All About Organization
Finding Time for Activities
You always have the time for something that is a priority. All you got to do is make it the priority.
Squeezing in an activity in your day doesn’t need to block out an entire afternoon. It takes 15 minutes, and you can squeeze that in many parts of your day!
Let’s find out how!
Can you provide a schedule of your day that shows when you fit activities into your day?
Simple question. A not-so-easy answer. Especially since I share an activity planner that helps you fit those activities in your day, but yet I can’t tell you how to schedule them into your day.
You see, my days are very rarely the same. I am not a scheduled person. I roll with the flow most days.
I find this works best for us. It takes a lot of pressure off me that I would put on if I had a schedule to follow. That doesn’t mean that I don’t gather ideas for the week or have plans. I do have those.
And schedules change! Be sure to come back to this any time that you feel that you’re slipping away from activities and you need to get back into the routine. That means that something has shifted and you need to regroup.
A little more about how my home works — I am primarily a stay at home mom. So I’m at home with my kids and work when I can. My husband works nights, so he’s home during the days with us as well (in the morning, he’s sleeping). He is there to help me during activities if I want it.
Your home might be a little different in that you work out of the home all day, or you’re at home by yourself until the late hours of the night.
Find your times to do activities
Times that I frequently fit activities into our routines are:
- In the morning, if they get up super early.
- Before heading out for the day (not before school, but before we’re heading to the store and whatnot to run errands).
- During the toddler or baby’s nap time. This has always been the main activity time.
- After nap time, if they kids are in a decent mood (it can be hit or miss).
- After big kids get home from school. Sometimes its better to have bigger kids around to help out (sometimes not).
- Before dinner. Often I’ll set something up for them to do while I’m getting dinner on the table.
- After dinner. It depends on when you eat dinner and go to bed, but sometimes we have some down time in between.
- Weekends. Sometimes the week is just to crazy and the only good times are on the weekends when we have some down time, and that’s okay.
I urge you to jot down 7 of your own times that you can squeeze in activities into your daily, or weekly, routine.
As long as activities are kept simple they can be squeezed into any part of the day!
Observe when things get crazy
You may notice that every night, when you’re just starting to get dinner ready, that the kids start to get on each other’s nerves (and yours).
Or you may notice that the half hour after dinner is nuts.
Or maybe you have the entire morning to entertain the kids and its also at 10am that the kids need your attention.
This is where you need to jot down how things go for a week (or so) and see when, and if, you could implement some activities during these times. It could be a time to create one on one bonding with your child, or maybe its a time you really need to just have them be busy while you get something done.
Jot down these times that you find yourself at your wits end, so we can figure something out with it!
Reflect on your routines
Routines definitely help most days run smoother but that’s not because there is one, perfect, routine for every day.
Kids grow up, they change, and have different needs. A routine only works if its serving those needs. Routines need to evolve with your family.
Create a routine that will grow & change with you.
Block out your day. What are the daily events in your household that create different periods in your day such as: mealtimes, kids waking and going to sleep, going to and from school, or nap time.
When things need to happen at a certain time each day (such as kids getting to school on time) work backwards from that time and think about each action that needs to happen before that then add a little padding.
Map out this skeleton of your day.
Find what makes your day run smoother
Figure out what pieces of your day must happen in order for the day to run smoothly (such as the toddlers’ nap, dinner prep done by a certain time, or lunches made in the evening for the next day).
It can also be helpful to consider what pieces of your day can you skip (when need be) without it making you crazy later.
Set aside time for yourself.
I know you don’t have a lot of time to set aside for yourself, I know, I’m a parent too. Even just 5-15 minutes every day adds up and can help keep you from depleting yourself.
What small things can you do daily to meet your own needs?
- Jot down 7 different times of your week that you have ‘openings’ in your schedule on the “Finding Time” sheet.
- Find the times when you’re at your wits end so we can prepare for it with the “When Things Get Crazy” sheet.
- Reflect on your current family routine’s and see if they need updating. Fill out the “Creating Our Family’s Routines” Sheet.
- Report your findings in the The Activity Room: Member’s Only Facebook group (this is a private group).