A Simplified Life: Extra Curricular Activities

Simplified_LifeThis week is full of activities; yesterday we had a field trip, today we’re going swimming, tomorrow is grocery shopping, and this weekend is my birthday. Not every week is this busy, but when it is, there are some key things I can do to ensure events are as stress-free and simplified as possible.

Before planning out an event, there are some questions I should ask myself:         

•Did I pray about this? (Perhaps the Lord has other plans?)                                            •Did my husband say it was okay? (As a Christian wife, I respectfully keep my husband   aware of all our plans.)
•Will my family benefit from the event? (Not all good ideas are good for us.)                  •Will I stress out trying to make the event possible? (Do I already have too many events planned on the same day?)

If my event has passed “inspection”; off to the calendar I go. I prefer to do my scheduling on a computer, there I can schedule email reminders and sync with my mobile device. It will also allow me to add notes regarding the event, such as “pack swimsuits”.

Prep for the event by getting any necessary materials ahead of time. Certain events, such as potlucks, often require me to bring food. When putting the event on my calendar, I will make sure to add these items onto my grocery list. If I have a birthday present to purchase, that will be added to my errand list. (See Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One) The day before the event, I usually try to make sure my car has enough fuel (it is always a pain to get in the car and realize I now have to stop for gas… talk about stress!)

I map out the day of the event. Knowing what time our event starts is helpful, but that information isn’t always enough. How long will it take me to get to the event? How long will it take me to get out the door? How long does it take to straighten up my house and kids before heading out the door? Do I have anything else going that morning that also needs to be done? Several factors determine how the day will go. I don’t like leaving things to chance; therefore I like to “map out” our day. It looks something like this:

Event Time:          3:00pm (With a drive time of 1 hr.)
Leave Time:         1:45pm ( I like to have extra time.)
Kids shoes on:     1:30pm (Plenty of time to brush teeth, hair, shoes on, and get the car .)
Straighten House:1:00pm (If not decent, I don’t leave. I can’t tell you how often that pays off.)
Lunch:                  12:00 (Plenty of time to eat in peace, wash up, and grab food/presents.)

This routine works well for morning events as well. I simply plug in my start time and work backwards. This helps determine what time I need to wake up, what time my kids need to be up, and everything else that needs to get done before heading out the door.

Because the event was organized and simplified to the best of our ability, we are not rushing around trying to do things last-minute. Everything we need is set in place and ready to go.  Barring any last-minute changes, we are free to enjoy our day and anticipate a wonderful afternoon. With a simplified routine we can truly enjoy the event!

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Ephesians 5:15-17

🔔Time to Chime In: In your opinion, what is the hardest aspect of getting out the door for an event?

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5 thoughts on “A Simplified Life: Extra Curricular Activities

  1. For me, I get sidetracked and I underestimate how much time an activity like the kids getting their shoes on takes. I’ve also realized that somehow time speeds up between the foyer and buckling my seat belt in the van.
    Of course it’s those things I *should have* thought of like the 3 year old wanted to put her own shoes on and brush her own hair, the 4 year old naturally has something sticky in his hair that I just noticed that his pants are on backward.
    Those things take up so much time!

    I like the whole starting from the event time and working your way back plus giving yourself 15 more minutes than it should take. Thanks four the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know I’ve been there myself. It takes twenty minutes JUST to get on shoes and get them out the door sometimes; there is always some last minute object one of them HAS to have before we can leave, some person who didn’t brush their teeth when asked, or a multitude of items which need to be packed into the car.

      It’s amazing how just getting out the door can be an event, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

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