Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Simpler Schedule

The past couple of months here in the  Simply 'Burbs home, have seen some pretty significant changes. I talked a little about this in my last post (check that post out here).

So! -what did we do when we realized that life was getting too busy?

Well, this makes things sound very simplistic, but we just stopped.

And that is the very simplistic answer, but really that is about it.

I stopped scheduling so much during our week days, cut chores to the minimum, consolidated errands, and all round did less.

So, how does that look in our day to day lives?

~ We typically only have outside (drive somewhere in the car) trips for the Little Ones once or twice each week, rather than most days as we used to do.

~ We make every effort to consolidate all our errands on Saturdays, although we do often run these as family trips (time running errands together, is still time spent together!)

~ Sundays are kept as unscheduled as possible; they are family days. The last couple of week's Sundays have been spent listening to music, gardening in our yard, pottering around the house, reading ... we even (gasp) watched a movie together as a family a couple of weeks ago (something we so rarely do, it justifies mentioning!)

~ Although we still make most of our food from scratch, I'm keeping meals and snacks much simpler. Most meals are prepared with less than 15 minutes of hand's on time.

~ Rather than try to keep the house looking 'guest ready' all the time, we do a five o'clock sweep of the main living area. A five minute timer and some upbeat music, and off we go! Amazing what you can do in just five minutes. I aim to do a whole house sweep each week.

~ This last one is definitely a work in progress, but My Good Man and I are trying very hard to get more sleep, and be in bed by 10:30. This is probably the hardest aspect for me; it is just so hard to limit that little bit of down time that we have looked forward to all day.

Yard work with the Little Ones.

And the result of all this 'stopping'? We have more space and time in our days to just be;more reading, more crafting, more ... just hanging out. Stress levels have gone down for all of us, we're spending more time snuggling, playing and laughing, and less time driving around, rushing and clock watching.

Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't the ultimate cure all. And obviously, there is more to it than I could possibly cover in a single blog post. We still have full lives; with three young children, two working parents, and a home to maintain, life is never going to be dull, or empty. Some days are better, and simpler, than others.

But we're getting there!

Isn't the first step accepting there is a problem? We had a problem ... we're working our way towards a solution.

How is your schedule looking these days? Too busy? Too much rushing? Striving for balance? Feel free to share in the comments; I'd love to hear from you!