back-to-school-e1373638734525With school just around the corner and so many responsibilities and things to accomplish, we may get a little nervous on how we are going to pull it all off.

I know, for me, summer time is so full, my days are bursting, that I truly wonder how I am going to “fit” school back in with all its demands.

I find my life goes in spurts. I am organized for a time, then it slips through my fingers for awhile. I have learned not to get discouraged, trusting that, with grace, I will get it together again. So I know what works for me and I know what doesn’t. Floundering does not work. 🙂 It is always good to have a plan.

The following are a few things that help me along the way not to get too stressed. Maybe a point or two might work for you, too.

1. Make your list. If you are feeling overwhelmed you may think that writing it all down will make you feel more burdened. That’s not how it works. When you can get it down on paper, you can sort and prioritize. Those lowest on the “essential” list can be put on the next day so you can slowly work at getting them all done. If you don’t get it done the next day, continue to add it to the next one. Checking each thing off gives you a sense of accomplishment and energizes you!

2. Keep the house picked up. My corners aren’t always great but if you were to walk into my house at a given time, it would be generally clean….unless we decided to go play volleyball instead of doing the dishes right away (priorities, you know. 🙂 )

3. Go to Bed. 🙂 If I can go to bed and get up at consistent hours, it helps a lot. It’s important for the kids to do the same. Summertime is a season of later bedtimes. We loosen up the night time schedule and relax for a spell. It is quite refreshing….for a time.  I notice how much it affects the next day, these inconsistent and later schedules. That’s okay for a while during the summer but you wouldn’t want to do that during school days. So regularity on getting to bed is important.

4. Wake up at a consistent time, earlier than the family, if you can. With the demands of young children, and the lack of sleep that goes with that, this isn’t always possible. At times like those, we need to just offer it up. That being said, nothing helps me more than getting up before everyone else, getting my prayers said, and doing other duties before the family gets up. It gets me started on the right foot.

5. Plan Your Meals! Okay this one I am not very good at but, Wow! does it take the stress-load off!! I have periods in my life when my girls are taking over the meals so it is hard for me to get back in the swing of things when they are occupied with other life things. But it makes such a huge difference! So if you can get it together once a week to plan those meals, DO SO! It will make a positive impact on your week!

6. Get yourself fully dressed first thing, right down to your shoes. This will help you to get motivated to accomplish things right off in the morning.  I also wash my face with cold water first thing in the morning. I started that 2 years ago when we had the drought. It was a waste of water to leave the tap running until it got warm, so the cold water did the job and now I like the “pick me up” it gives me. Try it! 🙂For Always - 2zxDa-b25d - print

So…what kind of things make me feel more organized and on top of things:

!. Number one for me is sticking to my “Spiritual List”, starting with morning prayers and then the other simple spiritual things on that list throughout the day.   If I can check each of those off then I feel like I have accomplished the most important duty and can have the focus and grace to accomplish the other ones that fill up my day.

2. If I haven’t already got an ongoing chore list for the kids (better if it is made the night before) so they know what they should be doing, I make a quick one in the morning for each child. Then everyone knows what they should be doing and you don’t have to have your mind going in all different directions trying to figure out what needs to be done and who needs to do it! The kids are able to tackle their jobs and have the satisfaction of checking it off each time it is accomplished! (Mom….don’t forget to inspect those chores!)

3. Keep the house picked up. (I know, I talked about this already.) Don’t get obsessive about it, especially if you have young children, but periodically through the day get everyone to help with a “pick-me-up”. When you can look at a clean table and a generally clean house, it invigorates and at the same time relaxes you. It’s easier to focus on the next thing to be done.

4. Delegate. Remember, you are the supervisor. Of course, supervisors get their hands dirty, too, but if there is something that you can delegate, do. It helps the children to grow into responsible adults.

5. Don’t listen to negative self-talk. Don’t analyze it, just don’t listen to it. Period. It will bring you down and make you sluggish in accomplishing what you need to get done. Instead, look at your list and do the next thing, say a prayer, grab a book and read it, spend some time with the kids. It’s not worth listening to the rubbish that goes on inside your head.

6. DON’T feel sorry for yourself!! If you have lots to do, thank God for it. He will help you accomplish it….one step at a time. There are many lonely people in this world, many trapped in their addictions, many sad and discouraged because of broken relationships. Learn to thank God for what you DO HAVE and all the wonderful things you GET TO DO each day. Sometimes it just takes an attitude change. He never gives us more than we can bear. Believe it!

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