My example of a daily schedule for the week, plus the daily and weekly routines and habits that help me save time for the important things. Use this as inspiration for living the simple homemade life you want!
I hesitated to write about my schedule because, honestly, each of us is so different and our lives rarely look the same.
Plus, I firmly believe that some people just function better with more down time (the camp I fall into!), while others have no problem being on-the-go from dawn until dusk.
Acknowledging this is important- we are all different and it's OK to not accomplish as much as the next person if you're doing all that you can with what you've been given.
Inspiration, Not Comparison
If it's just a comparison thing, "She's doing all this, I should do more" or even, "She's sure wasting a lot of time" - then I really don't want to put myself out there.
But if sharing the schedule and habits I use is inspirational, encourages someone towards an organizational goal, or helps to see new ways to use time wisely, then it's a good thing.
Personally, I have been encouraged and challenged when other bloggers I read have shared how they organize their days, so I'm going out on that limb and sharing my daily/weekly schedule with you.
It is my hope that you will be inspired to find time to pursue those things that are important to you as well.
UPDATE: I originally shared my schedule here 10 years ago (!) - obviously things have changed a lot in my life since then (who's doesn't?), so it was time for a schedule update! I'm also including the current daily routines and habits that help to make our days and weeks go more smoothly.
Daily Schedule for Each Week
IMPORTANT NOTE: The following schedule is the goal- life happens and there are many days that do not follow the time blocks, but I don't stress about it- this "ideal" schedule is simply a tool for me to make use of the time I do have that's available.
Over the years my schedule has looked very different - the years with little kids were different from the years of school-age kids and all their activities. There were times I worked outside the home and times I didn't.
Now I work from home full-time and our kids are grown (though one is living with us right now), so my schedule is the most flexible it's ever been.
There are lots of seasons to life and adjusting to them is half the battle to making sure your time doesn't just "happen" to you.
Current Daily Schedule For Each Week:
6:30-9:00 AM Routine (see below)
9:00-1:30 - Computer Work (with a 20 minute 10 am break for breakfast when I go through more email)
1:30 - Break for lunch (usually a salad). If there's anything I need to do for dinner or the bread dough I do it here if possible.
2:00-5:00 Computer work or project (videos, garden, testing recipes, etc.)
5:00-5:30 Open time (I like to take a walk in the warmer months anytime between 4-5:30 two to three times a week.)
5:30-6:30 - Prepare dinner (usually listen to an audiobook while cooking).
6:30-10:00 - Dinner, dishes, family time; read; watch show and knit/crochet; once a week is family cleaning night (see below).
10:00-11:15 - PM Routine*
*A NOTE ON SLEEP HYGIENE:
I have always had trouble sleeping (which I know a lot of others do as well), and I've learned from research that it's important to keep good "sleep hygiene" which is, generally, sticking to a same wake/sleep schedule every day (yes, even on weekends), minimizing blue light, sleeping in a cool, dark room, and cultivating a calm environment.
One of the things that I've found that helps me make my sleep efficient is by NOT thinking I need to be trying to sleep for 8 hours. I turn the light off every night about 11:15 and wake up every morning at 6:15 - no matter if it's the weekend or weekday. Oh, and I usually can't just pop out of bed, so my schedule starts at 6:30, lol.
Time Blocking Example
I do like to time block (you can see a little of that in the photos of the weekly spread in my Flexible Planner above) - it's much more accommodating than using hourly schedules.
Here is what my "ideal" schedule looks like in time blocks with Google Calendar and general blocks filled with what to work on during that time:
These are the habits I've incorporated into morning and evening routines that almost never vary. When they do, my day just doesn't go as well.
- Coffee, Bible reading, personal email/news. This is the only time in the day I catch up on news - in order to not go crazy, lol. I subscribe to newsletters from the New York Times, Skimm, and Buzzfeed News, as well as our local newspaper. The NYT has been the most balanced of the newsletters I subscribe to - highly recommend it. It's "The Morning" newsletter on this page if you'd like to as well.
- Exercise MWF, shower (and wipe down with squeegee and microfiber cloth), and get ready. Make bed every day before leaving room. (This getting ready time is when I listen to a Christian audiobooks, for those interested in how I read/listen to 100 books a year.)
- Glass of water with daily vitamins.
- Brief daily planning with coffee #2. Includes checking menu to defrost if needed and mixing up any starter or bread doughs I might be making that day (though then it might be closer to 9:30).
- Fluff living room pillows and general pick up, all dishes in dishwasher and put away anything drying from dinner, general quick straighten anywhere that needs it.
- Prep for bed.
- One line in gratitude journal.
- Read blogs I follow in Feedly then read whatever current book until 11-11:15 (nothing too exciting...see sleep hygiene note)
Weekly Schedule Notes:
- I have more time in the mornings on Tuesday and Thursdays since I don't exercise those days, so that's when I schedule appointments and go shopping when needed. Or I'll schedule things on the Friday flex block. Otherwise, it's more computer time.
- Every Thursday is family cleaning night - vacuum, dust, towels laundered, bathrooms cleaned, etc. (The rest of the week gets spot cleaning as needed - we're not particular and nothing gets done daily, except the tidy I do throughout the day and before bed.)
- The morning planning blocks include our dinners for the week, as well as any personal planning. On Monday I look through the freezer to see what we have to use up and plan the week's menu based on that and what's in the pantry. More on menu planning here. The other planning blocks are for defrosting, mixing up doughs or dressings, or whatever else we might need for the day's menu. This often doesn't take up the full half hour - and sometimes takes up more, depending.
- In the summer, morning and afternoon blocks often switch to be able to work in the garden in the cool mornings.
- Every other week, we host a Monday family game night at our house, so I often start dinner before 5 on those days.
- Every other week is also a date night for Brian and I - we usually go to dinner and see a movie. Sometimes we will go to a store we really like or visit some thrift stores. The pandemic has put a damper on these nights - in the summer we would go on hikes or pick up food to eat outside, but not much in the winter.
What About Weekends?
I don't do work on my website on weekends, other than taking photos of things we're doing if it's a project I'd like to share.
Weekends are when we're able to get major projects done and where I can spend extended time in the garden or harvesting depending on the season. We also plan fun outings or trips to see family, so I don't like to "plan" weekends.
What about a nightly review?
Some people swear by a nightly review - taking 10-15 minutes before bed to review the day and plan the next day.
I've tried this as part of my PM routine and it just doesn't work for me. I can't think about deep things at night when I'm trying to wind down - I don't find it calming which is important to my nightly sleep. So I do my planning/review in the mornings.
Remember, we try things and then figure out what works for us in the season we're in!
How do you organize your time? Do you keep to a schedule? Leave a comment to encourage others and help us all to use the time we've been given wisely!