Routine vs. Schedule

In my last post I wrote about how helpful having a daily routine is.  Today I’d like to share a little more on the subject. Tthere is a slight difference between a daily routine and a daily schedule.  With a routine, daily events happen in the same order each day.  With a schedule, daily event happen at the same time each day.  I have found it better for our family to work with a routine because it allows more flexibility.  Flexibility has been very important in my world of four young children.  Somedays it seems like we can’t go 20 minutes without interruptions such as diaper blow-outs, potty-training accidents, bloody noses or other mishaps that would throw a schedule off.

As I write this though, I am  praying for wisdom and considering moving to more of a schedule for the kids.  Victoria and Will are getting older and are much bigger helpers now, so there are few “little people emergencies”.  I also want to teach my children the importance of being on time.  Since we homeschool, it would be easy to just start whenever we feel ready.  But that would not prepare them for arriving to work or college classes on time.  As our family grows, I am also finding some areas that I want to be priorities are slipping through the cracks.  I have a goal of spending at least 15 minutes of quality time with each individual child each day.  Right now I am not accomplishing that goal and I think it is because we need a little more structure.

This area of routine verses schedule has always been a struggle for me.  In recent years, as I have been thoughtfully battling perfectionism, I have chosen routine because it has helped me feel confidently in control of the day.  When I’ve tried to use schedules in the past and something goes awry I have felt defeated.  I do believe either way of ordering your day is a huge help for both mom and children and recommend you to give it a try, if you haven’t already.  It may not come naturally, for me it requires great diligence.  I’d rather have no plan than have “my plan” not go the way I envisioned it.  However, God has been teaching me that He is a God of order.  Have you ever noticed how amazing it is that all the seasons work together just right, and how there is a time for everything under the sun?

Do you use a routine or schedule?  Why?

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2 responses to “Routine vs. Schedule

  1. I’m loving reading your blog! I just found it. We do a routine. Schedules make me too nervous and uptight! I keep a daily list of what needs done though and that aids in getting done what I would like to accomplish that day. Though I have three items on my list from previous days that are not crossed out! And I’m okay with that. 🙂

    • Schedules used to make me nervous and uptight and then grumpy when we couldn’t seem to keep up with them. That’s why a routine has worked well for us for a few years. I am excited to try a schedule again, though, with a new attitude. I’m ready to leave a few things undone at the end of a scheduled time slot if it means that I will “have time” for everything that I want to be made a priority in our lives. I’m not saying this to say that a schedule is better. We all make decisions that we believe are best for our situations. I’m just saying that even though a routine has been a wonderful way to organize our days, I think it is time now (for us) to try a new approach. The plan may fall flat on its face, but I am willing to keep trying new things until I figure out how to “have time” for what God has made clear to me are really important.

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