Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Most Important 15 Minutes of My Day

You are probably expecting me to talk about prayer and Bible reading. Truly that is the most valuable minutes of the day. Without those activities, all other endeavors of my day fall flat.

But I'm thinking specifically of homemaking and organizing my time.

The most important minutes of my day are the 15 minutes at the end of my day. Wise use of those 15 minutes will avoid stress for the next day.

I utilize those 15 minutes in various ways.  Often I look over tomorrow's menu (or make a menu) and get needed items from the freezer to defrost. Maybe I'll sort laundry and start a load. If I have errands the next day, I can prepare my shopping list, pack my diaper bag, and gather items that need returned. Sometimes I even take items to the van, if I fear the morning rush will cause my mind to be left behind.

Spending a few minutes in the quiet of the evening preparing for the next day, results in fewer 5:00 dinner panics over a frozen chunk of meat. It means having the option of utilizing my slow cooker. It means fewer items forgotten or misplaced. It means getting an early start at hanging out laundry.

I'm not a morning person. Though I love how rising early can help me accomplish so much more in my day, often my brain takes a while to turn on. If laundry is prepped, meals begun, errands planned - I can jump into autopilot and "do the next thing" without analyzing what it is that I should be doing.

But as one who could be described as a night person, I also need to carefully keep a time limit. Every mom knows that the work is never ending and we could easily find work every night until midnight. But tired moms don't function well, and I am learning to value a decent bedtime. The work will still be there tomorrow

If we are home, we are rather strict on a 9:00 bedtime for our children. As anyone with many young active children understands, it isn't easy to carve out couple time when the children are awake. My goal is to spend a few minutes preparing for the next day, but then put away the cookbooks, turn off the computer, shut the door to the laundry, and focus on my husband.

Taking the time to deliberately consider what I can do each evening to bless the next day has been a valuable use of time in our home. I'd love to learn from you. What ways do you maximize your minutes to bless your family?

12 comments :

  1. hi gina,

    after each meal, i clear the table and lay it for the next meal. i also think of tomorrow's meals the night before and make our packed lunches the night before. as i work every day, i hang all my work clothes, including undies and tights on five different hangers, so all my clothes are ready for the week xx

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  2. Do you know how much I have been enjoying your site? There is a wealth of wonderful information on every page I read! And I only wish I could try every recipe I see. I don't have a most important 15 min of my day....but now I can see its worth....pondering......

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  3. I think you are on the right track to using your time wisely. I wish I had adhered to a more strict schedule when we had our children (6) at home. I think organization is a key element in keeping your sanity and making your home enjoyable to all. I love reading how others are using their God given talents and then passing on the information to others for them to benefit from it. Thanks

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  4. This is very good advice. I'm sure it makes the day a little easier. I love the chocolate pie recipe. I am not a big fan of chocolate but my girls love it. Enjoy your day and God bless.

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  5. Gina -
    I just adore you. These days and especially in my own urban modern world, the value of homemaking is so underscored. When I read your blog posts I am reminded that the work I have chosen to do (homemaking) is valued, important, and necessary. Tonight, as I turn off my computer for hte night, I am going to go over TOMORROW to make it a better day. Thanks for the post today!! Blessings!

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  6. Thanks for your wonderful post. Yes, I so agree with you, a little time before bed can really pay off big time the next day.

    My routine now since it's just the two of us living in a camper is to get the everything put away, things laid out for the next day, dishes done, sink clean, floor swept and rugs shaken, and then I take a few minutes to calm down before sleep.

    If the things aren't done the night before, I have a hard time getting out the door to work on time the next day. Each day has it's own set of chores... Tues is egg cleaning because they get sold on Weds. Monday is propane day, so the tanks have to be in the car ready to go. Saturday, a quick review of Sunday School lesson and clothes all ready for Sunday and all laundry put away.

    I taught school for many years and at that time late nights were acceptable for me as long as I was well prepared for morning. I was younger then too and didn't require as much sleep as I do now.

    I also like a little relaxation in the evening before bed so my brain has a chance to slow down. I have been knitting lately, but a good book is also acceptable.

    I don't think of myself as being a person of routine, but looking at this topic had made me think maybe I have more "routine" than I thought.

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  7. I remember staying up late when my boys were little...mostly to savor QUIET!!!
    Many years later, I discovered..I am a morning person after all!!! LOL
    I normaly rise early these days, read Bible verses and discuss them with a friend by phone, then pray together.
    I am usually so sleepy, so early in the evening that there is not much organizing going on before stumbling to bed, but sometimes a leave the crockpot out to remind me to put something in it before bed!
    Thank you for your lovely blog Gina! Blessings!

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  8. I'm an early riser and spend this time with the Lord. It gives me a good start and helps my family with a mom who's a tad more grounded as a result : ) Plus I'm a list maker, so in the evening I will very often list what I really need to take care of the next day, buy at the store etc.. Also find it helps me not wake up in the middle of the night with what I need to get done on my mind. Mom's getting a good nights sleep and not being cranky is a real gift to my family.

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  9. Thank you for these words of wisdom. I know these words well...like a friend that might be on a long journey. But, now that I am an empty nester, it's just my husband and I. My children and grandchildren don't live in state.

    But, nonetheless, these are words that would have a VERY positive impact on my daily life... I need to heed them =)

    thanks again!
    annie
    anniesrubyslipperz.com

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  10. Hi, In the evening before I go to bed I always walk around the livingroom to clear clutter and fluff up the pillows on the couches. That way when you come down the next morning you don't have to start clearing the livingroom. That is a great feeling.
    I would really like to thank you for your tip on the time planner last year. I bought it and use it a lot. We don't have it in The Netherlands. The kind lady sent it to me without any problems. So great !!
    Have a wonderful day.

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  11. I totally get my day organized the night before, yes. But what really struck me was your focus on your husband at the end of the day - on my GOODNESS. I need to do that. Thanks for sharing that.

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  12. First, I love reading your blog! We recently made your poptarts and they were delish!!!
    Being a wife/mom/homemaker is a 24/7 job and can be overwhelming at times. I find that my problem is setting a time limit at night as well. It's so easy to get that "second wind" when all our littles are in bed. Then I can straighten up, read blogs, post on mine, start laundry to be hung, maybe do some sewing....oh, I could be up all night! But I think the most important thing I can do with my 15 minutes,is sit with my husband. Because he is my soulmate and best friend. And that time we spend strengthens our bond and love :)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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