The Ideal Week: An Update (June 2015)

Last summer, I created an ideal weekly schedule and followed it pretty closely.

But when my daughter started school in the fall, I started taking her in the mornings. This shifted my day about an hour later overall. I took the middle train to my day job instead of the early train.

As it got dark earlier, the kids went to bed earlier, and I started taking the early train again. My wife took our daughter to school so I could get home around the time it got dark, and I could spend a little bit of time with the kids before they went to bed.

We kept that up all spring. I missed my mornings with my girl. It’s amazing how much bonding you can do with your daughter in just 5 minutes in the car each day. So for the last week or two of school, I took her to school in the mornings and got home an hour later than usual. Now that school is out and summer is here, we are tweaking our schedule again. It’s back to the early train, and the kids can go to bed later if they want.

What’s been key is to recognize when it is time to make a change, and do it wholeheartedly, with everyone on-board with the change. Tweet That

What’s different this time?

The most noticeable change is that I’m not doing much freelance design work these days. So I don’t have that blocked out three or four nights a week. Instead, I’m spending time with the kids as soon as I get home and after dinner.

The men’s group I was in disbanded. There’s another one from our church meeting at the same time, but I didn’t get involved. So that’s not on here this time. I miss it, but not as much as I did at first. I can’t tell if that’s good or bad.

Home church: we are part of a small group that meets on Sunday nights. We opted out of that last year when the one we were in the year before got to be too stressful financially and schedule-wise with how early our kids go to bed.

1-on-1 Time: I get a “date” with each person in my family once a week. Since there are 5 of us and one of me, and there are usually 4 weekends in a month, everyone get one-on-one time with me once a month. This works out really well. If there is a 5th week, well, we usually take that as it comes. The first Saturday of the month, naturally, is the Art Crawlthat I go to with my daughter.

Friday night is Family Night. We pop popcorn and watch a family-friendly movie. Big Hero 6, anyone?

Weekends: My wife and I alternate time in our respective studios so we can get our bigger creative projects done.

Exercise: I do a lot of walking these days. I try to get 10,000 steps in each day, so I walk to and from the train station and my office. I’ve been walking around downtown Nashville at lunch. But it’s gotten so hot and humid already that I may go back to blogging at lunch instead. I’m considering getting up insanely early and getting some of my walking done before the sun comes up.

Early Mornings:

From about 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. my day belongs to everyone else. But the early mornings are mine. This is where the real magic happens. I can use this time to write for my blog or other writing projects, or I can use it to paint. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a different thing each day or each month, or I might do one thing for a week straight.

Of course, if I am to get up early, it is imperative that I go to bed early. Otherwise if I stay up watching whatever the latest funny or sci-fi thing is on Netflix, I won’t get up in time.

The point is, I’m a work in progress.

What works now may not work in the future. In a few years the kids will get involved in sports and extracurricular activities. I have to be willing to tweak my habits to figure out what works, what makes me most productive and utilizes my time, energy, and creativity. It’s a creative effort in itself.

What works for you?

How have you set an ideal schedule to work with?

Photo Credit: Marcin Wichary via Compfight cc

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