Building A To Do List

The question I receive the most from my friends, family, and followers is, "How do you find time for everything that you do?"

Yes, homeschooling, raising an infant, editing for a transcription company, blogging, laundry, cooking, baking, crafts, couponing, planning a wedding, and cuddling with my honey does seem next to impossible.  There are days where I feel more accomplished than others.

Thankfully, with each passing day my life has seemed to get a little more organized on its own.  That wasn't until I made an executive decision to get control of my schedule, though...

The very first step I had to take, as a Christian woman, was to focus more on God and putting Him first in my every day life.  For me, in my own personal experience, the days where I wake up and start out with prayer and devotion tend to become my most productive days.  Choosing to be spiritually focused allows everything else to fall into place for me, and keeps me more centered and balanced.

The second step for me is prioritizing.  This isn't always easy.  On the days when Stud walks into a messy house, he could easily think that I didn't prioritize my day very well (thankfully, I have a man who knows I'm always hard at work on something).  On the contrary, those are some of my best days, when I finally allow the laundry and toys to build up and accept that I have more important things to focus on.  I have had to learn that a tidy house does not always signify a well-disciplined house wife.  Being home all day with the kids does not mean that your house should be spotless.

Once I have God and my priorities in line for the day, the last step is much easier to accomplish: make a schedule! Originally, I tried to follow a pre-set schedule but then I realized, my life is too crazy, too hectic, and too sporadic to stick to a daily itinerary.  My schedule needs to be flexible in order to keep up with my life.

So, my days will typically start out looking something like this: "Wake up, shower, help Stud get his day going and off to work, go into my room and have prayer/alone time with God and my Bible, feed the children their breakfast and do devotions with them, write out my list of things to do for the day, check my emails while Ninja does his chores, and then start school..." The rest of the day follows whatever I wrote on my list, until 5pm when Dr. Phil comes on.  That's the only time I turn on the TV during the day, while I cook dinner and/or put laundry away.

However, recently I came across something way cooler than I could have ever thought of, myself! The author of the blog Tales of Beauty for Ashes created an EPIC Daily To Do List.  She found it in her beautiful, wonderful, amazing heart to share it with other desperate mothers, like myself, and make it downloadable.  Thanks Becky!

So NOW.... instead of scribbling my list of things to do onto the nearest sheet of paper or a sticky note, my list looks more like this!

What I love most about this list is the fact that she included a place at the top for a Bible verse (or, if you prefer, an inspirational quote) to read throughout the day and keep yourself motivated.  Secondly, I love that she created a spot where you can circle how many glasses of water you have drank so far.  I am an avid believer in drinking plenty of water throughout the day; it is the most natural and healthiest way of giving yourself the energy and focus that we all need!

Yes, I did also steal Becky's idea to put the list inside a picture frame so that I would not need to print a copy for myself every day. No, I'm not near as creative as Becky is.  Yes, that is why I love web sites like Pinterest so that I can steal other people's ideas.

On that note, I would like to conclude by asking my readers, what routines do YOU follow in order to keep yourself on schedule and organized every day??

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