They say that the unnatural glow from a computer screen disrupts the natural sleep cycle of our brains.
In the pre-dawn hours, I’ve been up, staring into the blue glow of my Chromebook screen, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and putting myself through “writing school,” as I put it.
You see, this school year, I organized.
I have more writing on my plate than ever before. I’ve been asked to host a separate blog for an organization dear to me, on top of feeding my own blog, as well as developing a book idea around resilience. So I needed to organize, or all would be lost.
It happened this summer; I lost my game completely. I barely did chores. I barely cooked. I barely wrote. I’m not kicking myself for it. How was I supposed to focus with the kids underfoot all calling for outings and playdates? I was outnumbered. It wasn’t my fault, really.
But by August, I became perpetually hungry, frazzled, anxious, and I realized I needed to do something differently.
Scrutinizing my schedule, I saw a few windows:
If I get up with my tradesman husband, I can kiss him goodbye and still have an hour to myself before the kids get up.
Midday, while the kids are in school, I have a block of time to myself during the baby’s nap time. Sure, he’s two-years-old now. But he still naps, and he still is my baby. It’s my solemn right as a mother to call him my baby until he’s 42.
Here’s how I’m working out the schedule to do all that I have to do, and all that I love to do:
- Fill: In the early morning hours, it’s time to read. My Bible. A book. Do research. Listen to a podcast and take notes. It’s my time to fill my brain and heart. When I do this, I’m weirdly more awake and human than when I actually get more sleep and roll out of bed when the kids do.
- Chore: After taking the kids to school, I have a set chore that must be done that day, or else I don’t get to write. It’s a rule I set for myself. I’m amazed that if I have an end-time to my chores (Baby goes down in a half hour! Can I vacuum the house by then? Let’s try!) my dragging-feet whip into a sprint, usually with the baby on my hip.
- Pour: Now it’s time to write. I take what I’ve learned that morning, and pour it out of my brain onto the page or screen. This is the time for blogs, Instagram posts, returning emails, toggling the design of my website (which for me, takes forever!), and scratching my head about an email newsletter. That’s my next frontier: a newsletter. Any tips? Pointers?
When I order my mornings like this, then by the time I bring the kids home from school, I can focus on them, and the afternoon/evening events of homework and dinner. My husband comes home to a tidier house, and a more content wife (because her brain breathed that day!).
Part of me rolls my eyes about making and keeping schedules. When my husband started noticing me rolling out of bed when he did, he asked me, “Why are you getting up so early?”
At that time of the morning, there is no small-talk in me. No good intentions. No inspirational quotes.
“Because I get time to do what I want to.” I said while opening my Chromebook and squinting at its blue glow.
That’s the truth. You can tell what a person really loves by what they seem to find time for.
I don’t watch my own shows. I don’t have any recipes pinned. I don’t garden. I don’t go out at night. I don’t craft. I spend my time upon my kids and husband. And I schedule out time to read and write, because that is the slant the Lord has formed into my heart.
What do you seem to find time for? What do you love to do when procrastinating from what you have to do? I’d love to know.