Time Management – Schedule or Flow Chart?

Are you a schedule keeper, or are you more of a flow chart kind of gal? Since I frequently remind you to hold your plans loosely, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I’m more of a flow chart girl. The irony is the fact that I love schedules.

If you were to take a peek at the daily calendar I keep on Google Calendar, you’d see a fairly detailed schedule. That schedule, however, is not the reality of my days. We all know that life has a way of throwing us curve balls and surprises. If I were a strict, stick-to-the-schedule kind of gal, those curve balls and surprises could throw my household into chaos.

Three of the five Google Calendars that I use to keep track of my days.

Allowing my schedule to work more as a flow chart, allows me to hold my plans loosely while still maintaining the rhythm that my household does best with.

God gives us twenty-four hours in each day, and we should be mindful to use those hours wisely. Planning out our days is a good way to see what we hope to accomplish during any given day. It can serve as a good reference point throughout the day. While my own schedule looks chock-full, I’ve actually followed Amy’s advice to have plenty of margin built into my schedule.

When something unexpected happens, that plan (or schedule) gives us a great reference point. We can see at a glance what the really vital things are that still need to be done for that day. We can see which activities we can reschedule for another day, and which activities can just go by the wayside.

Life happens, and that means both good and not-so-good things come into our days that we can’t for plan in advance.

  • Running out for coffee with Copper on a whim in the middle of the day when he has a day off
  • Being available to talk to my widowed neighbor when she phones mid-morning
  • A child wakes up sick or sustains an injury during the day requiring medical care
  • Answering an email from a troubled friend
  • Texting with my married daughter for no reason at all
  • Happily encountering a friend online on Facebook who lives half way around the world and has time for a chat

I want to encourage you to carefully, and thoughtfully, plan your days, weeks and months. I also want to tell you that your plans are wonderful, but God’s plans are always, always better, so hold your plans loosely. That said, there are two things that I want you to remember:

You can’t schedule or plan for everything, and relationships are more important than schedules.

Are you a scheduler, or are you more of a flow-chart girl? Do you remember to hold your plans loosely?

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6 comments to Time Management – Schedule or Flow Chart?

  • As much as I am a type-A, schedule-type person, I am definitely a flowchart homeschooler. I have a basic outline of what we would like to accomplish for the day with no time constraints. This allows for flexibility in our day which I love!

  • Hi Cheryl,
    Since we have no children at home my days now just flow. I have a routine and I turtle along. LOL I don’t keep much of a calendar. We have a wall monthly wipe board calendar and I have my i pad calendar.
    I look forward to learning more.

  • Definitely a flow chart gal!! A few years ago, there was a new ‘system’ marketed to homeschoolers by a popular homeschooling family. It was supposed to be just the most perfect organizational tool evah and was supposed to make your days run like a well-oiled machine. I bought poster board and sticky notes, scheduled everyone’s life into 30-minute increments, and posted this thing of beauty in the hallway for all to see. Nevermind that none of my four kids could even read! Well … I think the chart ruled my life for about half of the first morning, and I promptly ripped it down and made it to the trash just as it was being emptied by the sanitation workers. What the ‘system’ failed to mention was that diapers, spilled juice, sibling rivalries, and reading meltdowns just don’t give a flying fig about some arbitrary, 30-minute schedule. Now we follow the same flow chart routine, and life is good 🙂

    • Ah, WendyLou, I think I know *just* the system you’re talking about. Been there. Done that. I love having my days planned out, but we thrive on using that plan as a flow chart, rather than a strict schedule. Much more relaxing and, ultimately, much more productive.

  • […] for the most part, in large chunks of time. As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m really more of a flow-chart kind of gal, and you probably are aware by now that I like to stress the importance of holding your plans […]

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