Peter and I have had many discussions about the benefits of multitasking. He reckons it slows down productivity and I reckon a Mum would never get anything done unless she multitasks!! But I have had to come to an acknowledgement that there is some truth in what he is saying!
Even though I wear many hats throughout the day my most productive times are when I focus on one priority at a time. I may have my ‘machines’ working for me in the background – the washing machine doing its thing, or the crockpot simmering away – but my productive focus needs to be on one thing.
Though I don’t like to micro-manage my day into half hour slots, or even hour slots, it is beneficial (to me) to know when I am going to switch hats and get that other project done, when am I going to stop doing one thing, and get something else done. So I have blocks of time in my day where I can clearly state the purpose for that time.
• 5.00 – 8.30am I do many varied tasks during this time, but my overall purpose is to get ready for my day. This includes looking after my spirit and body, preparing for the day, and cleaning up the house.
• 8.30 – 12.30 My primary focus is my children’s training, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I have other priorities on the other days – priorities where my children can (and do) interrupt me but where I intend to focus on other projects.
• 12.30 – 4.30pm Lunch, rest, housework, projects, friendships: each day brings its different focuses
• 4.30 – 6.00 Housework and preparing for family time
• 6.00 – 7.30 Dinner and family time
• 7.30 – 9.00 Preparing for tomorrow and finding a little creative time (or spending time with people)
Some days these time blocks are tweaked and twisted to fit what is going on in our family – but they give me a framework to think about all that I need to do, and how I am going to manage my time.
Seeing those priorities, those blocks of time, helps me know that there is a right time to do right things. When my days get overwhelmed, and messy, and exhausting, it is often because I have not done the right thing at the right time.
It is all very good to have my blocks of time written on paper, but unless I stop doing one thing, and move onto the next, it does me no good at all. A schedule, which is what this is, isn’t a magic thing – it won’t bring order into my home, unless I let it remind me to do the right thing!