I want to introduce the idea of creating a rhythm for your day and regardless of what time it is. Forget the clock completely and create a simple routine that gets all the important things done.
Here’s a story (can you relate?) … You’ve had a relatively full day, you arrive home, get inside with all your gear, you check the clock and see it’s 6 pm already and you haven’t planned anything for dinner!
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You immediately feel behind and experience sudden anxiety.
You promptly start looking in the fridge for leftovers or ingredients to cook up something reasonable, while your squealing at the kids to hurry up and get unpacked and ready for dinner.
The whole mood of the house has changed, you were tired before, now you’re stressed as well.
RUNNING TO A SCHEDULE
A number of years ago when my husband was away on deployment and I was managing the kids & home on my own for a while I had a fairly good handle on all the things we needed to do each day.
Our schedule was fairly tight because I needed to make sure everything was done, especially before I ran out of energy in the evening!
But the clock ran out of battery and I never got around to replacing it.
LET THE CLOCK STOP
You can get tired when your on that kind of treadmill, and I decided to just ignore the time and as long as we were getting the important things done it didn’t really matter if we were running late or behind. But we very rarely did run behind.
I noticed was a huge difference in how I felt towards our ‘schedule’ when I didn’t know what time it was.
I wasn’t rushing through tasks whenever I was with them, constantly shoving them along into the next part of the schedule. ‘Hurry up for dinner’ or ‘Quickly get in the bath’, ‘Come on, do we have to read another book, it’s getting so late!’
I wanted to be the mum that knew her kids well being were the priority, not getting things done.
That’s hard when you’re tired.
I decided to care more about being kind to my children than being perfectly on time.
I made sure I was up early enough and that there was a reasonable amount of time for the things we needed to do. But because I wasn’t chasing a clock and we were just doing what needed to be done at a normal speed we got it done anyways, and we weren’t stressed about it.
IMPORTANT TASKS STILL GET DONE
There were still mishaps and forgotten things, but all the important tasks got done, and I was calmer!
We did the important things in a certain order and did not check how long it was taking.
I worked out how long it would take and worked backwards, I knew what time was best for each of to get up.
The morning routine was to get dressed, make your bed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, pack your bag, and go.
Our evening routine started whenever we did, eat our dinner, clean up, get ready for bed, brush teeth, read a little if possible then lights out.
No matter the time, those things have to get done, might as well not stress about the time.
It becomes especially noticeable in the evenings when there are certain tasks that have to be done regardless of the time. Without the clock ticking at you, you can just get on with it and even enjoy it. Helping them get ready for bed, remind them to go to the toilet, brush their teeth.
You might even have an unplanned chat before they turn out the light. Maybe you read them an extra book, don’t be afraid of reading the book one more time.
They will NOT fall apart or break internally from being up another 10 minutes.
Maybe you could lose the clock in your kitchen or living space or hallway. Leave your phone behind when saying goodnight to your kids. Let the clock tick on or even come to a stop as I did.