Has the spring cleaning fever hit your home yet? This time of year is great to freshen up your space and clear out the clutter. We tend to think of the physical clutter in our homes first. The junk drawer, the old condiments that need to be cleaned out, and the clothes you haven’t touched in months. Today I want you to think of spring cleaning in a different way.
It’s time to spring clean your schedule.
I know you are already saying to yourself, yeah right. It’s so busy right now and I just have to get through the next couple of months till summer.
But what if there was a better way? A way to carve out time for yourself, your family needs and still be present for the end-of-year recitals and tournaments.
Take a few minutes to look at your schedule with fresh eyes and put these action steps into place.
- What absolutely has to be done? Where do you need to be and when? Write it all down or print out your digital calendar so you physically can see it. Are there invitations coming in and you haven’t made a decision yet? Are there any in the inbox you can take a pass on?
- Can you divide and conquer? Often times Mom is the one doing all the driving around to get the kids everywhere, while also getting meals on the table. Is there one night your partner can cover the pickup or drop off for an event? Have you taken the time to ask? The secret here is to plan ahead. It doesn’t do anyone any favors to ask at the last minute. Look at that schedule you printed out and have a family meeting on a Sunday night to see where you can share the responsibilities.
- This is often the hard one but is the most needed to stay calm when life is extra-busy. Do you know what you need to feel centered? Is it cooking a meal from scratch? (When I spend quality time chopping vegetables it makes me happy. Anyone else?) Is it reading a book? Is it just finding time to take a shower? How can you make time in your day to recharge and be ready for the next day?
- As a parent, can you also create space for your kids? After school can become a race of driving/practice/driving/homework/eat if we are not careful. Those days will happen but can you look to find opportunities for kids to get a breather? Let there be space in the afternoon for playing in the backyard or with neighborhood friends instead of scheduling something.
Give Yourself Permission to Say No
- This may be the hardest of all. Remember those invitations in your mailbox/inbox/message box? They will continue to come even if you take a pass here or there. If you give yourself and your family members the opportunity to feel refreshed, you will be in a much better place to engage with friends at a latter date. Letting go of the “fear of missing out” is a hard one, but you can step away from your social media and monthly get-togethers if it will give you much needed respite to stay fresh and strong.
What do you think? Are the ideas here resonating with you? It can be hard to step back and relook at your schedule and to-do list with fresh eyes. As a parent I find myself struggling with the balance of letting my kids get involved with sports after school, but recognize that too much structured time doesn’t work well for them. Or me. We had to make changes for the spring and watching them play with friends spontaneously after school is good for the soul. (and all the science says outdoor play is really what kids need the most when they are little!)
Tell us, what can you edit to help you find more space in your day?