Making Lists and Staying Focused

With all the things that must be done and should be done and all the things I want to have fun doing, these next few months require a lot of focusing. Time eaters need to be identified. What are your time eaters? For me, it’s definitely the computer. It’s where I accomplish the least, so I probably need to spend less time there. (Ironic that I’m blogging. More on that later.) But I need to spend less time “just checking” the computer off and on all day, and try to return emails first thing in the morning or in the evening to curb that time eater.

Part of being able to accomplish a lot these next few months will involve being disciplined in the basics as well. We’re trying to be really diligent about daily and weekly housecleaning. If the house is in order, then a busy calendar and a long to-do list seems less overwhelming. I’m trying to keep in mind at all times that “she looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness.” (Prov. 31:27)

And I’m trying to keep in mind that rest is important too. Being able to sit down, put my feet up, relax with the family, do a bit of blogging, etc. at the end of the day is essential to keeping everything balanced. A good night’s sleep is very important too!

As I mentioned in my last posting, I categorized everything on my 60+ items to-do list. Partly, I did it to help me use my time wisely, and partly I did it to make sure I was using my time wisely (that I was focused on home). Make sense? So here’s a taste of what my list looks like:

Phone Calls and/or Online
1.) Call about corn
1.) Call orchards about Winesaps
2.) Make reservations at hotel
3.) Order beeswax
4.) Contact everyone about cooking classes
5.) Make reservation for cooking classes
6.) GenJ renewal
7.) Purchase balsam fir
8.) Make vet appointment
9.) Order Christmas labels
10.) Register kids for snowboarding

Purchases & Errands
1.) Find buttons for duvet
2.) Photograph costumes
3.) Buy Christmas cards
4.) Get dogs groomed
5.) Find Christmas party invitations
6.) Purchase flannel sheets
7.) Christmas shop
8.) Purchase dry goods for storage
9.) Vet appointment

Fun Excursions
1.) Go apple picking
2.) Go to Cape for the weekend
3.) Weekend getaway
4.) Go to costume exhibit at Strawbery Banke
5.) Do Wool Arts Tour
6.) Go to Octoberfest
7.) Go to Christmas by Candlelight

Lap Work
1.) Address Christmas cards
2.) Type Christmas letter
3.) Address party invitations
4.) Make Christmas list
5.) Make Christmas gifts

Ongoing – Outside the Home
1.) Help at campaign office
2.) ferry Colette to cooking class
3.) Student Action Team

Days at Home
1.) Ship friend’s order
2.) Finish baby quilt
3.) Ship baby quilt
4.) Make duvet
5.) Do pilgrim girl costume
6.) Do colonial boy costume
7.) Finish all projects for shop
8.) Photograph all Christmas items
9.) Can tomatoes
10.) Deal with bell peppers
11.) Freeze jalapenos
12.) Pick butternut squash
13.) Braid onions
14.) Freeze corn
15.) Dig up garden
16.) Dry apples
17.) Make applesauce
18.) Host in-laws
19.) Have friends over for candle dipping
20.) Make soap with Felicity
21.) Have friends over for dinner
22.) Make bar soap
23.) Paint the front door
24.) Paint outside door trim
25.) Send party invitations
26.) Test recipes for Christmas gift baskets
27.) Make and freeze meals for December
28.) Make Christmas presents
29.) Make Christmas Eve gifts

When the list was categorized, I was pleased to see that most of my time is involved in tasks that keep me “busy at home”. This will require me to be home. That’s another area of focus needed…consolidating errands and standing firm on the need to stay home on days I’m supposed to be home.

I share all this with you, because I think it’s a busy time of year (or soon will be) for all homemakers. I hope my thoughts have prompted your own thinking about keeping priorities biblical, and how you might manage your own time to accomplish what needs to be done and still have some fun. Work hard, play hard.


  1. I love you lists..I am lost without mine. They not only help my focus, but remind me that I did actually accomplish something:)


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