Today is Halloween, the official kick off to one of the busiest times of the year. In our first Tip, we talked about making a list of priorities, and then saying NO to those commitments that don’t line up with your list of priorities. I sure hope you spent some time making this list, because it will be key in helping you find margin in your schedule.
God created us as Human Beings….not Human Doings. We need down time. We can’t schedule and commit every single minute of every single day. We are not robots…we are not wired to be continually “On”…yet so many of us are.
I purposely leave plenty of margin (time) in my schedule from 5pm – 7pm. I don’t schedule appointments, I don’t plan routine activities like marketing, or errands for this time of day. I reboot during this time, unwind, and reconnect with my family after a day of being away from one another. I normally get home before my hubby, and I spend this time relaxing. Now that’s not to say I never make an afternoon appointment…or stop for an errand, but I don’t make it a habit, and it certainly isn’t the norm for me.
I function best, and can give my best to those I love and care about when I have some time for me. I am more focused and perform better in all my tasks when I am not over-committed in my schedule. My guess is so would you, but this won’t happen by accident. You must plan. You must prioritize.
To me over commitment = overwhelmed. An overwhelmed Michelle is not a good thing. Just trust me on this one!
November is going to be an extremely busy month for my family & I. We have 2 out of town trips planned, as well as business and work commitments. Throw in Thanksgiving right in the middle of the mix, and if I am not careful, those activities I’ve planned and prepared for won’t be the fun and relaxing time I have hoped for. Here is my plan for limiting over commitment and creating margin.
- Simple Easy Meals – We will eat from meals I have prepared ahead and have in the freezer. My meal plan will also consist of meals that will allow for left overs. Cook once…eat twice. If you don’t have any prepared meals to choose from, consider making a double batch of an evening meal and freeze part of it for a future meal. Do that once every week, and you have four meals fully prepared for the month of December. That would give you one night a week off from cooking during one of the busiest months of the year, or 4 nights off from a really super busy week!!!!
- No more commitments – If something gets added to the schedule~something must come off.
- I am hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year. Within the next few days I will make the menu. Each family will bring a dish, and I will plan my grocery list around those dishes that I will be making. I will purchase a few items each week so the task is not so overwhelming. I have some left over apples and will prepare crockpot applesauce this week and put it in the freezer. I will also do that with the butternut squash. Two dishes down!!!
- I use a Day planner that has daily/monthly sections. I will utilize this to the max. Every Sunday afternoon I will look at the monthly section and then the weekly section. I prepare a daily list of tasks for each day of the week according to the current weeks list of commitments. I do not rely on my memory. I write everything down. My husband and I follow the Dave Ramsey budgeting method so we have bi-weekly budget meetings! We function on a zero based budget, meaning every dollar has a home. We use the envelope system, and this has allowed us to become debt free with the exception of our Mortgage! You can bet budget meetings are on the Calendar! So are date nights!!!
These are just a few of the tips I use to keep balance in what I know will be a very busy time. I hope I have encouraged you to make a list of priorities and limit over-committing your schedule. Just like coming to the place called “DONE” in our weight and diet, we can also come to a place called “DONE” with our crazy over-committed schedules. Just like finding food freedom, we can find time freedom too!
Next Week we start our new Series: Surviving the Holidays THM Style!!