The kids will soon go back to school. I must gear up for my fall business. Summer draws to a close. Fatigue and change are in the air. The stress of upcoming holidays is an annoying buzz just under my daily consciousness.
Sometimes I wonder how other people do it. Do they have more hours in their day than I do? How can I plan ahead for fall and for the holidays and be prepared? After all, this stuff is seasonal! The calendar year repeats itself over and over again. It seems like I could catch on faster, but instead I usually feel like someone chasing a merry-go-round that started before I could quite climb on.”
The days are still long–though not for much longer! We put a lot of pressure on our poor little summer. We are supposed to do all our usual stuff, plus yard work, outside projects and some good old-fashioned fun, all in this tiny window of opportunity. Now school and other fall activities and routines begin.
Many of us are guilty of trying to cram way too much into a 24-hour day. I struggle to accomplish as much as I can in the weekly Monday to Friday grind. During this, I try to capture that elusive thing some people call “leisure time” or “family time” in this brief season of late summer or early fall. How can we get it all done, especially during the week?
Here are some ideas that help in the quest for mid-week free time—that is, when I remember to use them:
Have weeknight schedules for errand running, household care and meals.
Somewhere along the line, we have gotten the idea that schedules and habits are restrictive things. I would like to suggest that schedules are actually very freeing. Try to put household tasks on a schedule. Why? So you don’t have to worry about them or even think about them the other six days of the week!
Turn off the television on weeknights.
Take a walk around the block.
Go to bed at the same time every night.
Take time to plan and schedule leisure, fun, and family activities for the weekend.
Take it upon yourself to make sure the fun stuff happens too. When I am at the mall, there is a little nagging voice in my head telling me that my time could be better spent elsewhere. Guess what? When I am on a family bike ride or reading with one of my kids, that yucky little voice is gone. It is up to me to schedule the right stuff.
Finally, reduce the guilt. When will we learn that we really can’t have our cake and eat it too? At least, we can’t have it all in the same tiny window of time! From the time you walk in the door to the time you go to bed on a week night, you only have four or five hours to deal with dinner, children’s sporting events, homework, errands, household tasks, the mail, and whatever you brought home from work. Give yourself a break. After all, if you don’t, who will?
Barbara Tako is a clutter clearing motivational speaker and author of Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life (O Books, 2010), a seasonally organized book of clutter clearing tips that readers can pick and choose from to fit their personal style and needs.
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