Stone Soup for Five: Making time work for you

Making time work for you

I'm starting the third month of re-working how I use my morning time.

Why morning?

It's the most critical part of my day, and the only guaranteed part of my day that no one needs me.  The phone rarely rings, the family is asleep, no one comes over.  It's the only quiet part of the day I KNOW I'll have.  

For months I've been trying different things to see if I could work the most crucial parts of my day into my mornings, and how much time I needed to spend on each thing.

BUT!  Before I say any more about my personal schedule, I want to put this disclaimer out there in BOLD print.

Each person's season of life is different.  Ten years ago, I could have never done this schedule--my boys were little, would be up too early, etc.  I'm in a season now where they need alarms to wake them or they won't roll out of bed till noon.  I can also get to bed consistently earlier, as I couldn't with young babies/toddlers.  So take into account where you are in life before you start beating yourself up about what you can't do.  

Do what you can, with the time you have.  

If that is just getting up 15 minutes earlier than the kids (which is what I did all the way through their early rising years of elementary school), that's great!  

Work with what you can and always seek to improve in increments!

So with all that said, here's how I've tweaked and reworked my mornings to get the MOST out of that silent, lovely time.

I started the year off, getting up at 4
(again, this is only do-able if you can get to bed early enough the night before 
to make sure you are getting enough rest!)  
and used most of that time to spend luxuriously enjoying my Bible.  It looked like this:


4-415 up, dress, coffee

415-5 pray, read thru Bible, 5x5x5 study
5-530 Bible journal
530-6 memory/extra (extra was things like Bible meditation sheets, workbooks, Bible studies)
6-8  take oldest to mentor meeting --go to McDonalds for $1 coffee and use time to plan school/correct.
8-830 exercise
830-9 shower, dress, pray
9 start homeschool

But after a month or so of that schedule, I realized that I needed to be even more intentional with my time.  Things I needed to get done, weren't getting done in the afternoons, and needed to be moved to this protected morning time when I wouldn't be disturbed.

So with the help of a quirky free app called 30/30.  I reworked it and have set my app to ding and tell me when to move on to the next thing.  

I would LOVE to be able to continue to dig deep into the word each morning and take my time drinking in that life-giving truth... but, in reality, Jesus isn't going to do my job for me,  He gave me a brain to use to figure out the best way to redeem my time to glorify Him.  So I had to switch things up a bit.

I re-thought the things that I wanted to do that I absolutely NEEDED protected, undisturbed time for, and had to move the other things that I could do with some mild distractions (kids fighting, needing help on homeschool, phone ringing, etc).  I moved in things that I needed to do that were essential to making our family work--like making money from my job.

So here's my re-worked mornings now:


4-415    up, dress, coffee
415-430 read business book or just sit and think and sip coffee
430-510 work [40 min]
510-515 break (I get up, stretch, pick up some things, sip coffee)
515-600 work [45 min]
6-615    put away work/prep to leave
615-630 drop A off to meet with mentor
630-730 drive to McDonald's--$1 coffee--Bible read through, 5x5x5, journal/read a book
730-8     pick up A, drive home
8-830     workout
830-9     shower, dress, pray
9           start school

The most awesome thing about this schedule, is that I have my work done before I'm even awake and I seriously almost feel like I've hired someone else to do the work for me. (Most of my work is sewing, so I put in a book I uploaded onto my ipod--I borrow CDs from the library--and start sewing while enjoying stories.)  Once my homeschool day has started, I feel like my ACTUAL day is just starting and now that the work is done, I am already ahead!

Right now I'm in the middle of re-engineering my ideal afternoon routine, but I need to be sure to leave plenty of margin for friends/family/sudden needs/spontaneity.  That is a whole other blog post.  

But for now, I am so pleased with my new morning routine and am so thankful for the time I get to spend in the word and on the work the Lord has blessed me with.

Let me know what your mornings look like in the comments below.  Are there things that you do that are absolutely essential? I'm ALWAYS looking for ways to better improve how I spend my time! Let me know!

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