17 Time Management Tips for Homeschool Entrepreneurs

17 Time Management Tips for Homeschool Entrepreneurs

Effective time management is critical for entrepreneurs. You may not consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, but I think all homeschoolers are exactly that.

You’re running a private school and your time is precious. Successful homeschooling relies on excellent time management.

But therein lies the problem. How can we make the best use of our time in our busy homeschooling lives?

First, RELAX.

We need to adopt the strategies that other successful entrepreneurs and homeschoolers use.

Keep in mind:

We need a method for the madness that is homeschooling.

If you approach things strategically from the very beginning, you will find a rhythm that works for your family.

Be realistic and flexible about your homeschooling because it’s one of the greatest benefits of the lifestyle.

Tracking how much time you spend on various activities can be eye-opening as well as serve as a baseline for marking improvement.

Know that:

Not all tasks require your time. As your children get older, they can share more and more of your responsibilities.

If you have a business in addition to homeschooling, you can save valuable time by delegating to skilled virtual assistants. You can focus on those responsiblities that only you can do while a virtual assistant manages routine tasks.

Want more ideas on time-saving tips and tricks?

Here’s the DEAL:

MyTasker, a professional VA company, has developed this 17 Time Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs infographic.

I completed a year-long series of time management experiments and proved to myself that these tips really work.

The MyTasker blog explains each of these tips in detail. Scheduling and focus are important to me as a homeschooler with a business, but being positive is crucial. If we feel like our family or others are wasting “our time,” we’ll be unhappy in our homeschooling and may even want to give up.
I consider a serious focus on time management has been a vital part of my homeschool success and happiness.

Which of these tips do you need to focus on first?

Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

read more
Secrets of Scheduling Success

Secrets of Scheduling Success

What should I be spending my time doing and how can I get those things done? As a mother of six with four children I’m still homeschooling, a blogger, a podcaster, a curriculum writer and business owner, a wife to a self-employed salesman who always needs technology assistance, a tennis player, and scrapbooker, I have struggled to answer those questions. While I am by no means a master, I do have answers that have made a huge difference in my life. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Secrets of Scheduling Success

Want to listen to this article on a podcast? LISTEN HERE Or WATCH ON YOUTUBE OR SCROLL DOWN

The first question we have as busy homeschoolers is what should I be spending my time doing?

This is the first question because it makes no sense to improve our ability to get the wrong things done. What are the right things? As you would expect, there is no one-size fits all answer. To find the answer for you, you need to look to the Lord and look at your life.

First we should look to the Lord. If we spend time looking to God first, we can save ourselves a lot of time and confusion.

Ephesians 5:15-16 reads:

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

I pray over this Scripture daily. I recently learned that the phrase “the days are evil” means that everything outside of the Lord’s path seeks to take us off His path. The path is His will for us. But that’s confusing, isn’t it? No matter how much I’ve prayed, God has never given me a complete 5-year plan or even a schedule for the day!

So looking to the Lord leads us to another question: How can we know God’s will? There are more ways than what I have listed here, but the first way we can know His will is through the Holy Spirit. He teaches us all things. He is the inner voice, the feeling deep in our souls that tells us we’re on the right path. Have you experienced this? The second way is through His Word. It’s a light to our path. Being in the Word daily allows the Lord to give us specific direction. It’s amazing how often the book we’re in relates to the place we’re at. The final way I want to share that we can know God’s will is through other people. At one time I was praying about whether I should do a mom’s Bible study. That day a friend asked if I was going to do one because she hoped that I would. When the Spirit and the Word and other people’s advice come together, we can be fairly certain that what we’re doing or considering are God’s will for us right now.

Well that’s just clear as mud, right? We’re not going to be 100% certain of God’s will for us because He gives us the wisdom we need for today — not for the week, this month, or this season. What we CAN be sure of is that if we get off track, He will take great pains to bring us back.

Isaiah 46:11 says, What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

We simply aren’t powerful enough to ruin God’s plan for our lives, so we can relax. We can know what to spend our time on by looking to the Lord.

We can also look at our life. Psalm 90:12 says, Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Mandy Kelly‘s death at 34 was a stark reminder to all who knew her that our time here is short. Mandy was committed to leaving a legacy behind for her children. I know that if you’re reading this post that it’s your desire, too. When we number our days, we realize that the spilled milk really isn’t worth crying over.

But it’s hard to keep that long-term perspective in mind. I spoke at the 2:1 conference for homeschooling bloggers on time management using an object lesson that proved to be very powerful. I want to share it with you. You’re going to want to download the free worksheet I have for subscribers as you complete the following exercise.

Click here to subscribe

Imagine that I hand you 24 $1 bills. Each dollar represents one hour in a 24-hour day.

I’m going to ask you how you want to spend those dollars with a couple of rules. First, you can’t spend less than a dollar. And second, you have to spend the same amount every day. So when making decisions, average the time and select based on an ideal school day.

The first thing I will ask you to spend your money on is sleep. Sleep is like taxes. It comes right off the top. How much sleep do you need to be at your best? Not how much do you get, but what would be ideal? Write that amount on your form.

The second thing I will ask you to spend your money on is God. We won’t include Sunday time because Sunday isn’t a typical school day, but any time you spend in devotions, worship, Bible reading and Bible studies, church service, or charity work apart from Sundays should be averaged to come up with the amount. Write that amount on your form.

The third thing I will ask you to spend your money on is your husband if you’re married. For this category, I’m not asking you to include family time or meal times. This is time alone with your husband each day. The time could be divided, like a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening. Put that amount on your form.

The fourth thing I will ask you to spend your money on is your kids. This is likely to be a large category, though it does not include homeschooling time. Here you would include meal time, family time, child care time, time in the car, time spent at kids’ activities, appointments, etc. Average this time out to come up with an estimate and write it down.

The fifth thing I will ask you to spend your money on is personal time. This includes hygiene time, exercise, and any appointments you have for your own care averaged out. Do not include leisure time in this category. Write it down.

The sixth thing I will ask you to spend your money on is homeschooling. Do not include time that you are not actively teaching or tutoring. If your kids are working on their own, that isn’t included. How many hours do you ideally need of your teacher time to homeschool a day? If you teach in a co-op setting or volunteer for a homeschool organization, average that time out and write down a total.

The seventh thing I will ask you to spend your money on is homemaking. This is the average amount of time ideally that you would spend on meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, chores, bill paying, running errands, and organizing. Don’t include time that your husband or kids spend, but only what you spend. Write that amount of money that stands for hours down.

The eighth thing I will ask you to spend your money on is friends and extended family. In this category, include face-to-face friend and family time, phone calls, texting, and social media that is purely relational. If you provide care for someone outside of your immediate family, add the time here. Average this time per day ideally and write down the amount.

The ninth thing I will ask you to spend your money on is hobbies. This includes reading, surfing the web, television, crafts, sports, and optional shopping. Add this amount to your worksheet.

The final thing I will ask you to spend your money on is work or potential work. Do you work or have a business in addition to homeschooling? The number of hours you are committed to would go here. If you have considered working or starting a business but aren’t yet doing so, now is the time to total up the hours you’ve written prior to this category. Do you have time left for work or a business? If you already work, do you have enough hours left over?

If you’re like most people, you will be out of money before you get to the work category. Is all hope lost? No. Now you know, however, what sacrifices must be made in order to continue working or in order to add something else to your life. Talk over your worksheet with your spouse and with another homeschooler if you don’t know how to make everything fit. I recommend listening to How to Homeschool in Less Time if you suspect homeschooling is taking too much of your time. If homemaking is taking too much of your time, could you delegate or hire out some of these tasks? These are just a few examples of where to free up time. Pray about your use of time and you may gain wisdom for what to change.

[LISTEN TO: HOW TO HOMESCHOOL IN LESS TIME]

Be aware that I put the categories roughly in order of importance. If you don’t get adequate sleep, everything else will suffer. If you aren’t spending time with God, you won’t have the spiritual strength and wisdom to do everything you’re called to do. If you neglect your marriage, your homeschool will eventually suffer. If you don’t take care of yourself with exercise, you won’t have the energy you need to manage your responsibilities.

Once you have balanced your time budget for an ideal day, you are ready for a schedule.

Of course, in real life we can schedule half an hour for things, we can combine things, and we may do some things just one day a week. But now you have a guide for creating your schedule. I recommend that you schedule blocks of time.

For example, in the morning, I have blocks of time for my time with God, my personal time, time with my husband, business, homemaking, and homeschooling. In the afternoon I have blocks for kids, friends, homemaking, and business. On Thursdays I have a combination of friend and hobby time in the afternoons. The evenings are for homemaking in the form of meal prep and clean-up, kids, husband, and hobby time in the form of reading. I sometimes spend time with God in the evenings as well.

Any schedule you create for yourself should be considered a draft. You can constantly work on improving it. If you discover a way to combine more things, you can free up time. You may discover that you have scheduled activities at times that don’t fit your energy levels. Move things around and experiment.

[READ: A YEAR OF LIVING PRODUCTIVELY]

I had such success with doing this personally and with the bloggers I spoke with that I decided to do the same thing with my kids. The final category for them was screen time. I asked them how much time they needed to do their schoolwork and chores, and to have time with friends. The result was a schedule that has helped them a lot. It’s even resulted in them having regular game time with their siblings.

The Problem With Schedules

This just sounds great, doesn’t it? You should have a schedule you can use to accomplish all the important things in your life. There’s just one problem. Schedules are like diets. As soon as you’re on one, you resist it. When you’re scheduled to do something, it’s suddenly the last thing you want to do. It’s just like when you’re on a no-sugar diet. Then sugar is all you can think about.

When you eat the donut that isn’t on the diet, what do most of us do? We say, “Oh well. Might as well eat everything because I’ve already blown it.” We do this with schedules, too. “I was supposed to be teaching math for the last hour and I’ve been on Facebook instead. I’ve blown it, so I’ll get on Instagram next.” If we didn’t have the “I’ve blown it” mentality, we wouldn’t binge on things that aren’t the best use of our time.

So here’s what I recommend:

Create a schedule. It can be an ideal schedule and even a detailed schedule for today. I have an ideal schedule but I also create a schedule for each day to help me see exactly what I can get done. I use the Panda Weekly Planner for this that is informed by Skedpal. But then I put the schedule away. I give myself permission to go off schedule without guilt. If I’m supposed to be teaching history and get caught up chatting with a friend instead, I don’t feel guilty. I don’t rewrite the schedule. If I’m not sure what I had planned to do when I’m done chatting, I’ll refer to the schedule again. But only if I want to. The more guilt I feel, the fewer important things I will do and the more I’ll resist the schedule.

Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. I think the same is true of the schedule. We make the schedule for ourselves. If it isn’t serving us right now, it is okay to override it. I prefer to teach my kids at the same time each day. But I might end up chatting with a friend instead. If I find that I’m spending more time with friends than I allotted on a consistent basis, I’ll need to reevaluate. Even with a great schedule, I’ll never be perfect in how I spend my time. But I can feel good about it and I do. I believe that if you follow these steps, you can be successful with your schedule, too.

How many hours did you have left over when you did the exercise? Let’s chat about it on Facebook.

read more
6 Time Management Lies Homeschool Moms Believe

6 Time Management Lies Homeschool Moms Believe

Any time we consistently struggle with changing something in our lives, there’s a good chance we are believing some lies about it. I know that’s been true for me with time management. I’ll share six lies we believe that keep us from using our time well.

6 Time Management Lies Homeschool Moms Beleive

Want to listen to this article on a podcast? LISTEN HERE or SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES or ON STITCHER

#1  I’ll remember that

When a class registration deadline comes across my email, my friend asks me to buy something for co-op, or my son tells me he needs deodorant, I cannot lie to myself and say that I’ll remember it. I have to write it down. Before I homeschooled six kids, I was able to remember quite a few things, but no more. I made a rule for myself that absolutely everything has to be written down right away with good reason. I was meeting with a friend when I got a call asking me to substitute teach a class at church. My first mistake was taking the call when I was with my friend. The second was telling myself that I would remember to put the date on the calendar after my friend left. You guessed it–I didn’t show up to teach the class. I let a lot of people down and ruined my reputation. She didn’t ask me to substitute again.

I have such a hard time remembering things that I can’t rely on a paper calendar. I use Google calendar and have it send me two alerts for appointments through my phone. Once I was substituting for someone for tennis and left my phone on my nightstand. I didn’t get the alert and missed tennis. I now have an Apple watch and have my phone with my at all times to prevent these embarrassing times of forgetting.

Maybe you aren’t as forgetful as I am, but it’s still important not to believe that you’ll remember without making a note, adding an event, or setting up a reminder for yourself right away. Make sure you are using a trustworthy system.

[Related Post: Balancing Marriage, Homeschooling & Business]

#2  I don’t have enough hours in the day

It really does feel like we don’t have enough time to do everything that is required of a homeschooling mom. If you work in addition to homeschooling, the pressure is even greater. However, the not-enough-time concept is a lie. We all have the same amount of time. We may have a different number of commitments, however.

The truth is that if we consistently feel overwhelmed, we are most likely taking on things that God hasn’t asked us to take on. We have the kids in too many classes or too many activities. We are spending too many hours a day on actual teaching. We are volunteering for too many things. We have high standards for things like cleaning or cooking that God hasn’t given to us.

I Love Lucy candy gif

I imagine that Martha, Jesus’ friend, would have complained about not enough hours in the day. Jesus said to her that she was worried about many things when only one was needed — what He wants us to do. God doesn’t send tasks our way on a fast conveyor belt. So if we are shoving candy in our mouths or pockets because it’s coming at us too fast like it was for Lucy, we need to step away and ask God what the one thing is He has for us to do now. Then we need to prayerfully consider and discuss our commitments with people we can trust. What can we let go of? Where can we cut corners so we feel content with the amount of time we have? I realize that when I feel a sense of not having enough time, it’s almost always an issue of discontentment.

[Related Post: Contentment 101: Time]

#3 I’ll get caught up later

The funny thing is we believe we have a shortage of time now, but somehow magically more time is going to appear in the future. We even do this with seasons of our lives. We watched a video at church years ago of a man who had a different excuse for not getting involved during each season of his life. Of course, he never did get involved.

The main reason we believe this lie is because we think we have to devote large chunks of time to activities. The man didn’t volunteer because he thought he would have to commit to twenty hours a week for life, when he could have done a three-hour shift when he was needed. Instead of seeing the compounding benefit of spending fifteen minutes a day organizing, we think we have to wait until summer vacation to get started. Meanwhile, like the man who never volunteered, organizing never happens.

We can conquer this lie by committing to a small, but regular amount of time to the things we know God wants us to do. Small, frequent investments of time or money pay off.

The Organized Homeschool Life

#4 I just need to find the right planner or application

I would love to have all the hours back that I’ve spent researching and setting up planners and time management apps, not to mention the money! I spent an entire summer setting up a digital record keeper that I didn’t use. The truth is we can accomplish great things by using a to-do list in a notebook or planner we already own. Usually, the simplest method is the most effective.The shiny new app or planner isn’t what gets the work done; we are. Most of the time our research or lust for something new is just a way of putting off work.

Defeat this lie but looking for the notebooks, planners, and apps you already own but aren’t using. Often discovering a beautiful planner you already own is motivating. If you still don’t feel like working, we need to talk about lie #5.

 #5 I’m a procrastinator

Labels are incredibly powerful. Most of us wouldn’t dream of labeling our children lazy. Children live up to their labels. But ‘procrastinator’ is the socially acceptable label we all love to laugh about. Yet, it really isn’t that funny. Procrastinating is costly financially, emotionally, and socially. Christians have the gift of self-control. We are capable of overcoming the procrastination habit, especially if we don’t wear the label with pride.

I don’t procrastinate frequently now, just as I don’t swear. It’s part of who I am as a Christian woman not to be fearful of a task or to put it off when the consequences are so negative.

To defeat this lie, stop believing that you’re a procrastinator. Begin practicing habits that will change your behavior. I did a year’s worth of weekly experiments to increase my productivity that may be of help.  But two of my favorite tips for beating procrastination are to break work into tiny tasks and to randomly work on tasks. You can take something you’re putting off and create many small steps out of it. But I prefer to count a task as done for the day if I do anything on it. For example, let’s say I need to grade papers, something I don’t like to do. I can be done with the task if I make copies of the grading sheet I use to evaluate them. If I want to do more, I can. Otherwise, I’m done for today.

The next trick for defeating procrastination is to make a list of everything you want to do, including things you’ve been putting off. Roll some dice or use a random number generator like random.org to choose the next task you’ll do. I love to combine these two methods. If I land on “grade papers,” I can make the photocopies, cross off the task, and roll again. It’s a good idea to add an uncompleted task like grade papers to the end of the list or to tomorrow’s list.

#6 If it is to be, it’s up to me

This was my life motto, unfortunately. I didn’t allow God or anyone else to help me. The weight of marriage, parenting, homeschooling, and even my own medical care was on me. I didn’t ask for help because I didn’t trust anyone else, including God. I have changed a lot and no longer believe this lie.

Many homeschool moms are tired and overwhelmed because they don’t ask for help. They don’t pray and ask for specific, practical help. I prayed about a week that was completely overbooked. I had no idea how I was going to get it all done. One by one, the commitments dropped off the schedule. Even though it was my fault I was so overloaded, God in His mercy came to my rescue.

We also fail to ask our spouses for help. As long as I can make my needs clear, my husband is happy to help. He wants me to be stress-free. The key is to be clear about our needs. Our children can also do so much to help. The key with them is not to be perfectionists. I asked my children to cut some things out that we needed for co-op. They looked like children had cut them, but who cares? It was a great opportunity for them to learn and serve and a great opportunity for me to focus on what only I can do.

We can also ask our friends for help. If we never ask for help, we are silently communicating that they shouldn’t either. Think about that for a minute. Do you want your friends to give up homeschooling or get sick because they’re stressed and don’t believe they can ask for help? That’s what happens when we aren’t honest about our needs. I love that I have a friend who will teach for me and will also allow me to teach for her.

You Can Overcome the Time Lies in Your Life

When we work to defeat these six lies, we will find that we remember important things, feel as though we have enough time, work on tasks regularly and frequently, use what we have to get things done, get to work now, and ask God and others for help.

Which of these lies steals the most of your time? Let’s chat about it on Facebook.

6 Time Management Lies Homeschool Moms Believe

 

read more
How to Use Time Boxing to Organize Your Homeschool

How to Use Time Boxing to Organize Your Homeschool

Do you consistently find yourself with more to-do’s than time? If you’ve tried routines and schedules and planners and you’re still not organized, you’ll want to try time boxing. I love it!

How to Use Time Boxing to Organize Your Homeschool

How I’ve Organized Time in My Homeschool

FLYLady wasn’t a homeschooler, but in my early homeschooling years she introduced me to the idea that I needed routines. My plan was putting out fires. I handled whichever baby screamed the loudest. I learned that I needed to do the same things in the same order every day. Sure, there were interruptions, but the basic pattern created peace in my home.

I still use routines and talked with FLYLady about the power of routines in homeschooling in an episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show. But when I added more children and more students to my homeschool, I decided I needed more than just routines; I needed a schedule. Managers of Their Homes showed me how mothers of many could homeschool and parent and have a life, too. Time had to be allotted for it. I created the perfect schedule. But I forgot that my family is far from perfect. The schedule never really worked. It felt too constraining. So I started using what I called anchor points along with my routines. There was the noon anchor point by which the majority of my teaching should be done. There was the 5:00 p.m. anchor point at which time I needed to start dinner. Then there was the 8:00 p.m. anchor time which was when I wanted to have the kids in bed. I was usually disappointed in that one.

Today I have more scheduling in my day than I did years ago. Scheduling can be very effective if you don’t resist it. But I find that the more I schedule, the more resistance I feel. I like freedom and I suspect many homeschoolers are the same. Fortunately, routines and schedules aren’t the only options when it comes to organizing your homeschool day. Time boxing is another option and it’s flexible and effective.

What Time Boxing Is

Time boxing is a list of tasks you’d like to complete in a day, together with the amount of time you plan to spend on each. Unlike a routine, a time boxing list will be different every day. The list can be arranged in order of how you would like to complete tasks, but unlike a schedule, can be easily changed as you go through your day. A list for a homeschooler may look something like this:

Bible time – 30 mins.

History – 15 mins.

Read Aloud – 15 mins.

Raking leaves – 30 mins.

Tutoring Time – 60 mins.

Break – 30 mins.

Organizing – 15 mins.

*******

You decide to do one of these tasks first and set a timer. When time is up, you can either wait to start another task or move on to the next one of your choice. When you’ve finished the list, you’re done for the day.

Tips for Using Time Boxing to Organize Your Homeschool

Sloth app   Do Now app

Use an app. The Sloth (iOS) and Do Now (Android) apps make it easy and motivating to keep track of your tasks for the day. You can easily rearrange the task order, start and stop the timer, and mark tasks complete. I love having my task list with me on my phone. I’m easily distracted!

Don’t include routines. If you already have morning time in which you do the same things in the same order, don’t put them on your time boxing list. Instead, make a list of the other things you’d like to spend time on that day.

Use generous time estimates. Most people underestimate how long things will take. The more time you anticipate, the more likely you will finish with time to spare. You’ll also be less frustrated by the day’s accomplishments.

Use it to add balance to your day. What is it that you never seem to have time for? Add things like sewing, reading, or Bible journaling to your list. Even 15 minutes of these activities matters. The more time we spend doing things that rejuvenate us, the more likely we will get less enjoyable tasks done.

Use it to create habits. Until exercise is a habit, try adding it to your time boxing list. If there is something you always forget to do, add it to your list.

Use it to organize your homeschooling life. The Organized Homeschool Life provides you with 15-minute missions that will help you get organized all year. Add a 15-minute organizing task to your time boxing list and you’ll be on your way to experiencing more peace and joy in your homeschooling and life.

Use it to organize your distracted child. I have a child with ADD who flourishes with time boxing. He learns to plan work for the day, estimate how long tasks will take, and to work quickly when timed. If you use the app on your phone, rather than your child’s, you can help remind your child to stay on track.

Don’t time box your whole day. If you have a whole day’s time allotted to tasks, you are scheduling and not time boxing. The beauty of time boxing is it allows for response to distractions, new tasks, and our need for margin. Keeping the list short is more motivating, too.

10 Days of Homeschool Organization

If you give time boxing a try, let me know how you like it. If you’d like even more homeschool organizing tips, check out 10 Days of Homeschool Organization Ideas at They Call Me Blessed.

read more
How a NOT-To-Do List Can Help You Succeed

How a NOT-To-Do List Can Help You Succeed

This is a guest post by my friend, Sharla Fritz. Be sure to grab your copy of your free lesson in achieving a more focused life here

Why a NOT-To-Do List Can Help You Succeed

Last year started out with grim news.

My husband was diagnosed with lymphoma.

It was a shock for this guy who never takes a sick day. He never had any symptoms. He didn’t feel ill.

Soon all of our to-do lists were relegated to the garbage can. Instead of our usual work and social activities, our schedules were crammed with doctor visits, tests, and treatments. Our over-packed lives had to make room for more important things. I personally needed to weed out the frivolous to find time for what was necessary—being available for my husband.

Thankfully, after six-months of chemotherapy, I can say my husband is doing fine. The treatments worked and he is now in remission.

But that experience demonstrated that I needed to be more purposeful with my time. Before the crisis I would read Ephesians 5:15-16—

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

—and interpret “making the best use of the time” as packing as much as possible into each hour. I filled my calendar like I was stuffing clothes for a three-week vacation into a carry-on bag. My to-do list was as long as a grocery list for hosting a party for one hundred of my closest friends.

But my husband’s health crisis forced me to see that I needed a shorter to-do list and a longer “not-to-do” list. God showed me that making the most of my time didn’t necessarily mean stuffing more into my day, but eliminating distracting activities to focus on what is truly important.

time quote

So I resigned from a leadership position, gracefully left a club, and said no to a weekly study group. I concentrated on the work I needed to do and to helping my husband recover.

Now that my husband is in remission, I am trying not to go back to my usual mode of operation. I am trying to live my life focusing on the essential instead of dividing my attention between a million distracting activities.

I encourage you to do the same. Life is short and we want to use it well. There are many good things that we can do with our time, but we want to choose the best.

To do this I suggest making a list of all the things you do. Write down everything on your schedule.

Then discern what is best by asking yourself two questions:

  1. Do I need this activity? Discover what is essential and what can be crossed off the schedule. Consider: Is it something I have to do? (Yes, you need to feed the kids.) Is it something God is asking me to do? (Or have I taken a job that was meant for someone else?)
  2. Why am I doing this? Discovering your motives may make it easier to find what is non-essential in your schedule. Reflect: Am I doing this to keep up with my friends? Is this pursuit simply an ego boost?

After you have examined each activity, compile a NOT-To-Do List—an inventory of the things that you now see are unnecessary or the endeavors God is asking you not to pursue right now. By eliminating the items on your NOT-To-Do List you will achieve a greater probability of successfully completing the items on your TO-do list.

Find focus. Find peace. Ask God to help you make the most of your time by deleting the trivial and keeping the essential.

Sharla Fritz is a Christian speaker and author of four books including Soul Spa: 40 Days of Spiritual Renewal. If you would like to find out more about living a life of focus instead of distraction, download a free lesson on “The One Thing You Need to Do for a More Focused Life” here.
read more
Top 10 Psychowith6 Posts of 2014: Did You Miss Any?

Top 10 Psychowith6 Posts of 2014: Did You Miss Any?

Top 10 Psychowith6 Posts of 2014. Did you miss any?I love to write, but I really love to write about the topics that matter most to you. The top 10 most popular posts help me determine that. Did you miss any of these? If so, click the title to read them.

Here’s to a great new year of discovery and sanity-savers. Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and sharing. You are a blessing!

#1 Ultimate Guide to Classical Conversations Resources

Classical Conversations has become extremely popular with homeschoolers and this huge list of resources organized by cycle and subject area seems to be helpful for those enrolled in the program and those who are curious about it.

#2 Why College Students & CEOs Manage Time the Same Way

This guest post by Francis Wade really resonated with readers and with me personally. In fact, it made me change how I manage my busy life. Don’t miss this one!

#3 Review of Hoffman Academy Piano Lessons for Kids

I was really blown away by the quality of the free piano instruction Joseph Hoffman supplies and I couldn’t wait to recommend it to readers. Apparently I’m not alone in my opinion! I enjoyed a great conversation with Joseph on my podcast that I link to as well.

#4 52-Week Get Organized Homeschool Challenge

I started this challenge at the beginning of 2014 and it has grown in popularity as we begin a new year. I am going to be removing the dated calendars, so you can choose to do the challenges in order or when it works for you. Get your homeschool organized in just an hour a week!

#5 A Better Daily Weekly Monthly To-Do List

My experimentation with a daily, weekly, monthly to-do list was very popular in 2013, so I wasn’t surprised when my recommendation of another list of this type turned out to be very popular. Would it work for you?

#6 The Daily Devotions Challenge

I will say that I was a little surprised by the popularity of this challenge, but happily so. I shared my approach to personal, couple, and family devotions and how to make them habits. I was surprised that so many haven’t found the right approach to make devotions a part of their lives, but I am thrilled by the heartfelt desire to make it happen.

#7 The To-Do List Challenge

Anything to do with to-do lists is popular on Psychowith6 and this post where I give suggestions for how to manage one is no exception. What’s most important is not the type of list you use, but your commitment to using one consistently. Get the inspiration you need here.

#8 The Fall Bucket List Challenge

I knew bucket lists were popular, but I didn’t know what a happening time fall is on Pinterest. I you love fall bucket lists, pin this post so you’re ready way ahead of time.

#9 How to Set Goals That Work

Tom Dixon wrote this post and since no longer has his Monday is Good blog, but I think you’ll be inspired by his excellent goal-setting advice.

#10 The Daily Routine Challenge

Routines have changed my life. It’s hard for me to believe that I once had a willy-nilly-not-so-happy lifestyle, but I did. Complete this challenge for a routine that could change your life, too.

Top 10 ihomeschool Network posts

You’ll enjoy reading the other iHomeschool Network bloggers’ top ten posts of 2014.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest