Time management was always my strong suit.  I knew how to fit in a full days work, plan for the following days/weeks, cook dinner and make it to a workout before bed.  Even when I had Lincoln, I knew how to fit it all in.  But lately… lately I think if I just fit in a shower, then it would be a good day.

But that has to change.  I have things I have to do.  I have to be a mom.  I have to be a wife.  I have to be a teacher.  And I have to do all of these things every single day.  And when I don’t plan out each of those roles, I’m not very good at any of them.  So I thought we could talk about time management today.

“If you fail you plan, you plan to fail.”

I saw the above quote on someones Instagram a few weeks back and have been thinking of it recently.  I used Beyonce, but you can use anyone you think is fierce.  The reason it resonated with me is because it’s true.  We are all given the same amount of time each day.  What we do with it is our responsibility.  I find that when I don’t plan my days, I end up with a lot of wasted time.  So I’ve started to sit down the night before and make a list of things to do the next day.  When I was in the classroom, I practiced the same routine and I managed to always fit everything in!  Why I lost touch with this routine, I don’t know.  But it makes such a difference.

For example, a list I made last night looked like this:

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[Sneak peek of a new shop product, coming November 8th!]

Now I realize that’s pretty specific, but that’s what I need.  Otherwise, I forget to do certain things (I actually forget to cook dinner sometimes because I have 825 other things running through my mind).  When I was a first grade teacher, I would make to-do lists for before school, during planning, and after school.  This helped me not chit-chat with other teachers during those times.  When I knew I had a to-do list, I could tackle more things and not be distracted.

*Also you’ll notice that I set my alarm to get up earlier than my child so I can get ready and enjoy my coffee in peace.  This makes a HUGE difference on how I start my day! 

Set Yourself Up For Success

To go along with the planning, you have to prepare.  I’ll lay my clothes and Lincoln’s clothes out the night before.  I’ll make arrangements to meet a friend at the gym so that I’m held accountable.  I’ll cut up the veggies for dinner the night before so in the morning, I just throw it in the crock pot.  I can even schedule the Keurig to start brewing my coffee at a certain time!  All of these things help me be successful and be a better mom, wife, teacher.

When Lincoln is home from school, I’ll make a list of nap-time to-do’s which often include grading papers, preparing for this weeks class, or fulfilling shop orders/writing a blog post.  The day before, I’ll set everything out, so as soon as he goes down, I can get to work!  It’s wonderful.  And on those days I’ll also get up a tad earlier even to get some of those to-do’s done before he’s even up for the day.

What will you do with your time?

Think about Beyonce.  What do you think she’s doing at this very minute?  Do I think she’s sitting on her couch watching reruns of Project Runway?  Probably not.  She’s probably planning her next world tour or something.  But that’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some downtime.  We all need a break.  Sometimes we just have to schedule that downtime.  When I finish all of my to-do’s* and have a productive week, I’ll take all day Friday and then the weekend to enjoy my downtime.  I don’t have to worry about lesson planning, or shop maintenance or folding laundry on those days because I finished that throughout the week.  So my weekend is for nothing but spending time with my family, visiting food trucks, and enjoying the sunshine.  And that time spent doing what I love is what energizes me and gets me ready to tackle the week ahead.

*Yes.  Sometimes I don’t finish everything.  But don’t be so hard on yourself.  There’s always tomorrow.  Your list will get done.  But I find it’s best to let it go until the next day instead of sacrificing time from something else trying to fit in those last five papers to grade.

Now go make your list for tomorrow and go run the world.  Beyonce would want you to.