We will continue talking about how to schedule more play into your life. Keep in mind, this process can be used to make more time for almost anything. Use this process to schedule in more time for family, more time for self-care, more time for a passion project, more time for a side hustle!
Let’s talk about how to set up your home so to make use of every area in a practical and meaningful way, and how to “batch” your tasks!...so my friends, when we last chatted, it was about the power of making things happen by putting pen to paper. Today we are going to deep dive into schedule blocking and batching, and not just for PLAY but for the things that YOU want to do more of...the things you love.
SET ME UP NIGHTS - the process of prepping what is needed for the day/week ahead each evening, so it is ready for when it is needed the next day.
This strategy can be used for those going to work, school, homeschooling or the Mummas wanting to add more PLAY to their daily routine. Whether it be an elaborate plan for PLAY or just something easy, the aim is to set it up the night before and learn to make this a daily habit. Now, this may not work for everyone, especially those that are exhausted come night time...so if you instinctively know this will not work best for you, find an alternative time in your day that fits you eg. mornings.
This, my friends, is a great strategy and with practice, will give you back time, over and over again…the time to do the things that matter to you, whether this is scheduling in play time, making time for meal planning, or family time.
‘CREATE SPACES & SYSTEMS THAT FIT YOUR LIFE’ - The space we live in and the systems we use have a remarkable influence on us...they nurture relationships and connections, create ambience, persuade our moods, provide us with a sense of belonging and in many cases give us back time so we can do the things we love. For us, creating systems and spaces has been pivotal in providing us with more time to PLAY.
The systems we have created (Thematic Toy Rotation, Daily Activity Tubs, Visual Timetable, Daily 5 and Go-To Playspaces) are ones that were designed after trial and error to fit our spaces and users in mind. They are the ones we often talk about in our FB online community and are the ones that have continued to work for us even though our family needs are growing. And believe it or not, my friends, these PLAY systems stemmed from getting our home organisation in order first. Yep, you read right. What two housework chores tend to take up most of your time? For us, it was laundry and meal prep (I am sure, I’m not alone in this, particularly as a Mum of little children...let us know in the comments what it is for you) and it was where our PLAY with greater intention journey began.
...so how can this work for you too? How can you create systems and spaces that fit your life?
Grab that notepad and pen… for the ladies striving for simplicity, greater intention and making their days count, I ask you, what systems and spaces in your home are currently not ‘fitting’ your life? Jot them down. Then reflect on why this may be the case and list what realistic changes you can try to gain a better fit for you. And for my PLAYmate Mummas, focus on your play routine alongside the home organisation (they go hand in hand) and then list some ideas on how these problems could be resolved.
Remember the ideas needn’t be fancy… keep it practical, at least to begin with. Now, from this list choose one problem and one solution to try first. Slowly (small steps) move your way through the list, tweaking things as you go, keeping in mind ‘what fits your life’. For us, knowing the laundry and meal prep was a tricky system, made our first step easy...it started with the creation of a laundry schedule and meal planner. This notion about creating spaces and systems that fit our life not only gave us back time but it also gave us the opportunity to take the next step in our PLAY journey...helping us to make our days count with connectivity and engaging play-based learning experiences for our little learners.
BATCH IT - this strategy can be used by anyone when it comes to needing tools and resources readily available for work or study, but it can also work for the PLAYtime Mummas here.
Collecting the resources needed for the week ahead after planning for PLAY, will not only save you time each day, but it will also give you back time over the upcoming weeks/months. Like planning for PLAY, schedule block a time in your day/week where you can batch collect the play resources for the day/week ahead (create a storage space that works for you eg. toy rotation, Launch pad, mudroom, playroom, storeroom. This may work best for you straight after writing your PLAY plan while your mind is already focused on PLAY.
This strategy *Batch It* sounds counterintuitive but it is one of those tasks that is often brushed aside, and other tasks are completed instead. The aim is to make this a daily/weekly habit.
What are the simplest ways you've found to implement some structure in your life and home? We'd love to hear it from you! Let us know in the comments.
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