. I’m sort of addicted to reading books about simplicity, minimalism, and creativity. My foremost goal is to be intentional with my time. However, until lately I haven’t been practicing those ideals on a daily basis.
Confession: some days I feel like a digital sloth, I can type and scroll my way through an entire day with nothing of substance to show for it. The notifications keep rolling in all the while you multitask between your phone and real life. Then there is that hilarious meme that you know your friends will like so you stop and share that too. Soon 15 minutes are gone, and you’ve forgotten why you picked up the phone in the first place.
Homeschooling one kid after years of homeschooling many, has opened up most of the day for me. It was easy to waste time time on things that did not move me forward. It’s been about 30 days, which experts tell me is long enough to create a new habit. I feel good about our weekday flow and thought I’d share it in case it helps someone else fine tune their time.
The digital age and all its delights crept up on me. As an early adopter of technology I tend to be enthusiastic about jumping into the newest things. Until one day I realized how overwhelming it all is to me. As an introvert interacting almost continually wasn’t great for my creative side.
How about social media? I took the apps off my phone. I do not check email or social media until after breakfast these days. I may drop in during lunch if I have notifications, and I’ll look at my computer before I go upstairs for the night. What do I do standing in lines and waiting rooms?
- Read or Listen to a book
- Use Duolingo
- Write notes to myself
- Play Words with Friends
- Text my kids multiple Bitmojis
I’m an early bird who likes extreme quiet. In a house of people who stay up late, I get up before dawn. Some days that is the only peaceful time there is here.
Beginning with the 5 am writers club (check out the Twitter hashtag group if you’d like to get to know other writers) I hit the keyboard running. I do enjoy writing on paper and that may be the next habit I work on, but for now I type. This block of time is creative writing time for me.
7-8 am research: People say that writing is mostly revising, I’d say 40% revising 40% research and 10% actual writing in my case.
Some mornings I have trouble getting started and I’ll research first. I kind of hate it when that happens because once I get writing, I often have a hard time turning the faucet off and I go into overtime. In theory, writing first and researching for tomorrow works best for me.
8 o’clock shower/breakfast: Again, in theory, because I mostly end up showering at 5 and then putting headphones on so my hair dries all weird. #truth Also, if need be I can eat and type.
From 9 am until lunch I put on my other hat of Rental Manager. During a renovation period, this means calls with realtors, contractor types, and driving to Home Depot. During non-renovation/new tenant season I read during this block. I can finish an MG or YA book in one or two days. What about the teen boy? He does his reading, or if I’m working, he goes with me to carry heavy things.
Lunch: Although we have no screens at the table, this is our dedicated brain candy time and Dec and I watch TV together. We’ve watched all of LOST, Revolution, X-Files, 24, lately we’ve been watching Project Blue Book.
1-4 pm – Homeschool: This is a bold move admitting to afternoon school. Hey, it works for us. This is the time that I teach and we discuss all the things. This year I’m using BookShark Level 5 as our history spine and a mishmash of other things that I designed myself.
4-5 pm blog writing: In theory. I do sometimes also write blog posts in the AM, but I know I shouldn’t. My self imposed code tells me that if I ever want my fictional piece or homeschooling book in print, I need to guard that early morning time with my life. In truth, I started this post one morning at 7 am and made myself stop until later. This is a great time to whip out a couple of book reviews, and it doesn’t matter if I get interrupted.
5-6:30 pm dinner prep and dinner: Why must we eat so many times? Cooking is one thing I would sub out if possible. I am teaching the teen how to cook and whenever a grown kid is home I usually ask them to prepare. I’m no foodie if it is there I’ll eat it and be happy I didn’t have to think it up and cook it.
7- 10 pm free time– reading, screen time, and second guessing everything I wrote that morning.
Of course, life intervenes and some days all of this gets mixed up in a different order, or I skip a block entirely. The concept of self-scheduling eluded me for years. I scheduled every one else except myself. It turns out that I thrive in a structured environment also.