Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Finding My Own Way

For anyone who has read my blog for any length of time, you probably know I struggle with sticking to a schedule. I love the idea of a schedule and the process of creating one. However, I tend to rebel against doing what is supposed to be done at a certain time, even if I'm the one who says so.

For years now, I have been SO encouraged by many of the blogs I read that expound on all the virtues of having a very detailed schedule. I really do love this idea in theory. I've tried it many times too. But I just can never seem to make it stick. I do wish I could because I certainly see the benefits of it.

Lately though, I've been feeling the need to cut myself a little slack on the guilt I feel for not being able to stick with such a rigorous schedule. I think it's wonderful that it works for some families. But now it's time I, once and for all, admit that it just doesn't work for us and it probably never will. I need to break the self-destructive cycle of setting myself up for failure.

Yet there is still obvious merit in having a schedule and planning things out. I know this. After all, I constantly enjoy the benefits of meal planning and school planning. And we do have a loose schedule that we stick to like glue without really trying. This "schedule" mainly consists of meal times, school time, bed time, nap time, morning routines, before bed routines, and meal preparation times. When I add in more than that to a specific time table though, everything falls apart, even the schedule that is already in place.

So, what I've started doing is writing out an old-fashioned To-Do list every morning. The list is in no particular order and there are no time restrictions to stick to. I just do what I want to do next when I want to do it. This has been such a freeing realization for me. I can have a somewhat structured day and still feel unstructured.

I have realized that it is wonderful to be encouraged by what others do, but I don't need to feel the need implement all of their methods in my own home. I can find my own way while still benefiting from their encouragement and inspiration. Finding the method that works best for MY family really works for me!

Find more Works For Me Wednesday at Shannon's blog.


Sonshine 11:31 PM  

I know exactly how you feel! I have tried the strict to the minute schedule and it just doesn't work for me and my family. So we just do what I call our routine.

When I remember to do a to do list I accomplish more in my day! I need to get back in the habit of a to do list!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Kirstin 11:38 PM  

That is awesome! I think that is very true. I love a schedule, but when it comes to the "to-do's" I want to have a list and just know what things should get done today and which can wait for another day. I even have it broke down to "today, this week, next two weeks"..sometimes! Sometimes I just make a list and mark things off as they get done!

I don't think any one method is right or wrong as long as what needs doing gets done!

Angie 1:56 AM  

Really great post! I also have tried schedules before, but it's just not me. It makes me less productive, because it stresses me out. I finally have to accept that it's just not for me.

I have to say though, as much as I love the Internet and I love reading blogs, it is really easy for them to steal away our contentment, isn't it? It's so easy to see what other people are doing, and to think that what we do is less. Good for you for taking control!

Laura 9:20 AM  

Great post! It sounds like what you are doing works great for you! Your schedule sounds relaxed and ideal...and I bet you get tons of stuff done. I've long ago given up on the idea of sticking to a rigorous schedule. I create a schedule, just to get an idea of how the school day should go and how I can make it all work...and then we just use that as a guideline. I love not having that pressure on myself!

Anonymous,  9:28 AM  

This is a great post! I want you to know that I am an organized person. NOT a strict schedule person. But I suppose a routine person. I do the to-do lists! I can follow a schedule if need be..>BUT, I like being flexible. I say that to say this...even people that may find it a bit easier can tend to stray from the plan.

I think doing the to-do list will be great for you. I do this pretty much for most days. Then, at the end of the day, I may find some of the stuff undone. I just move it to my next list. Very informal chicken scratch list. Sometimes, I have to move it several times... eventually most everything gets done. I suppose those things that carry over and eventually stop getting written down- I can live without doing.

Congratulate yourself for making this discovery to be YOU! We have much to learn from YOU!

Memarie Lane 11:25 AM  

You know, I just think maybe schedules aren't for everyone. I use a schedule, and it does help me, but it also smothers me. It can go one way or the other. Just do what works for you.

Cajunchic 11:30 AM  

I can totally relate. I do follow a detailed schedule for the most part but I had to start allowing myself to not get so stressed out when it did not go exactly as planned.

Christine 1:36 PM  

I agree that this is a wonderful plan. I like to avoid schedules with time slots, because, from my experience, life just doesn't happen that way. Sometimes, babies have blow outs, visitors drop by, or a chore takes longer than expected. I think you have found the best of both worlds!

Brooke 2:14 PM  

i love "to do" lists. and the reason i love them is they work for me. we all have to find our own way in these kinds of things if we really want it to last. what's helpful is taking other people's ideas and tweaking them to make it work for our individual needs. :)

Ashley 6:34 PM  

Hello! I am just starting to read your blog and I just wanted you to know that this works for me to. It doesn't matter how hard I try if I make a schedule I don't stick to it. So I make a to-do list in the morning and my goal is to finish it by the end of the day. And it has been working great for me!


Muthering Heights 11:29 PM  

I'm a scheduler, but I would still be lost without a To-Do list! :P

Anonymous,  8:08 PM  

Oooh- I'm a "to-do" groupie, too! :)

A Grammatical Disclaimer

I freely admit to consistently using improper grammar in the following areas:
1. I like run-on sentences.
2. I have a tendency to end sentences with a pronoun. (I really do. I can't help it.)
3. I always seem to use passive voice in my sentences. (See?)

I've been trying to break this habit, unsuccessfully, for years, so now I just accept that as my writing style, and since I'm not writing for grades anymore, I embrace it. (Again, see?)

Hence, I invoke Blogger Artistic License for this blog!

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