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Creating a Schedule

I had been struggling with balance as a work at home Mom.  The guilt of being on the computer or my phone when it’s supposed to be family time is just something that eats at me.  But, at the same time I handle all of the office work for our family business and the writing and behind the scenes stuff for the blog as well.  So there has to be some work time factored into my days.

What life typically looked like for me before my new schedule was waking up when the kids woke up, no exercise, going back and forth between work & family time all day long, never shutting off work mode because I was never getting anything done (which meant staying up until all hours of the night to try to complete tasks), feeling like I was always dropping the ball, always overwhelmed, and never feeling like I was a good enough Mom or Wife because I could never sit and just BE with my family.

Creating a Schedule

A couple of months ago I watched a promo video from Chalene Johnson advertising her program Smart Success.  One video in particular has stuck with me…and that was on scheduling your days.  I wanted to tell you a bit about it as it has changed my world.

She began asking us to list out every thing that we would like to get done in a day in time blocks.  Mine looked a little something like this:

1.5 hours – Exercise (and driving to and from the gym)

1 hour – Mornings with the kids – up, fed, dressed, and lunches made.

1 hour – Laundry & Cleaning House

30 minutes – Showered & getting myself dressed

3 hours – Distraction free work

1 hour – Social Media

3-4 hours – Time with my family

2 hours – Dinner prep, eating, and cleaning up

1 hour – Getting kids bathed and in bed

It made me realize that if I wanted to be able to squeeze in all of these things that I needed to start going to bed earlier, waking up earlier, and setting time blocks for both work and family time.  After viewing the video my schedule looked like this:

6 – 7:30am:  Bootcamp (and the driving to and from)

7:30-8:30am:  Getting the kids breakfast, lunches made (if it’s a school day), and getting them dressed.

8:30am-9:30am:  Do my load of laundry for the day, make beds, and clean up the house.

9:30-10:00am:  Showered & dressed

10:00-10:30am:  30 minutes of social media

10:30am-1:30pm:  Uninterrupted Work (these are days when my husband is home or my children are in school).

1:30pm-4:30pm:  Playtime with the kids (usually means we are at the pool, on a family outing or playdate, or just being together at home).

4:30-5pm:  30 minutes of social media

5pm-7pm:  Dinner prep, eating, and cleaning up

7pm-8pm:  Kids bathed, books, and in bed

8pm-10pm:  Time with my husband & usually our DVR

Granted, some days look different with appointments and I will likely have to readjust things when school starts.  But, I like feeling as though all of my housework is done by the time I sit down at my desk and it keeps me from getting up to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and getting distracted on the way back to my office.  Turning my phone on silent and putting my nose down to work helps me usually get everything on my list (and more) done during that time span. And then shutting off my work mode by 1:30pm so that I can focus on my family has been a God send.  Social media is just part of my business these days.  Having blocks in my day helps me to not constantly have my phone in my face (which my husband appreciates) and also helps me to focus on the task at hand.  And then finally having time for us at the end of the day without a computer or our phones has been so great for our marriage.

Having this schedule has made a world of difference in my days and my feeling like I can balance it all.  I highly recommend you try it if you are feeling overwhelmed.


  • Aja - This is great. Balance at home is definitely my number one struggle with little ones in the house. I tend to think I am a great multitasker, but in reality, rarely does any one task get done timely- or correctly- when I try to do 3 or 4 things at once! I have had to really get my head around the fact that this is a season and I can only do what I can do. So sometimes we eat a frozen pizza and the floors don’t get mopped. :) Thanks for sharing this- I may have to try it! Fall and the back-to-school season always gives me an organizational kick!

  • Frenchelle - This is just awesome. I love those time blocks. Can you tell me where you bought the planner in the photo?? Thanks :)

  • Valerie - Love this plan of attack! What kind of planner is that?

  • Jenny Collier - It’s the Whitney English Day Designer. You can find it here: http://daydesigner.com/

  • Jenny Collier - The Day Designer. The best planner ever! http://daydesigner.com/

  • Jenny Collier - Yes, totally agree! Sometimes I put more on my plate than necessary and don’t relax when I could. Having a schedule helps me to only work when I’m scheduled to…which is great for a busy body like me. :)

  • Sara - I just ordered a Day Designer for next year… and I definitely think I need to sit down and do exactly what you said to do… I’m so overwhelmed these days that I think mapping out how long I need will help me organize my day.

    I have to ask, how did you figure out how much time you needed/wanted? Is that a stupid question? This is so great though…

  • shannon - i just wanted to let you know i love your organizing and schedule posts. as a mom who runs a business your posts motivate me!

  • Jenny Collier - Thank you Shannon! That is encouraging.

  • Jenny Collier - I rounded up for approximately how long it typically takes me to complete a task…or, ideally, how much social media I should be doing. Read: trying to cut down on that. :)

  • Jewel Lauren - I absolutely LOVE this post!! A major help and breath of fresh air into my WORLD. Plus, thank you for the introduction to the planner 😉 Blessings Multiplied!

  • All of the things… » my journey of doing - […] this week, I read this amazing post by Jenny Collier on juggling schedules and life demands.  As I read it, I was nodding along with her… thinking… yes, this […]

  • Jenny Collier - Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jenny Collier - Thank you for commenting, Taylor. I hope this method helps you!

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence - I love this idea! I wonder if my boss would get upset if I put “blogging and social media” on my calendar during my work hours?! After all, I am going to do it while I’m at the office, anyway. 😉 I do think I could utilize something like this. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

  • Kelly Stevenson-Lal - I love your website design!

    Great idea sorting tasks with times you’d like to dedicate to them – must do. Also love how you have two sessions of social media at different times of the day. On a mission this week to sort my schedule. I really am at where you were before schedule. Need to schedule everything I want to do so it gets done! Priorities! Thanks for the article
    Kelly

  • Jenny Collier - Thank you! Can’t wait to hear how your new schedule is working for you.

  • Ashley Fuller - Are we related? We must be! I read this article on a whim and it seems like we have the EXACT same schedule. Would love to talk more with you and see how this schedule continues to work for you, etc

    Have a great night!