When I realized my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be (see “Hauled Up Short”), I knew I would have to make some changes. I sat down and figured out what I wanted my weekend to look like (see Life Design 101: What Do I Want My Weekend To Look Like?). Now I just had to arrange things to get there.
Eliminating What I Don’t Want To Do On Weekends
The thing about the things I didn’t want to do on weekends: they still had to be done sometime. That left me with two choices: reschedule them, or delegate them. Here is how I changed my schedule:
- Housework. I used to do my weekly cleaning on Saturdays. It takes about an hour and a half to do everything, including mopping all of the non-carpeted floors, cleaning three bathrooms, dusting everything, and wiping down the kitchen.
I have delegated changing sheets and towels to my husband, and my daughter cleans her own bathroom. The rest I do on Thursday evenings between work and dinner. Since we do leftovers on Thursday (a.k.a. Smorgasbord night), I don’t have to worry about cooking commitments during this time.
- Shopping/errands. I grocery shop every two weeks, and make a warehouse store run about once a month. The pet supply and discount store are also about once a month. For the standard shopping, I have decided to do this on Fridays right after school. Every other week I will grocery shop, and the alternate weeks will be the other stores. If there is a pressing need, I can run out at lunch.
- Blog writing. Once upon a time, I had a set writing schedule where I would perform a chunk of the task each day. Since switching to Mark Forster’s Autofocus, I had put these on my list, and things were getting pushed off. The blog writing needs to be on the daily list, and it has gone back there.
- Meals. I do most of my cooking on weekends, relying on repurposed food and leftovers the rest of the week. But big meals don’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. By taking ideas learned from the The Weeknight Survival Cookbook(see Random Simplicity: Fix Quick and Healthy Meals for more details) and combining them with my love of crockpots, I can do a big meal on Saturday and a crockpot or grilled meal on Sunday. All this will take is a bit of planning and forethought on my part.
- Work. I do not normally have to take my employer’s work home, and I have now given myself permission not to work on my other stuff. I can do this during the week, if it needs to be done at all.
Scheduling What I Do Want To Do
With my weekends now opened up, I can now commit to building my ideal activities. Saturday morning I still get up at 6:30, but I grab a cup of coffee and head right to my desk. At about 8:00 I can get ready, having put a solid hour of writing behind me before everyone else is up.
On Sunday morning, if I do not attend church, I can spend the morning sitting outside reading. I can make an effort to read non-fiction books that will help me grow. If I attend church, I will choose to go to the early service so that my mid-day is not sucked up by the trip.
By sitting down and thinking things through, I can aim for an ideal weekend. I will report back how this is going.