Sunday, July 19, 2009

Closing Down the Zoo--Select What to Neglect

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that after a super busy May and June, we finally had some respite in July for me to reflect on how I could intentionally make my life a little bit easier. I went over how I felt led to consider the area of food as a major area that sucked up too much time. I shared my Master List of foods to consult to make a one or two-month menu plan. I shared how I broke down my life into main priorities and considered whether or not my day was being spent on those priorities.

Now, I will share areas where I feel that I need to carefully guard that are GOOD things, but of LESS importance. I found a phrase I like a LOT the other day in an organizing book.

Some things I need to remember to neglect:

Online Time


Shopping (whether in stores or online)


Social Time with Extended Family

Enrichment for Kids (educational groups, library storytime, etc)


Phone Time


Saying Yes to Requests at Church/From Friends


Reading Fiction

Cooking/Cleaning (where there is a tendency to make things that are just extras, not necessities, or in areas where standards could be lowered or where cleaning takes precedence over higher priorities.)

I'm not saying any of these things are bad. Each of these things make up a part of our lives and can be very good things.

But, if I were to be honest, I'd have to say that when I'm doing great at limiting one thing, I'm also spending too much time on one or two other things. I may have a weekend of almost no computer time but I'm running around doing too much of the other stuff, like social picnics or church events. I may not be spending time on the phone but I'm running kids to activities that piled up. In a really crazy week, I may have LOTS of things out of whack simply because of lack of planning or lack of boundaries.

Knowing my tendency to not neglect these things enough, I think it's great to sit down and often and evaluate the priorities list (whether weekly or monthly) and figure out what can be done to get back into more of a balance.

Very little sewing--when I do sew now, it's in small stages, fit into my free time here and there

When it comes to fiction reading, I basically gave that up when Justus was born. I would rather spend my "free" time reading books of depth that are an encouragement to my soul, writing my thoughts down here, investing in a friendship, or going to Blog School (which is my term for reading blogs that help me to be a better homemaker (blogs with coupon tips, great recipes, organizing hints, and thoughts on being a woman of God.)

I've decided to no longer babysit kids except for the one I have once a week and except for friends needing a babysitter once in a while to go to an appointment or on an errand. Watching little ones for pay adds a lot to my workload. I got in the habit of doing it when money was scarce during the time my husband's wrist was healing but I'm ready to step back and say "No" to that for now despite continual requests.

We got Caller ID for free with our phone/internet plan in the last year and it helps IMMENSELY at saving time. In a given day we often get 6 sales calls. If we don't recognize the number, we don't pick up. And if I'm busy attending to a kid or don't have time to talk, I don't pick up either.

Other ways to select what I neglect: consulting my husband before I say yes to a volunteer opportunity, making sure that I'm spending more time with my hubby than with extended family and am not planning too much with them, NOT starting to watch a TV series online ( 24--It's addictive!) at all because I find myself unable to stop at a cliffhanger, not planning more than one or two activities for the kids to do in a week, sticking with my menus, timeblocking time with the kids intermittently with cleaning times.

Since the friendship issue is a big one, I'll tackle that one tomorrow.

What areas do you feel that you need to select to neglect? You may struggle with some of the same things or have a totally different list based on your hobbies/interests/lifestyle.


S. and Company said...

Hi Lindsey!
Your list to "neglect" is almost exactly what mine is! (except I don't really sew at all!)
As Steve likes to say "Good is the enemy of Best".
I will try to write more later, but, speaking of priorities - my kids are waiting for me to fix dinner, so I better go do that! LOL ;O)
love you,

mary grace said...

I LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Thia said...

It is hard to pick and choose, that's for sure. I believe I can fit a couple of hobbies into my life right now, but which ones? I have way too many interests! I've been praying about it and one thing I've come up with is to involve the kids. I recently discovered scrapbooking. It's a great opportunity to sit with the kids with our scissors, glue, and whatever. Time to sit and talk about different things.
I also constantly try to remember that everything is just a phase and seasons change. I can't wait until they are old enough to learn crochet!

melissa said...

Thank you so much! I love so many things, but my family the most, does the way I spend my time show that?

I am sad to say,probably not!

I am excited to see what else you have to say on the topic! I love Sisters in Christ with such wisdom!!

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I like the "Select to Neglect" phrase. It is so easy to get busy with good things that often things that shouldn't get neglected. I too will try to purposely choose to neglect!

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