My day was over before it even started. I was trying to accomplish all the tasks within the realm of my responsibilities, but instead, I was merely spinning wheels. Nothing was being accomplished. I was tired, weary, and utterly sick of feeling so overwhelmed.
As I sat with my head leaning against the refrigerator door, I surveyed the mess of my home and realized I was attempting to fit far too many tasks into my allotted 24-hour day! I was stressed and overworked, and I was most definitely not getting enough sleep!
A key part of living intentionally is being willing to change what isn’t working.
My time management skills were definitely lacking and the schedule and routine I was living out was no longer working.
Thankfully, during this time, I was reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. During one particular reading, I was reminded of a basic time management concept – create a time budget.
That evening after I finally got both babies wrangled into their assigned bed and the kitchen clean, I sat down and created a time budget for my days.
We each get 24 hours in a day. Creating a time budget helped me to see where I needed to spend my time and also what I needed to let go during this season of life.
Before I began, I reviewed my mission statement and goals. Then, I created main categories of necessary tasks that needed to be included in my time budget. The following is the result of this short exercise.
Creating a Time Budget for Better Time Management
I started with allotting time for sleep because sleep is the first to go when I get busy and overwhelmed. I start burning the candle at both end, which never bodes well for me.
I need at least seven hours of sleep a night in order to be well rested. I’m still waking in the night to feed a baby and cuddle a toddler, so I never really get the seven hours of sleep. However, I do what I can with what I have.
24 – 7 = 17 hours
Next I determined how much time I wanted to devote to reading my Bible and in prayer each day. In this season of life, thirty minutes is reasonable and certainly doable even if I have to get creative.
17 – 30 minutes = 16.5 hours
This is another area that falls off the radar if I’m not intentional to schedule it into my day. Regular exercise leaves me feeling refreshed, strong, and energized. My goal is to exercise for thirty minutes five times a week. To some this is a lot, but to me, it is absolutely necessary (or I drink too much coffee!).
16.5 – 30 minutes = 16 hours
How much time do you need to shower and dress each day? It only takes me a mere thirty minutes (tops!) to take care of my personal hygiene. I have my high school basketball coach to thank for this!
16- 30 minutes = 15.5 hours
Preparing, eating, and cleaning up from meals together is important to my family. We sit down around the table three times a day. We consider this such a blessing in this season of life. Therefore, I allotted 3.5 hours of my day to preparing, eating, and cleaning up from meals.
15.5 – 3.5 = 12 hours
Cleaning & Home Management
I do a little bit of cleaning every day as part of my morning routine. Plus I have a rotation of cleaning and home management tasks that I take care of each day. Therefore, I allotted two hours for caring for my home.
12 – 2 = 10 hours
Discipling & Playing with My Children
I allotted three hours a day to homeschooling, playing, and reading with my children. I am home for a reason. I want to be sure I’m enjoying my children, and they are enjoying me! This time is spent in family devotions, homeschooling, taking nature walks, reading together, etc.
10 – 3 = 7 hours
I run Intentional By Grace as a business. Therefore, it takes a good chunk of my day. I allotted 4.5 hours a day to blogging and blogging related tasks.
7 – 4.5 = 2.5 hours
It is so important to not schedule each and ever hour of each and every day. You have to have margin! This is where I was running a muck. It wasn’t until I created a time budget that I realized how little margin I was allowing for in my day.
I did a lot of erasing as I worked on my time budget to allow for at least two hours of margin in my day! I ended up with 2.5 hours of margin.
Once I completed this little exercise, I could breathe again. I knew what I needed to spend my time doing, and I also knew that I needed to shed the guilt of not being able to “do it all.”
Do you think creating a time budget would help you better manage your time?
This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.