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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

Tell me: did you take the time to build your schedule?

Categories: the juggle


Schedule A4ISMSuccessful people often talk or write about the power of their routines. They meditate in the morning or begin their day with a workout. They make time for self care and know precisely when they are most creative and productive. While I see the wisdom in these bits of advice, I can’t help but wonder when these superhumans were able to willfully craft a schedule.

I’ve been meaning to create a schedule. I imagine it will begin with a workout, some soulful meditation, sketching in my incredibly beautiful journal, and eating a healthy breakfast. Then I’ll wake my kids up. During the day, I’ll balance the monotony of answering emails with the forward thinking of crafting and sending proposals. I’ll take mini-breaks to step outside and load up on Vitamin D. When the kids come home from school, I’ll oversee homework and tidy up the house. We’ll reconnect over board games and dinner, and then my husband and I will enjoy a long talk about future plans. Before heading off to bed, I’ll shine my sink.

I’m not sure where laundry fits in. Or the occasional breakfast meeting with friends. Or shopping. Or paying bills. Or making the bed. Or going to the library, executing my latest Pinterest project, or finding a new mascara that doesn’t run down my face.

Or crafting the perfect schedule.

In reality, I operate with a calendar and a to-do list. Meditation doesn’t appear on either, but I try to fit it in among the blank spaces. This is also where shaving my legs and going for a walk appear. In fact, I’d say most of my life happens in the unscheduled hours between appointments and deadlines. As much as I adore lists, the things I value most don’t appear on the one I check daily. I can’t decide if that’s a problem or totally normal.

Do real people actually craft and then live by ideal schedules? Or is everyone else just kind of falling into life and making adjustments on the fly, like me? I ask because I’m really not sure, in this case, where reality and idealism intersect. I’m not sure if those successful people are filling their autobiographies with fantasies or if I might benefit from being a little more militant about my schedule.

What say you, Internet and fellow working moms?

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6 comments so far...

  • I schedule the workout and the chores, but that’s about it. I just go with the flow for the rest of the day. I schedule the chores so I get them all done before the weekend - a few minutes each evening beats a couple of hours on Saturday.

    Megan  |  March 25th, 2013 at 9:25 am

  • Even the best of schedules gets tossed out the window when a kid is sick. Actually, even a kid that isn’t sick. Throw in more than one kid, and you get chaos.

    In reality, a routine, I have found, is better than a schedule. Get behind by 5 minutes and you stress out because you still have a gajillion things to do before the school bus comes and you know you aren’t going to make that time up.

    Keep it simple. When relying on others, especially kids, parents need to build in some flexibility to their mornings. The same thing goes for the afternoon and homework, dinner, etc. A schedule is only good for one person. You can schedule your day, but you can’t schedule other people. You can have a guideline of what needs to happen, about how long it should take and build in some “wiggle room” because they are people.

    And if you want to do that exercising or meditating first thing in the morning, you’re going to lose a half hour of sleep. You have to get up early before everybody else. Thing is, some people can do it easily, others can’t. Everybody’s sleep requirements are different. Don’t judge your performance by others, but on what you are capable of.

    daniel  |  March 25th, 2013 at 9:27 am

  • @daniel “A schedule is only good for one person. You can schedule your day, but you can’t schedule other people.” This is freaking BRILLIANT.

    Miss Britt  |  March 25th, 2013 at 9:34 am

  • I fall into routines, but I don’t schedule. I work around appointments and fit things in where I can, and then lament that I didn’t get half of what I intended done. I can’t even manage to schedule chores. I’d rather pick a day and do them all at once than do a little each day. Mostly because I don’t remember to do a little each day.

    Lisa  |  March 25th, 2013 at 10:32 am

  • I personally have kind of broad categories. Like, if I’m going to clean, I know it’s going to happen in the morning or not at all. Which means it didn’t happen on days that I work. Period. If I’m going to socialize, is probably in the late afternoon or evening. I like to walk in the morning on my days off but peruse I like it in the evening to un-kink my work-tense body. And afternoons? NOTHING productive gets done in the afternoon. It’s my natural down time.

    Nanna  |  March 25th, 2013 at 10:42 am

  • Some weeks work better than others but it is possible to craft your schedule so that it works. You’re on the right track starting with a calendar and a to-do list! I work under the principle of “organized flexibility” which means that when there are tasks that can be done at other times and something comes up, I can shift them. I tend to leave lots of white space so that I can be realistic about those interruptions and tasks that drag on.

    Sometimes it works to even block out time on the calendar for the grocery shopping or the laundry. Or being able to fit in some of those mundane tasks like laundry while you’re on a call because you don’t really need to think about the laundry which frees up your focus for the call. I have some productivity tips on my website that you might find helpful:

    Catch me on twitter or facebook if you have any specific schedule questions and I will try to help!

    Stacey Vulakh, Timestyle Coach  |  March 27th, 2013 at 1:51 pm