- Moment – This app is a game-changer! It tracks the amount of time you spend on your phone, what apps you’re using the most, and how many times you pick up your phone each day. Seeing the amount of time you’re spending looking at your phone can be tough, but it’s eye-opening! Think about that chunk of time & all you could do with it each day… more prayer time. More face-to-face time, on the floor, playing with your kids. More time actually listening to your husband talk about his day. More time to pour into that business you’re trying to hard to grow. You can get the app for free or opt for a paid version, but the free version will give you enough of a gut check!
- The Do Not Disturb option on iPhone – I’ve heard about this one, but just recently started using it this month (due to #3), and it’s definitely helpful! I have it set to automatically kick in to block all alerts & phone calls (except calls from those on my “Favorites” list in my contacts) from 5-7pm every evening. This is one of the most stressful times of the day as the girls both lose the little bit of emotional regulation they have & are more prone to fighting or fits. It’s also stressful when I’m trying to cook dinner (which isn’t exactly my strong suit anymore), and I’m starting to feel the effects of an already long & jam-packed day. In those moments, it’s easy to get distracted by a text & then click right over to email, & then click right over to Instagram, & so on… It’s an easy mental “out” from the “witching hour,” but it doesn’t help. The girls are less likely to fight when I’m playing with them. It’s also the most consistent time I have with them, and I don’t want to be tempted to look at my phone screen instead of into their faces. It also keeps me from being lost in my phone when Max gets home, so it’s easier to really focus on him & sharing a little about our days.
- Powersheets (specifically the monthly Tending List) – 2018 is the first year I’ve used Lara Casey’s Powersheets, and I know we’re only just over two months into the year, but man, it’s good. It’s REAL good. I’ve found ways to incorporate my goal of intentional, quality time into my Monthly, Weekly & Daily goals. For example, one Monthly goal I’ve set is to have at least two “date nights” with Max where he’s not working on homework, I’m not working on anything for b.marie.photography, and we just spend time together. We’ve played backgammon & Sequence, watched a show/movie together, etc. It’s usually not a date night out of the house, but it’s guarded time that’s meant for just us. It’s too easy to get caught up in conversations that are really just to-do lists or scheduling calendars & nothing more. I’ve also had “mommy-daughter dates” with each girl on there as well. Weekly goals for intentional time have been things like spending time with or sharing encouraging words with a friend, and daily goals have been doing my devotional, no phone from 5-7pm, etc.
- A Good Old Fashioned Calendar – We have a Google calendar for our family, but the evenings were such a mess with both Max and I needing to get work done, the girls needing attention (and refereeing), etc. There was never a plan & that ended up leaving all of us expecting things that hadn’t ever been discussed. So we started dividing out nights where either Max or I could tackle work a little earlier than the girls’ bedtime, and the other one got focused time to spend with the girls. I ended up buying a cheap wall calendar from Kroger that has nice big boxes for each day, and about every other week we go through & assign nights. We also write in other things like when I have photo sessions, if he has to work late, the weekends he has class, etc. I hung it on the inside of our pantry door so it’s out of view normally, but it’s still in a place that we see everyday. Sometimes there’s just nothing quite like pen & paper!!
What could you do if you got a just a little more intentional about your time? Who would you spend it with? What steps could you take to get just a little bit closer to that dream of yours?
Try out one (or all!) of these tools, & let me know in the comments how they impact your life! And if you have other great tools for helping you be intentional about how you’re spending your time, let me know so I can try to use them too!!