Parenting, Time Management, Uncategorized

Be Productive While You Wait

This week is going to be a good week. I can feel it in my bones. I am determined to be productive. I am going to write a paper, or at least start one. I am going to write several blog posts and read an entire book.

And I am determined to not won’t let parenting duties stop me. I will be effective in every area of my life, starting tonight, even while I sit in my car and wait for my son’s basketball practice to end.

I used to hate waiting for my teenager. Sitting in my tiny gas efficient car seemed like a waste of time. But not anymore. I know how to turn waiting into the most productive time of my day. And if you’re prepared, you can too.

Here are a few tips to make waiting worth your while.

  1. Keep your goals on you. I carry my phone and iPad most places so I have my to-do list with me at all times. (Hint-hint… the Success Wizard App is great for this. I know what exactly what I need to be working on and why.)
  2. Carry a book. If you’re in school and have texts to read or if you have a page-turner you haven’t been able to make time for, there’s no time like the time you spend waiting!
  3. Go analogue. The WiFi in most places may not have a wide enough reach, so if you’ll be waiting in a parking lot, carry a pen and paper. If you need to free-write or brainstorm, a notebook is all you need.
  4. Wind down. If you’ve been working all day, take a break. Meditate. Journal. Nap. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve adjusted my seat, locked the doors and gotten a quick twenty minute rest while waiting for my son to finish a practice or a class.
  5. Have a little fun. If your child’s rehearsal or sports practice is the only time you’ll get to yourself before bed, savor it. Read something just for fun, watch a YouTube video, get in a favorite show on your Netflix app.

Just remember, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you take advantage of your wait. Wasting time is the enemy of productivity. Let’s be intentional with every movement.

Parenting, Time Management, Uncategorized

Failing at Morning Routines

This post will be published around the time my teenager and I are stumbling out of the house for the first day of school. There will be faint whiffs of excitement, a lot whining, and some yelling. The yelling will be from me.

I am always late. No matter where I go. I am late – running through the door at eight for work, sneaking in through the back doors at church, waving across the room at chatting friends who have been waiting for at least five minutes. I try. I really do, but my efforts never pan out.

For months I have been obsessed with morning routines. I watch youtube videos and listen to podcasts. I read blog posts. I even read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. The problem is, I can never stick to the routine. Sure, I do great at first: lunches packed the night before, clothes laid out and ironed, breakfast prepared and ready to go, morning meetings with myself over coffee… and then I fall off. Game of Thrones comes on, someone calls, or I fall asleep on the couch, and then nothing gets done. The next morning I find myself once again scrambling to get out the door ten minutes too late.

The good thing about a new school year is that gives me and my son a chance for a new start. Maybe this time it’ll work. The Miracle Morning works, planning ahead of time works. It’s me that’s a problem and I’ve got no choice but to get it together. I’m tired of fighting with myself every morning. It’s getting me nowhere, and definitely not anywhere on time.


Let Go… Slowly but Surely

I thought I was doing better…

It’s true that I failed to meet my exercise goals last week, but I am happy with the two mornings I crawled out of bed and onto the floor to do yoga. (I skipped downward dog, though. The backs of my legs hate the downward dog.)

And it’s true that I ate less crap than normal, even though I binged during the holiday. I also didn’t eat the food I prepped for workday lunches and met none of my schoolwork goals.

However, those failings aren’t the worst of it. My son has gone and left me to embark on his own vacation. I should have been selflessly thrilled about it. He deserves a great summer. He deserves his own experiences. But I still found myself scared to death of letting him go.

He’s fifteen, and lately, every separation feels like a foreshadow of what’s to come. One day he will leave for college, then for his own career, and then possibly for his own family. He will leave. He will leave. He will leave. He’s been warning me about it since he was seven. He was in the second grade when he told me that God did not call him to live in the town we live in. The news was delivered with confidence, and he’s been adamant about it since.

There’s no reason to judge me. I know I need a better attitude about my child growing up. I don’t have a choice. Therefore, I will try to find comfort in knowing that I have someone to lean on. While the world may be unsafe, God is real. My son may make mistakes, but God is real. He may get his feelings hurt, but God is real. And the same God that keeps me, keeps him. I will trust God, and that’s all there is to it.