I have always been really into having a routine/schedule. I think it stems back to high school. When I was in high school, I had classes, homework, always worked a part-time job, babysat and had somewhat of a social life. I knew that without organization I would let some area fall and that wasn't going to be good. My mom required good grades in order to keep my job and have a social life. If I didn't have a job, I wouldn't have a car and other fun things I enjoyed getting. So, I had a plan everyday of what I had to do and when I would get it done. This rolled on through college.
When I was pregnant, I didn't have a job or that many responsibilities, so I became a very unscheduled and lazy person. I didn't like that. When Luke was born, I was all about getting him on a schedule so that we could have normal sleeping habits in our house ASAP. By putting him on a schedule, Lee and I got back into having a schedule for ourselves. I flourish with routine. I like having a time slot for each thing I do. It just makes me more productive. Ever since Luke was born, we have had a schedule and I really think it keeps everyone (especially Luke) sane.
That being said, I thought I would write out step-by-step directions as to how I create a routine/schedule for myself in hopes that it will help others.
Step 1: Get out a blank sheet of paper and write down all of things that you want to accomplish in a given week. I like to divide the paper into weekly and daily things. There are things you only do once or twice a week like activities, playgroups, and grocery shop. Then there are the things you want to do every day like pray/devotion, play with kids, sleep, and shower. Nothing is too insignificant. Obviously you won't have the same exact things in the same spots every week, but as a general schedule, put the things you do (or would like to do) on a normal basis.
Examples of what I do:
Daily - Prayer/devotion, Bible study, reading, sleep, hygiene related things, spend time with Lee, spend time with Luke, prayer/devotion with Luke, Bible reading with Luke, homeschooling Luke, cook meals, daily cleaning, exercise, fun time (ie TV/movie/Wii/craft)
Weekly - Bible study/MOPS, grocery shopping, coupon planning, library storytime, Monkey Joes, church, date night, weekly cleaning (put on specific days)
Step 2: Figure out the things you have to do and fill them in at the appropriate times. From that you can see where you have blocks of time to fill in the variable things.
Step 2: Figure out your wake time, bed time, and meal times.
Step 3: Look for blocks of time that you can complete the various tasks you have to do and fill in the ones in a way that makes sense for you.
Make it work for you. Realize it is an ideal and that it won't go that smoothly every day (if ever). You can even make a back up routine or a more basic one with just wake times, bed times, meal times, and the things that are in stone. That way you have flexibility with the chunks of time. If you do that it helps to make a to-do list for each day and that way you don't forget to do something.
Here's My IDEAL Routine/Schedule:
7:00am - Wake up, Devotion/Prayer/Proverb of the Day, Get ready
7:15am - Make our bed, Wake Luke, Help Luke make his bed, Start a load of laundry
7:30am - Make breakfast and Lee's lunch
8:00am - Eat breakfast
8:15am - Clean up from breakfast
8:30am - Chores (M - 1st floor, W - 1/2 2nd floor, H - 1/2 2nd floor, F - 3rd floor)
*Tuesday 8:30am - Leave for MOPS/Bible study
9:30am - Homeschool Luke
10:30am - Snack, Leave for outings
11:00am - Outings (M - Grocery store, W - Library, Grocery store, H - Monkey Joes, F - ?)
12:00pm - Return home, Unload, Make lunch
12:30pm - Eat lunch
12:45pm - Clean up from lunch
1:00pm - Play with Luke
2:30pm - Give Luke a bath, Read books, Get Luke ready for nap
3:00pm - Exercise
3:45pm - Shower
4:00pm - Bible study, Read
4:30pm - Blog, Coupon
5:00pm - Scrapbook, Sew, Watch TV, Relax
**Wednesday 5:30pm - Go to church
6:00pm - Snack, Cook dinner
7:00pm - Eat dinner, Clean up from dinner
7:30pm - Downtime until bedtime
**Wednesday 8:30pm - Return home from church
9:00pm - Help Lee put Luke to bed
11:00pm - Be in bed watching TV or reading until I fall asleep