This week, I learned a great lesson: sometimes dividing equals multiplying. Previously, I have largely intermixed my duties of home and business throughout the day. Much of my business duties involve desk-work: working on the computer, writing, drawing, or studying.
It seemed logical to me to put a load of laundry in the wash, go work on my desk-work for an hour, go back to the laundry, and so forth throughout the day. The idea was that I would get up, stretch, and rest my eyes from time to time by doing my household chores. In reality, I was feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time, like there were not possibly enough hours in the day to do what needed to be done.
So this week, I tried an experiment: I divided my time.
As I was registering Hasten Home with various business directories on the web, one recurring piece of information the directories asked for was “hours of operation”. That is logical enough, but my working hours have been something like 7 am to 9 pm many days–something that could be quite destructive to both me and my family, and in turn Hasten Home and its quality of service, too, if kept up for too long.
With some prayer, I have settled on 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday; and 10 am to 3 pm, Friday. That does not mean I will never be here at other times, but it does set clear boundaries where it is “okay” to “leave work” and “go home”.
I have also been working on some goals for Hasten Home. I learned how to set realistic expectations for how much time I need to devote to various activities, and how to set prices that are fair to both our customers and myself.
Anyway, with my new schedule, I decided that I had better be up and connected with God, then I need to get my housework and personal tasks done before I have to “leave for work”.
So at 6 am, I dump the first load of laundry in the wash and jump in the shower. With diligence, I can do the entire day’s laundry, make breakfast, rescue the house from a curious toddler, clean up the bathrooms, pay the bills–whatever home duties I have–and sit down at 10 am, feeling like a lot has already been done this day.
My eldest daughter is in charge of mid-day chores, and my eldest son (who often works during the day) is in charge of evening chores. My two younger children are our helpers. It has worked great!
Now when I sit down at my computer, Baby knows it is his time to cuddle in my lap, and my brain knows it is time for business. I am getting so much more done in so much less time.
Then when the day is closing, my five-minutes-to-six alarm says “Worship in 5 minutes!” and I think, “Cool.” We have our peaceful moments as a family to re-connect with Heaven through a short reading or a Bible story, a few songs, and prayer; then we can even have a fun family activity, if we so choose–no pressure, since I’m not at work anymore.
Sometimes dividing is multiplying–who knew?