Time Management and Routine

I learned long ago, while spending most of my free time at my mamaw and papaw’s, that having a routine isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, the daily, weekly, and seasonal routines of my grandparents are what kept our family fed during lean times.  If they had not planned a season or two ahead, the gardens would not have been so bountiful, the game and livestock harvests would not have been so plentiful, and the canning stock would not have been so abundant.  If they had not planned a routine for their daily tasks, they knew it would end up wasting time just spinning their wheels, backtracking and being less efficient. 

They had no time to be anything less than efficient.  They were getting up in their years and knew that without routines, they would not be as efficient and any help in the form of family or friends might be wasted.  Growing up, I still lived with my parents about 10 miles away.  My cousins all lived across the state and would only be able to visit for the summer.  Mamaw and Papaw knew that in order to get the most tasks accomplished they had to have a set routine for our days, weeks, and seasons.  They often went by the signs when appropriate for making these informal routines.  Other times, when the signs may not have been a concern, they still had a routine of how work was to be planned, prepared for, accomplished, and wrapped up. 

I can hear some of you now: I would like to have a routine, but something always comes up and it throws me off.  If you think mamaw and papaw didn’t have distractions or diversions that required their attention and energy, you must have never had multiple gardens, livestock to care for, grandsons to guide and make sure were safe, and the like.  Because believe me, something ALWAYS happens to throw you off.

All of us.  ALL of us often face similar diversions from what we would like to accomplish or to our daily routine.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  But don’t dwell on it either and let it eliminate any chance of being productive once resolved.  Even the largest, most capable ships in the world make constant course corrections due to the tides, wind, weather, you name it.  But they still keep chugging along towards their destination.  You shouldn’t let a one hour diversion turn into an 8 hour discussion point on social media.  Don’t complain there isn’t enough time to get what you needed done, when the truth is you let a speedbump take you out of the race.

And then there are those without any sense of a routine, daily or otherwise.  They seem to take great pleasure living their life as a leaf in the wind, being tossed about with no direction.  Often, these free spirits will gladly share with you the pleasures of living such a life and suggest you do the same.  It has been my experience that many of these same people often later feel as if they have no purpose and that there is no meaning to their life.  The flaying about in the wind may have been fun for a season, but we were not put here to be scattered with every breeze.  We were put here to be productive and enrich the lives of our families.  That is hard to do when your family doesn’t know which way the wind is going to blow you next.

Although they didn’t own an alarm clock, you could set your watch by mamaw and papaw’s routine.  On a larger scale, you could have learned a lot by watching how they managed their homestead through the seasons, producing harvest after harvest with little resources known to the naked eye.  What kind of routine do you have?  More importantly, what kind of routine do you want to have, not only for you, but as an example to those around you?  You might not always be able to stick to your desired routine, but without a routine as a starting point, you may just wake up one day and wonder where did all the time go.