10 Little Things That Make My Day Run More Smoothly

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I haven’t been a doing great job lately, I can FEEL it. It actually started back at the beginning of this year. The first month or two was fine, I think. But then I started taking on more and more commitments. And then I flew off to Baltimore at the beginning of March (and that was a lot of FUN,) and I had some reviews and some giveaways, there was an ebook, and I decided to try to blog every day for all 12 Days of Easter and it was all downhill from there. I feel like I’ve spent the past three months mostly catching up on things I decided to do in February.

But then I added even more to it, two big birthday celebrations in April, several planned outings with the kids, a youth trip to Six Flags, having friends over for a painting party in Princess’ room. You know, lots of good family stuff. Important stuff. For almost all of March and April we also had the opportunity to care for and homeschool a child in our home while her mom worked a temporary job with 12 hour shifts six days a week. That was a blessing for everyone involved. More good stuff.

And that’s not even all of it! I didn’t even mention the two Mommy Time Facebook Parties! Of course while I’m doing all of this, trying to write, trying to school, trying to care for the home, trying to care for my children,..I’m trying to squeeze my morning devotions in, meet my husband’s needs, attend and serve in our church, meet up with friends, and maybe get some sleep now and then. The cherry on our busy cream Sundae was two family vacations in May, one weekend getaway, followed by almost a week traveling to and from Tennessee the following weekend.

Needless to say: I’ve been booked.

And at times.. slightly bonkers.

It’s impossible to have a million balls in the air and juggle them perfectly without dropping anything.

So it occurs to me, that I have been overlooking something. Well, I’ve been overlooking a lot of somethings. I’ve gone through all of this before and learned all of these lessons already. My “word” for the year 2011 was “Well-Functioning,” learning to put habits in place for a well functioning day, a smoothly running home. 2012 brought word “Transformation,” desiring for God to take the things I learned and create real change in me. And this year my word is “Purposeful,” making sure the things I do are with purpose, and also “having a purpose” (in the spiritual sense, how does God want to use me, what is my purpose?) Well, here I am feeling like I’m back at square one.

There are things that I can do, that I *have* done sometimes but that I seem to have forgotten at very inconvenient times this year. However, this year is very different from other years. This year we have a home that we can (and are) opening up to company. This year, we are serving more in our church. This year, I am a full time work from home blogger – and still a full time wife, mom and homeschooler. There’s a lot of change to adapt to here! But that’s where a good foundation comes in. I need a good rhythm for my day. So here it is:

10 Little Things That Make My Day Run More Smoothly:

1.) At the end of the day, think about tomorrow and do a little prep for it. Load the dishwasher, make sure the living areas are picked up, lay out some clothes – something. Anything I can do to get a head start on the next day is good. (Bookend the day with routine.)

2.) Get up early. Oh, how I have a love-hate relationship with this one. I hate getting up early but I love all the extra time I feel like I earn!

3.) Spend time with the Lord. (Ideally, when I get up early in the morning. But if not, then SOMETIME.) Also – take decisions and choices to God throughout the day. (I know that I’ve not done that with some of the decisions I’ve made, and it’s one of the reasons I overbooked myself.)

4.) Get up off my toosh and make breakfast at a certain time, getting the kids up at a certain time. (Otherwise, they’ll sleep til “whenever” and we’ll have breakfast “whenever.” That’s not a very “well-functioning day, is it??)

5.) Make school a priority. Get it done earlier in the day and you’ll earn a whole afternoon of free play. Yippee!!

6.) Start school with God. Do a devotion, read a bible story, practice memory verses, make worldview or apologetics, etc, the first class of the day – whatever methods you choose. It’s giving God the best of our day, and it’s setting the tone for the rest of our school day.

7.) DO FUN THINGS WITH THE KIDS. Whether it’s something fun during school, after school, or at the end of the day. Or like Toni says, “Be a ‘Yes’ mom.” The kids and I need to have time together, doing things, and school and chores don’t count. One thing I like to do, that helps with bed time, and makes our day feel so much better, is reading to the kids before bed.

8.) Have at least a generic routine for the day. Set meal times and bed times are important for us — and get those kids in bed on time! Get ME in bed on time! (Speaking of set “times,” set work times are something I need to work on. STILL.)

9.) Be disciplined with housework and have the kids help with chores. Hey, I don’t like chores any more than the kids do. But I do like a clean house. And while I need to be fun mom, I also have to be the responsible adult. So just do it.

10. SPEND TIME WITH MY HUSBAND. There are many little things I do throughout the day to be a good helper to my husband and make him feel loved. But none of that makes up for actual time spent with him. AndYouKnowWhatIMean. I’m not just talking about TALKING.

If I’m too busy that I’m not getting all of those things done (and that’s a lot, right??) then I’m just flat out too busy.

So, yes, I’m pretty much preaching to myself here. But I’m hoping you might relate to this a little, too. I do feel like I’m starting to get my head above water a little bit, and I’m trying to be more intentional about the things I choose to do. I know what helps my day go round, I just need to do it!

top_ten_tuesdayLinked up with Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings.

Photo credit: Traffic Lights by EMANOEL Gugu

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shalyse
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shalyse

I disagree with 6. I just feel like god and education should be separate. I am very spiritual and feel that deity and faith have strong places in life, but I feel to issue that children can learn to make rational decisions as adults they should have that one area without the presence of deity. The rest I completely agree with. My favorite time to meditate of my spiritual path is in the morning or while cooking. That make my day so much better. These are some great tips.

Amber Oliver
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Amber Oliver

Thank you, Shalyse. I know I already commented on the Facebook post, but I wanted to reply here also. I really appreciate your kind answer and we sound like we can respectfully disagree on this one. I hope the other tips help. I am always open to other points view. Have a great week.

Dawn @ The Momma Knows
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Dawn @ The Momma Knows

Keeping all those balls in the air at once is something I’ve had too much practice with… and it doesn’t work so well. And the getting up thing? Ugh. I let them sleep this morning and now I’m waiting on them to stumble up for breakfast (because I did wake them up.) And it going to be one of those whenever days…. ๐Ÿ˜›

Amber Oliver
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Amber Oliver

Well, I stink at juggling. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Sometimes it’s okay to let them sleep in and have a “whenever” day. It’s when the “whenever” day becomes “every” day that we have a problem. =)

Becky Marie
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Becky Marie

Great list! I like the book end the day with routine idea. I’m really good about that in the morning, but not in the evenings.

Amber Oliver
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Amber Oliver

That is really probably the BEST thing to make me feel like I’m doing a good job around the house. If I have a good start to my morning (up on time, bible read, breakfast made, kitchen tidied, school started,) and then and good end to the day (kids bathed, kids read to and in bed on time, house picked up and ready for the next day,) then I feel like I’m staying on top of things and doing pretty good. It feels SO GOOD to wake up to a clean house in the morning, and that’s only possible if… Read more »

Mary
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Mary

Amber — I love all of these — you hit the nail on the head for me with each and every one of them!

Amber Oliver
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Amber Oliver

Thank you, Mary. I don’t know why I don’t do a better job of keeping up with these things. I need to pray for more of that last Fruit of the Spirit that doesn’t get enough attention: SELF-CONTROL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jennifer Medina
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Jennifer Medina

I absolutely love starting both your day and then the school day with God! He has, after all, given us the day to begin in the first place. I notice that my tone and then my children’s tones are set better when we do this together as well!

All of these are such good tips! I, too, am well-versed in taking on too much all at once. ๐Ÿ™‚

Leslie
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Leslie

I REALLY needed to read this. In fact, I needed it so much that I’m going to leave it marked as “unread” so that I will continue to stumble across it, and each time I do I am going to take the next item on the list and work on including it in my day. The items that reference “homeschool” will change somewhat for summer, but I see summer as a time when I may be able to PRACTICE them so that they will be a habit by the time fall comes (I hope)…

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Our Flexible School Day - Back to (Home) School 2013 » A Classic Housewife in a Modern World

[…] Start our school day with God. I covered that in my post about making my overall day run more smoothly, but here’s why: if we take a minute to remember that this is something that God calls us to […]