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Ranking Your Priorities {Balanced Challenge Day 5}

Creating a Balanced Schedule

Wow! What a week this has been. I have seen amazing results in my life from taking the Balanced Challenge. How about you? Have you been following along?

In Chapter 5, Tricia talks about ranking the tasks and activities we have on our calendars. In years past, this would have been a great exercise for me. My calendar has seen days where there was no empty space. I was booked for back-to-back appointments and tasks.

Today, however, my calendar reflects a much more calm schedule. Even though my kids are older, they are not involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. We spent many years when they were younger finding out what they really liked to do. Now they just focus on the activities they like most.

Our family is also able to have dinner together most nights of the week. I’m treasuring these moments because I’m sure as the kids get older, there will be other opportunities that will keep them away from home. Right now, though, both of my kids really like being at home.

The main problem I have with balancing my schedule is how to use the time I’ve set aside to work on my blog or other writing projects wisely. I can easily block off a couple of hours to work, but often I don’t even know where to begin. I have been blogging seriously for almost a year now. However, I’m still learning what needs to be done each day to maintain my blog and to make sure I’m active with those who are reading it.

Here is a picture of what this week’s calendar looked like:

weekly schedule

Even though I did not feel I needed to rank my tasks and activities, there may be some of you who could benefit from this exercise. Let me share Tricia’s method for determining what really needs to be on your calendar.

Rank every item on your schedule 1-4.

  1. Things you have to do (feed children, get them dressed, homeschooling/homework, work projects, Bible study, and prayer).
  2. Things you should do (laundry, cook dinner, bathe your kids, serve others, church attendance).
  3. Things you want to do (things you enjoy doing/things that help you:  Facebook, Bible study group, exercise class, coffee with a friend, your child’s favorite sport or activity).
  4. Things you are doing to look good or are doing out of guilt (volunteering because you couldn’t say no, extra extracurricular activities, things that you think will make you a good mom).
  • Now, cut out all the 4s.
  • Limit the 3s, realizing there will be different seasons in life when you can do them.
  • Take a moment to appreciate the white space.
  • Pick 5-10 things you want to fill your calendar with:  family dinners, church attendance, quiet time with God, your child’s favorite sport or class.
  • Realize that your choices today will make the days to come-and the years to come-so much easier!

Managing our time is one of the hardest things we have to do as moms. No matter whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or if you work outside the home, it is often difficult to find the balance we need with our time.

I love this quote from Tricia’s book:

Balance starts with shaping your world. Each of us has a chance to “shape and form” our calendars, our schedules, and even our expectations.

So, remember, if you think your schedule is out of control, you do have the means to take it back under control. Don’t let your schedule rule you. You must create your schedule to conform to the life you have been called to live.

How do you keep your schedule under control?

Get Balanced!
Tricia Goyer Balanced

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

Linked with Tricia Goyer’s Balanced Challenge

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One Comment

  1. Jennifer, thanks for sharing. I’m reading Summoned to Lead by Leonard Sweet. Ironically, this is what he has to say about balance: “I can never expect to live a balanced life, but I can expect to live a harmonious life, in which the ends are held in tension, or harnessed, not leveled out.” He goes on to explain that life entails dealing with variables and the need to regularly ask ourselves how much is enough. We all need God’s wisdom!

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