Our board meeting ended and as we made our way to my eat-in-kitchen table to catch up on life, my best friends gave me an "intervention," so to say, about the amount of "stuff" I take on. Love was prevailing through their words, but I realized there was some truth (a lot of truth) strung within their worried voices.
I took a moment to gather what they were saying as I nervously played with the candles in the center of my table and I kept flashing back to all the yes's I recently said and guilt took over. "I need change," I said to myself and let their words soak in and simmer in my heart for awhile.
I am one to say yes to a lot of things. I can't help it. I feel the tug in so many directions and to so many people. I can see the bright side to saying yes to these things and it can almost blur the positives in actually saying no.
A "yes" can mean a "no" to something that means more to me but I get so wrapped up in the moment of that yes and forget what I truly care about, and then I end up with so much on my plate and try to fit it all on my calendar with no room to spare.
Then I go home to face the reality that I chose something over a date night with my husband or a good solid hour of play time on the floor with my kids. I realize that I chose something that left no time in my schedule to indulge in a home-cooked meal vs. a fast grab and go meal and then the guilt begins to pile on and I crash.
Some yes's are meant to be no's, and I've learned that's okay.
Have you been there? Staring at your planner wondering how you'll even fit in a bite to eat or a chance to shower? (Yes friends, I shower. I definitely say yes to showers!)
I've done a lot of research on how I can organize my life and still keep what I love most as my top priorities at hand. You see, I cannot say no to everything. If I did, I wouldn't be me. In fact, I'd lose sight of me, because a lot of those yes's are the very things that make Jenna, Jenna.
"Some yes's are meant to be no's, and I've learned that's okay."
Enter Block Scheduling.
This upcoming season I will be embarking on a new journey through homeschooling my oldest WHILE working from home. Yes! This is one of those moments where I wipe my brow, sip some coffee and hide from all the glares. "You're doing what?!" a lot of you have asked, but I can assure you this was a yes I couldn't run from. God was calling me into this long before this past year and it's crazy to see it come full circle.
So how will I keep up with my schedule while still keeping sane? I've researched a lot about block scheduling and the joy it can bring those with a lot on their plate. Specific time blocks for specific items - including scheduling time for me to simply be mom/wife/homemaker so that I can simply take off those hats and place on another one without any worries. Knowing that I'm allowing myself the time to focus on each area during each day, allows me to remove any stress and/or anxieties because I know I'm tending to them and giving them my all within that particular time block.
I made a list of all the things I must do during the day and color coordinated them. I started doing this long before I even heard of block scheduling for my wall calendar and planner so each item would stand out based on their color. i.e. Nick and Cohban are always red, Maddie Lu is pink, my personal items are green, The Busy Bee is yellow and The Color Blue is blue, etc.
I colored in the items that have specific times first. For example, Maddie Lu will always be in school Tuesday-Friday from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. I know for a fact we will be homeschooling during those hours because we'll be one child down. Y'all, I'm just being real! And then I continued on from there.
The Busy Bee and The Color Blue are both full time, and I have blocked out times for emails, meetings, production, and writing. When I look up at my schedule, I know I'll be focusing on emails for a period of time and nothing else. This allows me to stay on track and get things done as a batch. Batch working actually allows you to produce more in a period of time. I'll write 3-4 blogs in one batch and then go back and edit them with a fresh perspective. I get so much more done that way! Same goes with meeting days. We like to schedule our meetings on the same days because if we're going to be out of office already, might as well take advantage. I have these times blocked out as well.
Then, I filled in the blocks for "home" time, in which the daily to-dos will get done or I'll skip out on them and love on my husband a little more.
My friends were on to something when they confronted me on all my yes's and while I wanted to place my hands up and assure them, "I got this, guys," I wasn't in the right state of mind to state my case. But now, I graciously thank them (you know who you are) for speaking truth over me and getting my butt into gear. I've said some hard no's but because of those, my schedule is organized with all the things that make me, me.
We're all in this together. I know the struggles each of us face in trying to be all the things to all the people but I can assure you there's a freedom within the word no and you're going to love it. I want to encourage you to block out time for the things you must do AS WELL AS the things you love to do. It's possible to do the things we love and keeping up with our to do's, while keeping sane. Download your own free blank Block Schedule and get your life back today! Tag @jennamdail so I can cheer you on as you organize your schedule!