!!!

  2. Dana permalink
    November 18, 2010 6:05 PM

    Very Very Proud of your accomplishments!! Me I am looking for a housekeeper/personal asst cause i just cant do it all!

  3. Mom permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:45 PM

    I too have been working with a rountine of sorts. One thing I try to do at least once a week is a ‘chore’ that i like or find fun, one day I put up the outside lights(Christmas), one day I cleaned all my candle holders that evening lit all my candles….you get the idea. These things are my treats, my rewards, dishes always come first and at least the laundry will be started, but things are getting done and I’m feel better about things.

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