We have traveled more this spring than any other year ever. It's all been good, but challenging. We are in the home stretch, almost done with this "season", thankfully! What have we been so busy with? Two things have been primarily responsible for our heavy travel schedule; NCFCA and Total Language Plus. Both activities are an incredible blessing to us, but both require a "busy" season and happen to collide into the same couple of months. It gets crazy, but IT IS WORTH IT.
|Ariel traveling and working TLP with me|
Everyone goes through these times when things get a little "stretched". For most of us it's probably not quite as taxing as the last few months have been for us, but I'm willing to bet that you can relate. So what works and what doesn't? Fortunately, we've been doing this for several years so we've learned a few things. I will fully admit though, I am not perfect and I'm looking forward to lots of white space in my calendar for July and August where I can catch up on some things.
So best practices for busy times...
1. Plan ahead. This is my salvation many times. Huge area here for us is the meals. I try to always have some things made ahead in the freezer and this is the time we use them. For instance, we were away at convention last weekend at a hotel that had a microwave and refrigerator; I was able to pull a frozen pack of pulled pork from the freezer and take it with us for a meal in our room. A few days before we left I also took 1/2 hour and made some homemade breakfast sandwiches with eggs and cheese and froze them. They made terrific breakfasts in the room and saved us some money.
Even if you're not traveling, planning some foods ahead will help you out!
2. If you know a busy "season" is coming prepare the house as much as you can. When you are in a busy season it's not the time to clean out the refrigerator or other major cleaning, do it before or wait till it's over. Try to get the laundry and ironing caught up before if you can. If your "season" extends like ours has try to keep it up. In my 3-4 days home between travel I try to get the laundry done. Ironing...well, as my husband will attest, I can't quite manage that though I did have it caught up before we started. I'll need to have a little, okay big, ironing party in a week or two once I'm home for the long haul again.
3. Keep your priorities. This means my little Bible comes with us and even when we are getting up at the crack of dawn (or before) to get to our Debate tournament on time I'm typically reading to the kids our "thought for the day". Is it a large in depth study,? No, but it keeps the focus where it should be even in the busyness.
4. Let go of what you can. Remember, it's only temporary. For me, part of what I "let go" for a time is my blog. It's not a necessity. I enjoy it and think it helps others, but it is low on my priority list. Family and home come first. What can you let slide?
5. Try to give extra attention to relationships. When I'm busy it is often easy for my family to feel neglected. I try to get everything done on the days I am home before my husband gets home from work to be able to spend time with him. Here's the part that is hard. Quantity does matter. A few years back there was a saying that was going around, "Quality over quantity." I don't have statistics to share here, but it's largely been debunked. Quantity does matter. Personally, I can attest to that. You can't do much if you're in a "busy" season but you can carve out large quantities of time as soon as you can to build into your relationships. This goes for kids too. And of course if you can, have your family travel with you or do your "busyness" with you, that helps too and we often try to do that.
So that will bring me to my next entry, the importance of quantity time together! Stay tuned....