For years I have managed the demands and competing priorities of a full-time career, marriage, motherhood, homemaker and Christian service. The workload was challenging, and led to a basic system to help me keep my home in order even through the busiest stages of life. This daily management system helped me to build great relationships as a wife and mother, make home cooked meals almost every day of the week (unless I am traveling for work), keep my service for Christ a priority, and so much more.
So, what’s the system? Here are seven suggestions from my daily system that will help you balance your life.
- Put God first…seriously. When we put God first He will give us time in our day. When you stop to think about it, 24 hours is a lot of time. When I say put God first, I mean make Him the number one priority in your life. Love Him. Talk to Him. Serve Him. Give to Him. Hear from Him. Listen to Him.
- Prioritize and remain on point. Some people make long to-do lists that completely overwhelm them. They list every little thing! This practice causes our minds to feel cluttered, and is not entirely effective for most people. It is far more productive to prioritize with a focus on the essentials. These priorities should always include items that align to the big roles in your life. For example, “mother” or “homemaker,” what are the priorities for you today? The list may look like this: make dinner, finish a load of laundry, attend a baseball game, etc.
- Plan in advance. It is paramount that you don’t wait until the task is upon you to begin thinking about it. Write down things you plan to do, then set the stage to get them done. Cooking a roast tomorrow? Thaw the meat in advance. In fact, menu-planning can be done ahead of time as well.
- Don’t waste time. Time is a gift from God. Use all of yours wisely. This requires an orderly approach to everything; even your sleeping habits. Don’t get sucked into “time wasters” like TV, scanning junk email, social media, online games and other distractions. Master your time by not allowing trivial things to rob you of it.
- Choose your “yes” wisely. Be careful about how many invitations you accept. We do not have to run from one event to another, and learning to say “no” with grace is a valuable skill to develop. You are not the “best woman for every job.” Keep your current duties in mind when considering new responsibilities.
- Stop overcommitting. This tendency could possibly be the number one reason that we feel out of balance. Ask yourself why you feel compelled to say “yes” when you are already overbooked? Are you merely looking for acceptance and approval, or are your priorities simply unclear?
- Put everything in its place. I learned this a long time ago from my mom, but it is also the foundation of the Toyota Production System 5-S Kaizen. The “5-S” system is as follows: “Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.” Clutter and disorder cause a loss of time, losing time causes you to feel out of control. Spending time looking for stuff is an avoidable waste.
I hope these basic tips will help you live a balanced, Christ-honoring life.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
For years I have managed the demands and competing priorities of a full-time career, marriage, motherhood, homemaker and Christian service. The workload was challenging, and led to a basic system to help me keep my home in order even through the busiest stages of life. This daily management system helped me to build great relationships...