Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday's Menu and Minute Management

Happy Monday!

I love the flexibility of our summer schedule... when we make other "spur of the moment" plans for dinner, what I planned gets bumped right into the next week! This week was easy to put together for that very reason.

My sous-chef-son helped me make this plum pie last week and it was delicious. We also loved the Georgia Peach Chicken Sandwiches as well. (Now that I think of it, I don't think I've ever made a Rachel Ray recipe that we didn't like!)

So, here's our plan for this week... (For more menu plans, recipes and some great organizing tips to try this summer, visit Laura at

Monday: Summer Squash Chicken Alfredo, salad, garlic bread
Tuesday: Asian Salad (modified per the advice of the second review (to reduce fat), with chicken and mandarin oranges), green bean "sticks" on the grill
Wednesday: grilled pork chops, rice, grilled lemon-pepper zucchini
Thursday: YO-YO ("You're on you're own"/ leftovers)
Friday: crock pot BBQ short ribs, corn on the cob, carrots, fresh green beans

The past couple of Mondays I've shared passages out of Elizabeth George's book I'm re-reading, A Woman After God's Own Heart. Since today's topic is planning, here are 12 excellent tips about time management. I've been reviewing this list and implementing some of them myself in recent days. Very helpful.

1. Plan in detail. I have found this to be helpful in all areas... writing it down.
2. Deal with today. As she points out, "Jesus himself said, "Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about its own things."... God also says, "This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Excellent advice in my opinion, especially following #1. Plan for tomorrow, but deal with today.
3. Value each minute. "Are you facing a two-minute task or a 20 minute one? Decide if the task is the best use of the time. And how much is a minute worth? It's priceless or worthless- depending on how you use it."
4. Keep moving. (SO hard for me!) "A body at rest tends to stay at rest, a body in motion tends to remain in motion." She says, "Use this law of physics to your advantage. Tell yourself, 'Just one more thing... Just five more minutes." Keep moving and you can cross one more thing off your "to do" list!"
5. Develop a routine. "Trying to do the same thing at the ame time each day conserves and generates energy. It conserves energy by cutting down on indecision. You perform menial tasks by rote. It generates energy through habit- the habit of expecting to make phone calls, plan the meals, read the paper, attend a class, or go to a meeting- at a particular time." Not all of our tasks fit into a routine, but putting as many of them as possible into a routine would be helpful. I'm working on this.
6. Exercise and diet. "Studies show that exercise increases metabolism, creates energy, causes you to sleep better, and produces pleasure hormones which contribute to positive attitudes, joy in life, and a general lust for life." Also, "diet" simply means "a way of life." "Develop a dietary 'way of life' that gives you the energy and health you need to accomplish God's best.
7. Ask the "half-the-time" question- "If my life depended upon doing this task in half the time I have allotted, what shortcuts would I take?" Then take them.
8. Use a timer for everything. Her reasoning, "Setting the timer for 'just five minutes' can get you started; setting the timer for 'I'll quit in five minutes' can keep you going." (I understand this, but I haven't done it yet. I'm afraid hearing the seconds ticking all day would make me want to set my hair on fire.)
9. Do the worst first. We do this in school... everyone picks their least favorite subject and tackles it first. Hey, if it works for math, surely it can work for folding laundry!
10. Read daily on time management. I've started by going over this list everyday. A couple of other great resources are Shopping for Time and More Hours in My Day.
11. Say no. Just for fun, practice saying it out loud right now. "NO." Didn't that feel good?
12. Begin the night before. Very, very helpful. There are so many things that can be done "the night before" and it blesses me so much the next day when I've done that!

Hopefully these time management have helped you (and maybe even challenged you) like they have me. Summer can be a lazy and relaxed time, but the schedule of fall is on the horizon! This is a great time to practice some time management techniques when there is somewhat less to manage, getting a system in place that is ready for the demands that a busier schedule will bring us in just a few weeks.

Have a blessed Monday and a wonderful week!


Jenny in Ca said...

all really good tips! I am just starting to ponder- starting my homeschool planning...when I say pondering, I mean pondering- it's true what you said about a body at rest!

I will think on your tips, while I sit and ponder....

April said...

Delicious! Your week sounds great.

Bobbie said...

I love the crockpot! And Rachel Ray! And Elizabeth George! I just started reading her book "beautiful in God's eyes" about the Proverbs 31 woman. I love her practical advice. I need help in time management!

Audra Krell said...

I really enjoyed my trip around your blog today. I love all your "yes's!" Thanks for the time management tips, they are so true, helpful and encouraging.

ahorne said...

Great tips... and a neat menu! I'd love to learn about green bean sticks - sounds very intriguing.

Susanne said...

Those are great tips.

That lemon pepper zucchini sounds delish. I love zucchini and am always looking for different ways to have it.