Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time Budgeting

I have so many things milling around in my head these days... but I can only blog so much. So I'm starting with time budgeting.  I've been messing around with schedules and things for a few months now, (really some form or another for a couple years) to pretty much no avail. I'm always wondering where the heck my time goes. I'm a stay at home mom- doesn't that mean I should have an amazing dinner ready every night, a spotless home, fun activities planned with my kids each day, time for exercise, and profound daily quiet times?
yeah. right.
Anyway, I was thinking about budgeting the other day and a thought occurred to me. There are only so many minutes in a day. (I know, shocking, right? who knew?) Just like there is only so much money every month. I'm an avid budgeter. If you follow Dave Ramsey at all, I'm the "nerd," not the "free spirit." I love excel. (well, I'm a Mac user- so it's actually "numbers" that I love.) Anyway- I've been fanatically budgeting since high school. (yes.) I love knowing where every penny goes. (nope. I don't round up. every penny.) If someone were to ask me how to get started in budgeting, I'd tell them to save all their receipts for a month and to enter everything into a spreadsheet. To try not to change your habits that month, just to be aware of where it all goes. It can be shocking. So while I was thinking about this and how it relates to the time in a day, I thought I'd start recording all my minutes. Just how DO I spend my time? Should I feel guilty about not spending enough time with each kid, doing fabulous things? How much time DO I spend in the kitchen? Should I feel guilty about how untidy my home is in this crazy season of life? And really, how much time DO I spend on facebook? The endless life-sucker that it is... because frankly, when I "waste" my minutes rather than being intentional with them, I rob other areas of my day of much needed time.  Things I'd rather be spending my time on.
So, that's my project for the week. Time budgeting. Hopefully it wont take up so much time by itself as to throw off my observations. ha! Actually, I'm committing to not adding anything up until a designated time. In a week, perhaps I'll enter it into a new spreadsheet and look at percentages. Maybe it will help me to see areas that I need to change. Like I was wondering how much time I spent making lunches. Would I spend less time "packing" lunch for everyone the night before when I pack my husbands', even though the kids and I eat at home every day? Hm. Anyway, if I can make my life more efficient, great. If I can just be aware of how I spend my day, honestly, I think it may be eye-opening. Perhaps not. But worth a shot.


Patti said...

I was SO much better about budgeting my time when I was working. I find it much harder now to have my quiet times, something I've been desperately missing. I know getting up earlier would help but that's hard to do when your prego. :)

karen said...

Do you ever read the Money Saving Mom blog? She has a series on time management, and time budgeting is one of the key things that she hits on. She even has a friend who wrote an ebook on the concept. Check out the series of posts on it if you're interested.

I need to start using her tips myself--I'm a time management wreck! :-p