Tag Archives: priorities

Time Management Strategies Part II

h 039With all the busyness of life recently, I haven’t spent as much time reading as I should. It seems a little ironic that I’m too busy to read about time management. 🙂

However, I have read through the planning chapter of The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith. Like the chapters before it, I have found this chapter to be very helpful as I try to get my days more under control. In it, the author provides a sample page from the Franklin Planner, the planning tool he helped create. He describes how he uses the daily pages to keep track of appointments, phone calls, and anything else he needs to remember.

Although I’d love to purchase that planner, it’s really not in our budget at this time, so I decided to make my own planner pages on the computer and make copies for my notebook. As I was doing so, my 13-year-old son came in and said, “Mom, I have so much homework to do for co-op.”

“What do you have to do?” I asked. He answered me with a long list of things he had to finish for his science and geography classes. He also had some scout projects that needed to be completed. That’s when I realized that he needed some planning pages too.

I pulled out some extra copies I had made and sat him down. “Okay,” I began, “this is where you list all the things you have to do. When you’re finished, bring it back to me, and I’ll show you how to prioritize them.” Within fifteen minutes, he had a written list with every assignment and a number by each one, indicating the order in which they needed to be accomplished. Then he got to work.

How easy that was to show him, and what a difference it made! Instead of scattered thoughts of having this and that to do, he had a concrete plan of what needed to be done and how he was going to do it. The day went smoothly, and he finished everything on time.

Having a plan really does work — for all ages!

Find Your Strongest Life

findstronglifeFind Your Strongest Life, the latest book by Marcus Buckingham, is subtitled “What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.” By the title alone, it seems like a book geared for women who are in the workforce. But what about a homeschooling mom?

I am constantly finding myself struggling to get everything done. I made the choice to homeschool my children, so I should be satisfied with that, shouldn’t I? Yet although it’s what I want to do, I feel the tug of other interests pulling on me constantly. So how should I use any spare time I may have? I make schedule after schedule for myself, trying to fit everything in — but it never does.

Buckingham’s title, then, intrigued me, so as a struggling homeschooler I jumped right in. In the first half of the book, he explains why women today are not as happy as they were forty years ago, despite the increase in opportunities. The information could have been condensed into a single chapter or two, and his comments are all directed towards women who work outside the home. But if you continue on into the second half, his insights are extremely helpful, even to the stay-at-home mom .

Buckingham has developed an online test for the reader to take to determine her personality type, then describes in detail the roles best-suited for each of these personalities. With that insight, the reader is encouraged to discover (or re-discover) those moments and activities in which they felt strong and energized. These are the moments in which she was doing what she was designed to do, the moments which create the strongest life.

Could that life be one of staying home and homeschooling your children? Absolutely!  But it can also include other things as well. What I found as I assessed my current activities is that while some of them are fulfilling, others are just “filler” —  depleting busywork that, while good activities for someone else, just aren’t right for me.

Buckingham also provides tips for strengthening your marriage and your children, a section I plan to go over again and again. Overall, Find Your Strongest Life is a must-read for any woman who is struggling with purpose, priorities, and a long to-do list.