Friday, February 6, 2015

Pick 3

The problem is the pattern, the problem is the pattern, the problem is the pattern.

The problem is the pattern.  The title and theme of one of Pastor Furtick's (Elevation church) most recent sermons.  I love how so many of his sermons can be applied not only to faith, but to living a better life.  Being more effective.  Being a better mom, wife, husband, person.

I am not an expert on anything I write about motherhood, but I am raising my third boy, and I am in the trenches.  I want to share a saying that goes through my head almost as much as the problem is the pattern, that has become something that helps me get through my day.

I am one of those people who is always late.  I almost always stay up past 11:00 getting stuff done.  And I definitely say yes to too much.  So I started telling myself to "pick 3."  I want to break these patterns.

"Pick 3" may sound simple, but believe me, the one in the trenches, it works.  When I am rushing around trying to clean up after dinner so we can make it to basketball practice on time, I think about how I want to come home to a clean kitchen.  But I also want Carson to be on time to practice.  So I pick three. Three items to clean up before we head out the door.

Picking 3 instead of feeling like I have to clean the whole kitchen is an attainable goal, and will allow me to leave on time.  This guy was non-negotiable.  He was my number one clean up.  Then I progressed to the counters.  If my island is clean, the kitchen feels clean.  So I stacked the dishes in the sink and wiped down the counters.  Numbers 2 and 3, and we were out the door.

So, now to tackle the staying up too late problem.  After the kids are in bed, I get stuff done.  While using that time to check items off my to do list is not necessarily a bad thing, it can make me stay up too late and not have the down time I need to relax and fall asleep when I do finally make it to bed.  When I make myself "pick 3," I am forced to choose the three things that will make the biggest dent in my list.  Sometimes there are non-negotiable items on that list, like doing a load of darks so my boys will have their favorite athletic pants for school the next day.  Or more recently, work on our Disney book so I can order it in time for Justin's birthday.  

Mac users--have you ever used iphoto to create a photo book?  It is super easy!  

When I pick (just) 3, I leave myself enough time to watch a show, look at Facebook, read my favorite blogs, before I go to bed, so I can unwind from my day.  When I push myself to do everything that needs to be done, I find myself working right up until bedtime, and then my mind is still too wired to fall asleep when I do go bed.

Pick 3 also helps me prioritize things in my life.  For example, working out 3 times a week is a non-negotiable for me.  I organize my schedule around my three workouts.  I always work out on Monday, knowing that saving my momsanity workouts for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will definitely get me in trouble!

When we have played too long in the evening and not left ourselves enough time to clean up everything before bed, I ask my kids to "pick 3" things to clean up.  Camden has actually gotten quite good at this as well.  He may be my best cleaner upper.

And most recently, I have "picked 3" days to get up before my kids and have some quiet time and to journal.  I am definitely not so good at this, but I do know that when I read my bible in the morning, in the most still and peaceful time of my day, I set my heart and my mind right to handle anything that comes my way.  

my "happy place" in the quiet of the morning

How do you manage your time so that you don't feel like you have to "do it all?"  Would picking 3 help?  I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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