Walking into Target and being confronted with backpacks, school supply lists and pencil boxes is a sure sign that summer is winding quickly down to an end. All around me families are scurrying to fit in one last amazing mini-vacation and pools are filling up as people realize that their sun-soaking-time is limited. I have been receiving an increasing amount of emails about school activities which is forcing my brain to turn from “don’t forget the sunscreen!” to “get out your calendar and write down 2,341 dates for sporting practices!“. The summer-to-fall focus shift is fast approaching and I feel the need to pick up my speed a bit so I can be ready to jump on that super-fast moving school-time sidewalk without falling on my backside as I try to transition to fall.

This week I had my phone and was doing that annoying thing where you switch back and forth from an email/text list of dates to the calendar trying to remember and enter every event properly. Inevitably I mess up the time or day and have to redo something 3 times.  (I’m sure there is some easier way of doing this dance that young smart techy people know about…please share it with me if you do!) Anyway, looking at my calendar I realized I had something(s) on almost every single day through December.

WHAT?
That’s seems a little crazy to me!

Practices, school events, doctor appointments, dinners, games, haircuts, volunteer commitments, meetings, overnight tournaments–geeze. And somehow I’m supposed to fit LIFE into all of this? Honestly, I felt overwhelmed and frantic just looking at it!

You see, I know that I have other commitments and desired activities that I have planned to do this year.  These aren’t necessarily “one-time-appointments” or “every Tuesday morning” type things.  They are more general wants, more ambiguous goals; start training for another half-marathon with my stepmom in November; spend serious time writing down and praying over the Bible studies I help lead each week; organize a system to present sponsorship opportunities for a group of orphans my friend works with; have more intentional time with my kids as I realize that our time as a family-of-5 at home is dwindling.

These tasks and goals are important to me….but they aren’t things you just plug into your calendar from 10-12 on a Thursday morning! Or….are they?

If I DON’T mark out a time slot for running on Monday morning–I know that time will quickly be filled up with something else.
If I DON’T have a reminder alert telling me that I need to put my phone on silence and spend an hour working on sponsorship forms–that time will quickly be filled with something else.
If I DON’T have a spot on my calendar telling me that Tuesday from 1-2:30 is reserved for reviewing my study–then I will agree to fill that time with something else.

I think it’s time take my calendar back. Before I add in anymore regularly scheduled activities, I’m going to stop and think about what’s important to me in this season of my life. Then, I’m going to mark out specific slots IN BLUE AND WHITE ON MY CALENDAR APP where I reserve time to work on those items. If it’s already “officially” scheduled, then the scary vacuum system of time management won’t come gushing in to fill those empty spaces with other activities.

Oh i realize that I have to be flexible…that sometimes things will overlap and I’ll have to make some decisions about priorities…but at least then I’ll be able to see what I am substituting for the things I’m giving up I better do it soon too, before I run out of time to remember what is important to myself!

So I have made a personal pledge to myself this next week to do some calendar-filling.  To write out a list of what I want to do, what I need to do, and what I have to do, and to make sure I’ve given myself intentional time periods to do these things. I guess I’ll call this my “end-of-summer-project”. I’d love to hear how anyone else plans their time out, and if there is some super wonder-app out there that makes plugging it all into your calendar convenient and easy!

PS-Reminder to self: schedule time for Shake’s and coffee. Often.

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